The frequency scale of intonation

D.J. Hermes, J.C. Gestel, van

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Results will be presented showing that accent-lending pitch movements are perceived on a critical-band scale. A sentence was resynthesized in two versions differing in pitch and in formant frequencies. The lower-pitched version sounded like a male voice, the higher one like a female voice. One syllable was rendered prominent by means of a pitch movement. The pitch contours of the two versions ran parallel on any of three frequency scales: a logarithmic frequency scale (semitones), a critical-band scale, or a linear frequency scale (Hz). In 2AFC experiments, subjects indicated in which version the accented syllable was more prominent. Only when the excursions of the pitch movements were equal on a critical-band scale, the choice was random. In case of equality in semitones, subjects perceived the accent in the higher version as more prominent. In case of equality in Hz, the accent in the lower version was perceived as more prominent. These results allow a perceptually more realistic measuring of the prominence of accented syllables. [Work supported by Instituut voor Doven, St-Michielsgestel, The Netherlands.]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-35
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 1989


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