At the edge of intonation : the interplay of utterance-final F0 movements and voiceless fricative sounds

The paper is concerned with the 'edge of intonation' in a twofold sense. It focuses on utterance-final F0 movements and crosses the traditional segment-prosody divide by investigating the interplay of F0 and voiceless fricatives in speech production. An experiment was performed for German with four types of voiceless fricatives: /f/, /s/, /ʃ/ and /x/. They were elicited with scripted dialogues in the contexts of terminal falling statement and high rising question intonations. Acoustic analyses show that fricatives concluding the high rising question intonations had higher mean centres of gravity (CoGs), larger CoG ranges and higher noise energy levels than fricatives concluding the terminal falling statement intonations. The different spectral-energy patterns are suitable to induce percepts of a high 'aperiodic pitch' at the end of the questions and of a low 'aperiodic pitch' at the end of the statements. The results are discussed with regard to the possible existence of 'segmental intonation' and its implication for F0 truncation and the segment-prosody dichotomy, in which segments are the alleged troublemakers for the production and perception of intonation.



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