Manifestation of Linguistic Information in the Voice Fundamental Frequency Contours of Spoken Japanese

Hiroya FUJISAKI  Keikichi HIROSE  Noboru TAKAHASHI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E76-A   No.11   pp.1919-1926
Publication Date: 1993/11/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Speech Synthesis: Current Technologies and Thier Application)
linguistic information,  fundamental frequency contour,  prosodic feature,  lexical word accent,  syntactic structure,  discourse structure,  

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Prosodic features of the spoken Japanese play an important role in the transmission of linguistic information concerning the lexical word accent, the sentence structure and the discourse structure. In order to construct prosodic rules for synthesizing high-quality speech, therefore, prosodic features of speech should be quantitatively analyzed with respect to the linguistic information. With a special focus on the fundamental frequency contour, we first define four prosodic units for the spoken Japanese, viz., prosodic word, prosodic phrase, prosodic clause and prosodic sentence, based on a decomposition of the fundamental frequency contour using a functional model for the generation process. Syntactic units are also introduced which have rough correspondence to these prosodic units. The relationships between the linguistic information and the characteristics of the components of the fundamental frequency contour are then described on the basis of results obtained by the analysis of two sets of speech material. Analysis of weathercast and newscast sentences showed that prosodic boundaries given by the manner of continuation/termination of phrase components fall into three categories, and are primarily related to the syntactic boundaries. On the other hand, analysis of noun phrases with various combinations of word accent types, syntactic structures, and focal conditions, indicated that the magnitude and the shape of the accent components, which of course reflect the information concerning the lexical accent types of constituent words, are largely influenced by the focal structure. The results also indicated that there are cases where prosody fails to meet all the requirements presented by word accent, syntax and discourse.