Modelling the timing and scaling of nuclear pitch accents of Connaught and Ulster Irish with the Fujisaki model of intonation

Author(s): Maria O'Reilly and Ailbhe Ní Chasaide

Abstract

Connaught and Ulster Irish (Gaelic) use two diverse intonation patterns in declaratives: Connaught typically uses a sequence of falling (H*+L) accents, while Ulster typically employs a sequence of rising (L*+H) accents. In this paper the Fujisaki model is used to simultaneously capture the timing and scaling of these nuclear (i.e. IP-final) accents with the timing (T) and amplitude (Aa) accent command parameters. The speech materials include a set of simple declaratives with a nuclear syllable followed by 0, 1 and 2 tail syllables (henceforth N0, N1 and N2). The results demonstrate that the nuclear accents in both Connaught and Ulster Irish are sensitive to tail length with respect to timing but not scaling. Thus, the f0 inflection is timed earlier, i.e. pushed leftwards, in the absence of a tail. The scaling is rather impervious to tail length. The timing and scaling parameters of the accent command were compared with hand-measured contour-derived measurements. Overall, high correlations between the two sets of measurements indicate that the Fujisaki model adequately captures the fine-grained aspects of the nuclear accent realisation in varying tail length conditions.

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