Speaker variability in the realisation of lexical tones

Authors

  • Ricky K. W. Chan Lancaster University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.v23i2.30908

Keywords:

Speaker characteristics, Lexical Tone, Forensic Speaker Comparison, Cantonese

Abstract

While previous studies on the speaker-discriminatory power of static f0 parameters abound, few have focused on the dynamic and linguistically structured aspects of f0. Lexical tone offers a case in point for this endeavour. This article reports an exploratory study on the speaker-discriminatory power of individual lexical tones and of the height relationship of level tone pairs in Cantonese, and the effects of voice level and linguistic condition on their realisation. Twenty native Cantonese speakers produced systematically controlled words either in isolation or in a carrier sentence under two voice levels (normal and loud). Results show that f0 height and f0 dynamics are separate dimensions of a tone and are affected by voice level and linguistic condition in different ways. Moreover, discriminant analyses reveal that the contours of individual tones and the height differences of level tone pairs are useful parameters for characterising speakers.

Author Biography

Ricky K. W. Chan, Lancaster University

Ricky K. W. Chan is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at the University of Cambridge. He holds degrees from the University of Hong Kong (BA in English Language and Linguistics, BEd in English Language Education and MPhil in Psycholinguistics) and the University of Cambridge (MPhil in Linguistics). His research areas cover experimental phonetics and phonology, forensic phonetics, psycholinguistics and second language acquisition.

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Published

2016-11-21

How to Cite

Chan, R. K. W. (2016). Speaker variability in the realisation of lexical tones. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 23(2), 195–214. https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.v23i2.30908

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Section

Articles