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									       Beyond Lab Phonology
The Phonetics of Speech Communication

             Klaus J. Kohler
           IPDS, Kiel, Germany

Paper at the Conference on Methods in Phonology
           Berkeley, 20 - 23 May 2004
                 1      Introduction
• Every science develops paradigms
   – sets of theoretical and methodological principles,

   – which are only partly determined by scentific
     phenomena, far more by the sociology of science;

   – they are passed on through the teaching of an
     influential, often missionary discipleship,

   – and they are finally codified in textbooks.
   – Change means revolution

      • Historical Linguistics of the 19th c.

      • Structuralism in 1/20th c.

      • Generative Grammar since the 2/20th c.

• Applies to the analysis of the spoken medium too.
• experimental, signal-oriented phonetics > science
  discipline: Rousselot, Scripture, Panconcelli-Calzia

• descriptive, symbol-oriented phonetics >
  humanities discipline: Jespersen, Passy, Sievers,
  Sweet, Viëtor

• phonology in Prague Circle and American
  Structuralism > new discipline within linguistics
  and humanities

• conceptualization of a science-humanities dualism
• Linguistic concepts, e.g. the phoneme, imported into
  psychology and engineering labs

   – to be filled with phonetic substance in production
     and perception experiments

   – adequacy of linguistic concepts for new questions
     taken for granted

   – > „categorical speech perception‟, „the speech
     code‟, „the motor theory of speech perception‟
• analysis of minute detail in word-phonology frame

   – e.g. array of phonetic parameters for voiced/
     voiceless plosives in word or logatome
     contrasts in isolation or in metalinguistic

   – even rejection of established phonological
     rules, e.g. neutralization of word-final voicing
     in German
      • poor methodology in subject selection, word
        material, experimental design and blind application
        of statistics

      • inferential significance interpreted as category

   – results of limited value for explanation of speech

• This is the paradigm of „phonology-going-into-the-lab‟.
• It reached its climax with the Lab Phonology series.

• Lab Phonology > natural science
   – filling known phonological categories with
     phonetic substance under lab conditions

   – thus alleviating the modularization into phonetics
     and phonology

   – but new dilemma: categoricalness vs. gradience
     of phonological categories
• Neither the phonological categories nor the phonetic
  measurements of Lab Phonology
  – need represent language structures in communication
  – they may even reflect incongruous metalinguistic

• thus extrapolation to real speakers and listeners
  problematic, but standard practice in Lab Phonology

• return to the philosophy of science approach of early
  20th c. in spite of sophisticated theorizing and analysis
• Pierrehumbert, J., Beckman, E. M., Ladd, D. R.:
  Conceptual foundations of phonology as a
  laboratory science. In: N. Burton-Roberts, P. Carr,
  G. Docherty (eds.), Phonological Knowledge.
  Oxford: OUP, 273-3003 (2000).
• Part of the Lab Phonology paradigm is the prosodic
  framework of Autosegmental-Metrical Phonology/ToBI

  – none of the many prosodic paradigms

     • British School, Halliday, Dutch Model, Swedish Model,
       Danish Model, Fujisaki-Model, AM-Phonology/ToBI,
       KIM (The Kiel Intonation Model)

  – have been carried round the globe with greater zeal
    than AM-Phonology and its tool ToBI.
• It has little concern for the communicative
  categories “Time”, “Listener” and “Function”:

   – it lacks concern for “Time”, because it defines
     intonation contours independently of time

   – it also lacks concern for the “Listener”, because
     it focuses on production

   – and it lacks concern for “Function” in a wide
     sense, because it concentrates on linguistic
     function, if it considers function at all.
• But these categories are corner-stones in the paradigm
  of „phonology-coming-out-of-the-lab‟.

