Pitching it differently : a comparison of the pitch ranges of German and English speakers
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Mennen, I., Schaeffler, F. & Docherty, G. (2007) Pitching it differently : a comparison of the pitch ranges of German and English speakers, 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, , , pp. 1769-1772,
This paper presents preliminary findings of a largescale systematic comparison of various measures of pitch range for female speakers of Southern Standard British English (SSBE) and Northern Standard German (NSG). The purpose of the study as a whole is to develop the methodology to allow comparisons of pitch range across languages and regional accents, and to determine how they correlate with listeners' perceptual sensitivity to cross-language/accent differences. In this paper we report on how four measures of pitch range in read speech (text, sentences) compare across the two groups of female speakers. Preliminary results show that the measures of the difference between the 90th and 10th percentile (in semitones), and +/- 2 standard deviations around the mean in ST differentiate the groups of speakers in the direction predicted by the stereotypical beliefs described in the literature about German and English speakers. Furthermore, these differences are most obvious in the read text and longer sentences and the effect disappears in sentences of a short duration.