Cross-language differences in fundamental frequency range: a comparison of English and German
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Mennen, I., Schaeffler, F. & Docherty, G. (2012) Cross-language differences in fundamental frequency range: a comparison of English and German, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 131, , pp. 2249-2260,
This paper presents a systematic comparison of various measures of f0 range in female speakers of English and German. F0 range was analysed along two dimensions, level (i.e. overall f0 height) and span (extent of f0 modulation within a given speech sample). These were examined using two types of measures, one based on 'long-term distributional' (LTD) methods, and the other based on specific landmarks in speech that are linguistic in nature ('linguistic' measures). The various methods were used to identify whether and on what basis or bases speakers of these two languages differ in f0 range. Findings yielded significant cross-language differences in both dimensions of f0 range, but effect sizes were found to be larger for span than for level, and for linguistic than for LTD measures. The linguistic measures also uncovered some differences between the two languages in how f0 range varies through an intonation contour. This helps shed light on the relation between intonational structure and f0 range.