F0 declination in spontaneous Estonian: Implications for pitch-related preplanning in speech production

Author(s): Eva Liina Asu, Pärtel Lippus, Nele Salveste and Heete Sahkai


This study contributes to the discussion on pitch-related preplanning in spontaneous speech production. It investigates the relationship of phrasal length with declination slope, and the initial and final F0 height in intonation phrases extracted from a corpus of Estonian dialogues. The analysis is based on data from 10 speakers. The results show that the declination in shorter phrases is steeper than in longer ones, and that the phrase-initial F0 is higher in longer phrases. The phrase-final F0 height was, however, found to be lower in longer phrases implying that the pitch range in longer phrases is wider. The findings of the study are discussed with reference to the nature of spontaneous speech and preplanning in speech production more generally.