# Frequency, Pitch, Tone and Length - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Frequency, Pitch, Tone and Length. October 15, 2012 Thanks to Chilin Shih for making some of these lecture materials available. Announcements. For Wednesday: transcription exercise on tone. Yoruba and Cantonese For Friday: mid-sagittal diagram exercise

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### Frequency, Pitch, Tone and Length

October 15, 2012

Thanks to Chilin Shih for making some of these lecture materials available.

### Announcements

• For Wednesday: transcription exercise on tone.

• Yoruba and Cantonese

• For Friday: mid-sagittal diagram exercise

• Check it out on the course web page.

• Production exercise #2 due at 5 pm next Monday (the 22nd).

• Okay, let’s put together some complex waves…

### Sine Waves

• The reading on the pressure level meter will fluctuate between high and low pressure values

• In the simplest case, the variations in pressure level will look like a sine wave.

pressure

time

### Other Basic Sinewave concepts

• Sinewaves are periodic; i.e., they recur over time.

• The period is the amount of time it takes for the pattern to repeat itself.

• The frequency is the number of times, within a given timeframe, that the pattern repeats itself.

• Frequency = 1 / period

• usually measured in cycles per second, or Hertz

• The peakamplitude is the the maximum amount of vertical displacement in the wave

• = maximum/minimum amount of pressure

### Complex Waves

• When more than one sinewave gets combined, they form a complex wave.

• At any given time, each wave will have some amplitude value.

• A1(t1) := Amplitude value of sinewave 1 at time 1

• A2(t1) := Amplitude value of sinewave 2 at time 1

• The amplitude value of the complex wave is the sum of these values.

• Ac(t1) = A1 (t1) + A2 (t1)

### Complex Wave Example

• Take waveform 1:

• high amplitude

• low frequency

+

• low amplitude

• high frequency

=

• The sum is this complex waveform:

### