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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Voice Quality and Prosody in English

Melissa A. Epstein

University of Maryland, USA

Understanding prosodic voice quality variations in English requires both taking into account the various linguistic sources for changes in voice quality and adequately tracking and measuring the range of naturally occurring voice qualities in English. In this study, voice quality variations were tracked using both quantitative measurements and qualitative assessments. Samples were taken from 3 speakers producing variants of a single sentence. Results show there are consistent effects of prominence and phrase boundaries on voice quality. Both prominent words and phrase-initial words display a "tenser" voice quality than their non-prominent and phrase-final counterparts. Phonetic pitch and phonological tone do not have an effect on modal voice quality.
   There is, however, an increase in non-modal phonation associated with Low boundary tones, but not with low phonetic pitch.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Epstein, Melissa A. (2003): "Voice quality and prosody in English", In ICPhS-15, 2405-2408.