• I will now look at the phonology of f0 peaks under two
   – Lab Phonology
     with „phonology-going-into-the-lab‟

      • L-H categorization independent of “time”
      • phonetic alignment independent of the “listener”
      • detached from “function”
– Communicative Phonetics
  with „phonology-coming-out-of-the-lab‟

   • “time”, “listener”, “function” define
     intonational categories

   • phonetic substance determines phonological

   • and provides a direct link to “function”:
     The Frequency Code
        2      The Phonology of f0 Peaks

2.1   Pitch accents and alignment in AM/ToBI

• Timeless phonological categorization of intonation
  peaks in AM-Phonology/ToBI:
  H+L* vs (L+)H* vs L*+H

• post hoc introduction of time as phonetic alignment
  in a considerable number of lab speech studies in
  English, German, Dutch, Greek, e.g. R.D. Ladd
• Esther Grabe„s Comparative Intonational Phonology
  of English and German (1998)
   – lab data on the production of H*+L were collected
     for both languages in parallel contexts

   – it is postulated, but not explicated that both
     languages contain the same intonational category in
     their phonological inventories

   – this category is filled with phonetic substance
     through measuring f0-peak alignment

   – result: later position in German than in English
• but the contexts in the data acquistion were not
  identical for the two languages

   – ”Anna and Peter are watching TV. A photograph
     of this week's National Lottery winner appears.
     Anna says: Look, Peter! It's ...! Our new

   – ”Anna und Peter sehen fern: Ein Lottogewinner
     wird vorgestellt. Anna sagt: Na sowas! Das ist
     doch Herr ...! Unser neuer Nachbar!”
• surprise in Germ. “Na sowas!” (“Well I never!”),
  reinforced by “doch”, absent from “Look, Peter!”

• in such a context German uses a semantically contrastive
  late peak position

• this shows that
   – “function” is already important at data collection

   – different phonological synchronizations of f0 contours
     with articulation need to be distinguished from variable
     phonetic alignment to avoid misinterpretation
2.2   “Time”, “Listener”, “Function” in f0 contours
2.2.1 Synchronization of pitch patterns
 • backed by long-standing research at IPDS Kiel
   KIM: The Kiel Intonation Model
   cf Lab Phonology I
 • global contours (peaks, valleys)
 • new experimental paradigm
    – whole F0 peak contour shifted in equal steps
    – through segmentally constant utterance
    – for perceptual pitch changes
    – and associated semantic features
• synchronization of pitch and articulatory time

• 3 peak contour positions to be differentiated in
  relation to articulatory timing of accented syllables
   – early
   – medial
   – late

• listener has a central role
Germ. Sie hat ja gelogen. “She‟s been lying.”
                          l 
• pragmatic function of peak contour synchronization

   – early - finality
      • knowing
      • summarizing
      • coming to the end of an argument
      • resignation
– medial - openness
   • observing
   • realising
   • starting a new argument

– late - unexpectedness
   • observing, realising in contrast to one„s
   • surprise
   • disbelief
2.2.2 Internal pitch timing in peak contours

• recent research at IPDS Kiel
   – Oliver Niebuhr MA dissertation 2003
      “Perzeptorische Untersuchungen zu Zeit-
     variablen in Grundfrequenzgipfeln” in German
   – Tamara Khromovskikh MA dissertation 2003
     “Perzeptionsuntersuchungen zur Intonation der
     Frage im Russischen”
• the rise and the fall of a peak contour
   – slow
   – fast
• independent changes of rise and fall speeds

• softening of „finality‟ of early peak by slow fall

• further increase of „openness‟ by fast rise

• perceptual interaction between synchronization
  and internal timing
Germ. Sie hat ja gelogen. “She‟s been lying.”
2.2.3 AM Phonology and KIM compared

• alignment in ToBI and peak position in KIM are
  fundamentally different concepts
   – in KIM the time dimension is anchored in the
     phonological categories themselves

   – in ToBI it is a phonetic addition post festum

   – “Time” has the same conceptual value at the
     prosodic level in KIM as it has at the segmental
     level in Articulatory Phonology
2.3   Findings from other languages

• Russian
  – yes-no questions lack syntactic markers
  – synchronization and internal timing effects in
    F0 coding of statements vs. yes-no questions
     • early vs. late peak positions
     • combined with slow rise + fast fall vs. fast
       rise + slow fall
     • and by additional lower vs. higher peak
• Bulgarian
  – narrow-focus statement vs. question show the
    same differences in
     • synchronization
     • and internal timing
     as in Russian
  – Bistra Andreeva, Saarbrücken: production data
• Pisa Italian
   – broad focus vs. narrow contrast
      • in former, F0 maximum of peak contour
        later and trailing off more slowly
   – Barbara Gili Fivela, “Tonal alignment in two
     Pisa Italian peak accents”, Speech Prosody
     2002, production data
• Neapolitan Italian
  – statement vs. question
     • later synchronization of F0 peaks
     • and strengthening of high F0 in the descent
    for questions
  – Mariapaola d'Imperio, “The Role of
    Perception in Defining Tonal Targets and their
    Alignment”, PhD thesis, OSU, 2000, perception
• Bari Italian
  – commands vs. questions
  – based on the sentence "lo mandi a Massimiliano“
     • later peak position as well as a faster rise in
  – Martine Grice & Michelina Savino, “Low tone
    versus 'sag' in Bari Italian intonation; a
    perceptual experiment”, ICPhS Stockholm 1995,
    perception data
2.4   Explaining the data

