TAMIS

Tonal and Articulatory Marking of Information Structure: Kinematic and Acoustic Correlates of Accentuation

  • Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).
  • First phase: August 2006 - July 2009.
  • Second phase: August 2009 - 2012

Within the priority programme SPP1234 - Phonological and Phonetic Competence:
Between Grammar, Signal Processing, and Neural Activity

Fundholder:

Researcher:

 

Project summary - first phase:

In this project we investigate the intonational and articulatory marking of central aspects of information structure in German: We concentrate on the marking of focus in domains of different lengths, the type of focus (contrast vs. non-contrast), the marking of degrees and types of givenness (cognitive activation) and of givenness on focussed constituents, in particular second-occurrence focus. Intonational marking of information status crucially depends on not just whether a target word is accented or not, but rather, if it is accented, on the accent category, i.e. its type and strength, and, if it does not receive a fully-fledged pitch accent, on the type of secondary prominence. Alongside glottal control, supralaryngeal articulation is a considerable factor in differentiating between these different categories, particularly in the case of secondary prominence, as well as more directly in the marking of information structure. Strategies employed relate to articulatory effort, particularly hyperarticulation and sonority expansion, focussing on differences in intra-gestural timing (e.g. stiffness and displacement) and differences in the timing of opening and closing gestures. Based on a controlled corpus study, we expect to gain insights into the interaction between tonal and articulatory expression of information status, in particular cumulative vs. compensatory effects. An interpreted subset of the corpus will be made publicly available, including time aligned annotations of intended information structure, rating scores, intonation (GToBI), and articulatory landmarks.

 

Second phase:

In this second phase of the project we aim to further our understanding of the nature of accentuation, extending our study to prenuclear accents. We shall investigate strategies employed in the supralaryngeal system for enhancing prominence and reflecting different aspects of information structure, using results from rating tasks to ensure that the intended message is relevant for the listener. Of particular interest is the interplay between tonal and articulatory cues.
We shall model supralaryngeal articulation in accents in terms of an abstract gesture which has been proposed for capturing modifications in temporal and spatial patterning due to prosodic structure: the ?-gesture. Although the ?-gesture has been extensively applied to prosodic boundaries, its application to accents is still at a preliminary stage. Our model of the 'accentual ?-gesture' will take into account an accent's status in the prosodic hierarchy (i.e. whether prenuclear or nuclear), and will differentiate between functions that we have already found to have a bearing on their realisation. Results from our articulatory experiments will be used for testing the accentual ?-gesture in the Haskins synthesis system, TADA.

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Subject wearing an articulograph helmet during a recording session

Publications

  • Baumann, Stefan, Doris Mücke & Johannes Becker (2009). Second Occurrence Focus in German. Current Issues in Unity and Diversity of Languages. Collection of papers presented at the 18th International Congress of Linguists (CIL18), held at Korea University in Seoul, July 21-26, 2008. The Linguistic Society of Korea. 374-393. (PDF)
  • Mücke, Doris, Martine Grice, Anne Hermes, Johannes Becker & Stefan Baumann (2008). Articulatory Expression of Focus in German. Laboratory Phonology 11, Wellington, New Zealand. (PDF)
  • Hermes, Anne, Johannes Becker, Doris Mücke, Stefan Baumann & Martine Grice (2008). Articulatory gestures and focus marking in German. Prodeedings Speech Prosody 2008, Campinas, Brasil. 457-460. (PDF)
  • Baumann, Stefan, Johannes Becker, Martine Grice & Doris Mücke (2007). Tonal and Articulatory Marking of Focus in German. Proceedings 16th ICPhS Saarbrücken, Germany. 1029-1032. (PDF)
  • Baumann, Stefan, Martine Grice & Susanne Steindamm (2006). Prosodic Marking of Focus Domains - Categorical or Gradient? Proceedings SpeechProsody 2006, Dresden, Germany. 301-304. (PDF)

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Talks

  • Grice, Martine (2009). Articulation and Accentuation. Invited talk at Phonetics and Phonology in Iberia (PaPI), June 17-18, 2009, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
  • Becker, Johannes, Stefan Baumann, Martine Grice & Doris Mücke (2009). Tonale und artikulatorische Markierung von Fokusdomänen im Deutschen: Produktion und Perzeption. Oral presentation at 3rd annual meeting of the DFG-Priority Programme 1234 "Phonological and phonetic competence: between grammar, signal processing, and neural activity", March 1-2, 2009, Cologne, Germany.
  • Baumann, Stefan, Doris Mücke & Johannes Becker (2009). Strategies for differentiating second occurrence focus from background information. Poster presentation at 3rd Workshop of the DFG-Priority Programme 1234 "Phonological and phonetic competence: between grammar, signal processing, and neural activity": Experimental Studies on Intonation - Phonetic, Phonological and Psycholinguistic Aspects of Sentence Prosody", January 5-7, 2009, Potsdam, Germany.
  • Becker, Johannes, Stefan Baumann & Martine Grice (2009). Tonal and articulatory marking of focus domains: What do listeners hear? Oral presentation at 3rd Workshop of the DFG-Priority Programme 1234 "Phonological and phonetic competence: between grammar, signal processing, and neural activity": Experimental Studies on Intonation - Phonetic, Phonological and Psycholinguistic Aspects of Sentence Prosody", January 5-7, 2009, Potsdam, Germany.
  • Muecke, Doris, Martine Grice, Pia Bergmann & Hanna Weyrauch (2009). Articulatory reduction strategies: Effects of information structure and word frequency. (Synergy TAMIS project in Cologne and 'Edge Marking in German Compounds' project in Freiburg). Poster presentation at 3rd Workshop of the DFG-Priority Programme 1234 "Phonological and phonetic competence: between grammar, signal processing, and neural activity": Phonetic, Phonological and Psycholinguistic Aspects of Sentence Prosody", January 5-7, 2009, Potsdam, Germany.
  • Baumann, Stefan & Doris Mücke (2008). Tonal and Articulatory Markers of Second Occurrence Focus in German. Oral presentation at 18th International Congress of Linguists (CIL18), July 21-26, 2008, Seoul, Korea.
  • Baumann, Stefan, Doris Mücke & Johannes Becker (2008). Second Occurrence Focus in German. Oral presentation at Workshop Cologne-Nijmegen, June 23, 2008, Cologne, Germany.
  • Baumann, Stefan, Martine Grice & Doris Mücke (2008). Intonational and articulatory marking of focus in German. Oral presentation at Workshop on Information Structure and Prosody, January 21-22, 2008, Studiecentrum Soeterbeeck, Netherlands.
  • Becker, Johannes & Anne Hermes (2007). Orofacial gestures for marking different focus types and domains. Oral presentation at Summerschool: "Cognitive and physical models of speech production, perception and perception-production interaction. Part II* : Brain and Speech". September 16-21, 2007, Autrans, France.
  • Mücke, Doris, Stefan Baumann & Johannes Becker (2007). Prosody and articulation and their role in focus marking. Oral presentation at One-day Nijmegen-Cologne Prosody Workshop, January 29, 2007, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
  • Grice, Martine & Johannes Becker (2006). Tonal and Articulatory Marking of Focus Domains and Types. Oral presentation at 1st annual meeting of the DFG-Priority Programme 1234 "Phonological and phonetic competence: between grammar, signal processing, and neural activity", October 11-12, 2006, Stuttgart, Germany.

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