6.911 | January IAP 2006 | Undergraduate

Transcribing Prosodic Structure of Spoken Utterances with ToBI


Exercise 2.1

Exercises: 2.1 | 2.2 | 2.3 | 2.4 | 2.5 | 2.6 | 2.7 | 2.8 | 2.9

ToBI Tutorial Section 2.1 Exercises: Praat & H* L-L% (ZIP - 1.4 MB) (The ZIP file contains: 10 .textgrid, 10 .wav, and 1 .pdf files.)

A. Listening Exercises

  1. Just listen. This file (ex1a1.wav) has various speakers producing various texts, all with a single H* pitch accent, and a L-L% phrase accent-boundary tone combination. Listen to the file several times, and focus on the prosody. (ex1a1.wav: hey, aware, some beans, calcium, repo man, without a three, gray)
  2. Listen and choose. 5 of the 7 versions of a minimum are produced with H* L-L%, and 2 are produced with different contours. Can you pick which? (ex1a2.wav has the choices with letters to keep track, ex1a2-unlettered.wav has the same choices in the same order, but without the intervening letters.)

B. Labelling Exercises

The exercises in this section all contain a single Intonational Phrase, with a single H* pitch accent and the L-L% phrase accent-boundary tone combination.

For Each File

  • Label the words, break indices, the phrase tone-boundary tone combination and pitch accent on the appropriate syllable for each Intonational Phrase.

Issues to Consider while Labelling: Alignment of Labels

  • Break indices aligned to end of word
  • Phrase accent and boundary tone aligned to end of last word of phrase
  • Pitch accent in correct syllable, at correct location. The best place (in most cases) is the highest intensity and the “fattest” (in the waveform) part of vowel. If there isn’t an obvious single “fat” point, the approximate center of the vowel will suffice.

For the following files, use the TextGrid provided, which has the words included on the words tier.

  • ex1b1lemon (lemon)
  • ex1b2lime (a lime)
  • ex1b3another_banana (another banana)

For the following files, you will need to make your own TextGrid. (Refer to the Short Praat User’s guide for help.)

  • create a blank TextGrid in Praat with the following tiers: tones, words, breaks, misc. (Make sure that words tier is an interval tier, and that the other three are point tiers.)
    Labelled TextGrids can be found in the folder called “keys.”
    • ex1b4me (me)
    • ex1b5umbrella (umbrella)
    • ex1b6nominated (he was nominated)
  • Save all your TextGrid files-include your initials in the filename (eg. ex1b3amb.TextGrid)

C: Further Exercises

Produce and record your own H* L-L% phrases

  1. Listen to the file ex1c1minimum.wav, which contains the words a minimum produced by different speakers with H* L-L%
    • record (in Praat or another recording application) and imitate the intonation contour on the same words (a minimum) in your own voice. Try several different pitch ranges, speeds or volumes: in your “normal” range, in a higher- or lower-pitched voice, softly, loudly, slowly, quickly.
    • Look, listen and compare. Do your versions look like the H* L-L% contour? If not, think (descriptively) about how your versions differ. (Note: It is often tricky to produce a given contour on demand: we’re used to using prosody communicatively, and without conscious planning. Don’t worry if you’ve produced something that sounds different: you can always save your files to label later on, once you’ve learned more the of the ToBI inventory.)
    • You may want to create a TextGrid to label those versions you believe are H* L-L%. Don’t worry about labelling others.
  2. Try producing several H* L-L% versions on the following words and short phrases (feel free to add to the list):
    me, you, banana, another banana, a lime, arugula, watermelon, an umbrella, marmalade
  3. Try producing H* L-L% versions on a longer phrase or two. Listen to files from section 2.1, and try your own renditions on the same text:
    He said you would. (said-would1.wav)
    Marianna won it. (won-a.wav)
    He was nominated. (nominated-Hstar.wav)
    • You may want to save your soundfiles as .wav files, and any associated TextGrids, named with “ex1c2” and your initials, and a number or keyword if you produce more than one sound file (eg. ex1c3amb2.wav and ex1c3amb2.TextGrid or ex1c3amb_won.wav and ex1c3amb_won.TextGrid)
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