• reference to two theoretical principles
   – auditory contrast in contours at specific
     syllable points (auditory enhancement, cf.
     Diehl & Kluender)
   – and J. Ohala„s Frequency Code

• contrastive high-low vs low-high pitch change in
  consonant - vowel transition of the accented
  syllable for early vs medial peak
• consonant - vowel transition crucial because of
  increase in intensity, heightening pitch change

• low-high change later in vowel: late peak

• focus on change to low or high pitch in the
  accented vowel linked to semantics of „finality‟ vs.
  „opennesss‟ in the German data
• J. Ohala‟s Frequency Code:
   – an attempt to relate phonetic substance
      • high vs. low F0
   – to social behaviour
      • subordination vs. dominance
   – subsequent explanation of linguistic form
      • use of high or rising F0, e.g. in questions
             in the languages of the world
• may also be applied to the high/low contrast for
  the semantics of „opennesss‟ vs. „finality‟, which
  includes „subordination‟ vs. „dominance‟

• all peak alignment data and functions they serve in
  the different languages can be subsumed under the
  same two principles of auditory enhancement and
  Frequency Code

• later, faster rising and higher F0 peak
  configuration contains all the ingredients for a
  low-high pitch contrast in an accented vowel to
  mark the question function vs statement/command
        3      Developing the new paradigm

• The goal of phonetics is the elucidation of speech

   – of the relationship between phonetic substance
     and communicative function

   – with linguistic form being derived from this
• Corollaries

   – neither substance nor function can be analysed
     without the other

      • measurement must take place within
        communicative domains

         – go beyond lab speech

         – take spontaneous speech into the lab
• functional categories must be established in
  relation to substantive parameters in
  production and perception

   – go beyond systemic linguistic contrasts

   – include the whole spectrum of the
     behavioural sound - meaning relationship
– metalinguistically derived phonological form
  has no more than a heuristic value in this

   • word phonology must be supplemented by
     the phonetic manifestation in utterances

   • prosodic categories of isolated sentences by
     the prosodic structures of speech interaction
• The supplement is provided by systematic analysis
  of large corpora of speech interaction
   – segmental and prosodic annotation on the basis
     of provisional phonological categories of lab
     speech, e.g. Kiel Corpus of Spontaneous Speech

   – context-sensitive search operations

   – measurements for sound classes and pitch
     patterns in search files

   – statistics applied to symbol and signal data
• return to lab speech experiments on the basis of
  results of corpus analysis

• revision of the initial heuristic categories to bring
  them in line with the phonetics of speech

• „phonology-coming-out-of-the-lab‟

• This progression of steps has largely been carried
  out in the analysis of f0 peaks in German.
                    4     Outlook

• Speech analysis is not just a metalinguistic academic

• but aims at describing and explaining language and
  speech behaviour
   – in realistic communicative situations
   – with reference to such central concepts as function,
     time and the listener
   – and general principles in production and
• There is growing unease with mainstream prosodic
  theory and practice, e.g. ToBI
• fair amount of rumbling at Speech Prosody 2002/4
   – Yi Xu went as far as giving priority to function
     over lingistic form.
   – When we combine this with Björn Lindblom‟s
     priority of substance over linguistic form, we
     capture the future of phonetics, which I have
     attempted to sketch in this paper
       • the relation between function and substance
       • linguistic form as derivative from it.
• This movement will gather momentum in years to
• and the categories I have been talking about today
  will no doubt play a central role
   – in the development of a comprehensive theory
     of speech communication
   – and in the description of speech behaviour in
     the languages of the world.
• We will then have a new paradigm, the Paradigm
  of Function-Oriented Experimental Phonetics.

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