Gessinger, Iona; Schweitzer, Antje; Andreeva, Bistra; Raveh, Eran; Möbius, Bernd; Steiner, Ingmar

Convergence of Pitch Accents in a Shadowing Task

Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody, Speech Prosody Special Interest Group, pp. 225-229, Poznán, Poland, 2018.

In the present study, a corpus of short German sentences collected in a shadowing task was examined with respect to pitch accent realization. The pitch accents were parameterized with the PaIntE model, which describes the f0 contour of intonation events concerning their height, slope, and temporal alignment. Convergence was quantified as decrease in Euclidean distance, and hence increase in similarity, between the PaIntE parameter vectors. This was assessed for three stimulus types: natural speech, diphone based speech synthesis, or HMM based speech synthesis. The factors tested in the analysis were experimental phase – was the sentence uttered before or while shadowing the model, accent type – a distinction was made between prenuclear and nuclear pitch accents, and sex of speaker and shadowed model. For the natural and HMM stimuli, Euclidean distance decreased in the shadowing task. This convergence effect did not depend on the accent type. However, prenuclear pitch accents showed generally lower values in Euclidean distance than nuclear pitch accents. Whether the sex of the speaker and the shadowed model matched did not explain any variance in the data. For the diphone stimuli, no convergence of pitch accents was observed.