14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

The Influence of Focal Condition, Sentence Mode and Phrase Boundary Location on Syllable Duration and the F0 Contour in German

Hansjörg Mixdorff (1), Hiroya Fujisaki (2)

(1) Dresden University of Technology, Germany
(2) Science University of Tokyo, Japan

The present study examines the influence of focal condition, sentence mode and phrase boundary location on the most important prosodic features of German, syllable duration and F0 contour. A small corpus uttered by a single speaker was auditorily segmented and the F0 contours modeled using a quantitative model decomposing the contour into a sequence of tone switches. The correlation of these tone switches with changes of the accent syllable durations was examined. It was found that narrow focusing of an item boosts the tone switch at its word accent syllable whereas significant lengthening of this syllable was only observed in phrase-medial, but not in phrase-final position. In the latter case, instead of noticeable lenghtening of the word accent syllable, preceding items are being compressed. This indicates that the durational organisation of the phrase behaves in a different manner than the intonational one. Pre-phrase boundary syllables are lengtened for an average 60 % compared with phrase medial ones.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Mixdorff, Hansjörg / Fujisaki, Hiroya (1999): "The influence of focal condition, sentence mode and phrase boundary location on syllable duration and the F0 contour in German", In ICPhS-14, 1537-1540.