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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Prosodic Boundary Perception in Spontaneous Speech of Standard Chinese

Aijun Li

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China

A perception experiment was carried out to determine the perceived prosodic boundary strength and the hierarchies of the perceived prosodic boundaries for spontaneous Chinese. The results indicate that perceived prosodic boundaries are highly correlated between intelligible and unintelligible (delexical) utterances, showing that the listeners may judge prosodic boundaries with no reference to semantic, syntactic and lexical information and that current method of prosodic annotation is feasible and scientific. The prosodic boundaries annotated by experts are highly correlated to those done by native listeners through clustering the perceived prosodic boundaries into the same levels. So untrained listeners can give reliable annotation and a learning sample set for prosodic break annotation can be produced from the perceptual classification. The perceived breaks forms a continuum, which can produce numerous boundary levels theoretically and a blurry part can exist between each two adjacent levels.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Li, Aijun (2003): "Prosodic boundary perception in spontaneous speech of standard Chinese", In ICPhS-15, 873-876.