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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

On the Perception of Prominence in Short Phrases: A quantitative Experimental Study

Soundes Azabou-Kacem

University of Paris 7, France

This paper deals with two questions affecting the perception of prominence patterns in short phrases, by native English adults. In the first part, the influence of native linguistic knowledge on the perception of strongest prominence is evaluated for targets in sequences presenting potential stress clash. In part two, the influence of immediate target context on perceived prominence is studied. Three perception tests were made for this purpose. Perceived materials for each test were respectively filtered and excised targets, non-filtered clipped targets, and non-filtered targets in context. Results from test 1 vs. 2 show that it is easier for judges to assign perceived strongest prominence to "secondary" stress, when the segmental information is filtered, suggesting that auditory judgements for non-filtered targets might be affected by native linguistic knowledge. Results from tests 2 and 3 show a positive effect of context coupled with type of information and target position relative to nucleus.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Azabou-Kacem, Soundes (2003): "On the perception of prominence in short phrases: a quantitative experimental study", In ICPhS-15, 881-884.