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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Categorical Perception of Boundary Tones in German

Katrin Schneider, Britta Lintfert

Universität Stuttgart, Germany

A group of 24 listeners participated in a perception experiment consisting of an identification task followed by a discrimination task The experiment aimed at testing the categorical status of high and low boundary tones in German, represented by question and statement, respectively. The location of the category boundary varied between subjects so that an averaged function led to a category switch in five steps which was supported by a plateau in the discrimination function. The correlation between the perceived category boundary and the discrimination peak was low but significant. These results suggest that high and low boundary tones in German, however, have categorical status. The present definition of categorical perception is not sufficient for handling intonational events, possibly because intonation conveys more information than segmental features do.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Schneider, Katrin / Lintfert, Britta (2003): "Categorical perception of boundary tones in German", In ICPhS-15, 631-634.