6.911 | January IAP 2006 | Undergraduate

Transcribing Prosodic Structure of Spoken Utterances with ToBI


Exercise 2.4

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

Section 2.4 Exercises: Other Phrase Accent-boundary Tone Combinations (ZIP - 2.2 MB) (The ZIP file contains: 30 .textgrid, 14 .wav, and 1 .pdf files.)

A. Listening Exercises

The following files all contain Intonational Phrases with an H* or L* pitch accent, followed by L-H% or H-L% that have been produced on various texts, by various speakers:

  1. H* L-H% (ex4a1HstarLH) (banana but anyway marinade)
  2. L* L-H% (ex4a2LstarLH) (a rutabaga small another banana Amelia knew him) (note: another banana likely contains 2 L* pitch accents, but still ends in L-H%)
  3. H* H-L% (ex4a3HstarHL) (low marinade a honeydew) (note: a honeydew is a full IP, but has been snipped from a longer utterance, so will appear clipped in the waveform and spectrogram)
  4. L* H-L% (ex4a4LstarHL) (to the airport a rutabaga she knew Abercrombie)

B: Labelling Exercises

Easier Version

For each of the following files, label the phrase accent and boundary tones. (Pitch accents and break indices have been filled in on the TextGrids with “-part” in the filename-eg exb1joey-part.TextGrid.)

  1. ex4b1joey (don’t hit it to Joey)
  2. ex4b2amelia (Amelia knew him)
  3. ex4b3mangos (bananas and mangos)
  4. ex4b4peculiar (this is peculiar)
  5. ex4b5fruit (a lime, a honeydew, a watermelon, a lemon)
  6. ex4b6fruit (a lime, a lemon, a watermelon, a honeydew)
  7. ex4b7amelia (Amelia knew him)
  8. ex4b8rowling (J. K. Rowling)
  9. ex4b9hold (could you hold this for a second)
  10. ex4b10lying (I knew he was lying)

More Labor-intensive Option

Label the above files, using the TextGrids provided. (For each wav file, you should find a TextGrid file with only the words tier filled, which contains “-words” in the filename.) These files contain either single Intonational Phrases, or more than one, and phrases may have more than one pitch accent. (Any label listed in the inventory at the end section 2-4, as listed in “Introduced so far.”)

Note: These exercises are paired by speaker (The same speaker produced 1 and 2, a different speaker 3 and 4, etc.) You need not do these in order, but it may be helpful to label both examples of the same speaker for comparison. If you are short on time, pick only 2 pairs to label.

C: Further Exercises

  • “List intonation.” There are a variety of ways that speaker of Mainstream American English produce intonation on a list of items. This section includes several final pitch accent, phrase accent and boundary tone combinations that appear commonly in a spoken list. Read and record the following lists of items (which contain words of varying length, and vary the main-stressed syllable):
    • A Fruit List: a lime, a lemon, a honeydew, a watermelon.
    • A Vegetable List: some beans, an onion, some arugula, a rutabaga
    • A Name List: Anne, Lenny, Melanie, Abernathy

Hints: It may help to produce the lists in response to a context question, such as “what did you buy at the farmer’s market,” or “who was at the party?” It may also feel more natural to add the word “and” before the last item.

Try producing the lists with the items in different orders, too. Feel free to come up with your own lists.

When you look at your soundfiles, see if you produced the lists in a way that you can label with the inventory we’ve looked at so far.

save your soundfiles as .wav files, and any associated TextGrids, named with “ex4c1” and your initials, and a number or keyword if you produce more than one sound file (eg. ex4c1amb2.wav or ex2c1amb_names.wav).

  • “Question intonation.” Speakers of Mainstream American English also use a variety of intonation patterns when producing questions. Try to produce (and record) the same short question with a variety of intonational contours. Start by reading the question(s) aloud without thinking about your prosody, then see if you can vary your prosody.
    • Questions you might Ask: Was it Amelia? Did you buy watermelon? Are you going? Can you draw a parabola?

Look at your recordings. Can you identify the phrase accent and boundary tone combination that you used in each case? Did you produce the pattern you expected?

Save your soundfiles as .wav files, and any associated TextGrids, named with “ex2c” and your initials, and a number or keyword if you produce more than one sound file (eg. ex2c2amb2.wav or ex2c2amb_going.wav).

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