15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

An Articulatory Hypothesis for the Alignment of Tonal Targets in Italian

Mariapaola D'Imperio (1), Noël Nguyen (1), Kevin G. Munhall (2)

(1) LPL-CNRS, France
(2) Queen's University, Canada

Recent work on tonal alignment has suggested that the temporal location of tonal targets is determined relative to segmental "anchors" which are defined in acoustic terms. However, whether tonal targets are phased with respect to these acoustic anchors in a stable and systematic manner is controversial. According to an alternative hypothesis, the anchor points used for the alignment of tonal targets are articulatory in nature. In this perspective, the complex character of the mapping between the tonal targets and the acoustic signal would be partly attributable to articulatory-to- acoustic non-linearities. Hence, a new experimental paradigm for alignment research is adopted here in which optoelectronic data for orofacial movements are collected simultaneously with acoustic data. A corpus of Italian questions and statements was produced according to two different rates of speech, i.e. normal and fast. Preliminary results suggest that there is a tendency to synchronize specific pitch events with articulatory gestures.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  D'Imperio, Mariapaola / Nguyen, Noël / Munhall, Kevin G. (2003): "An articulatory hypothesis for the alignment of tonal targets in Italian", In ICPhS-15, 253-256.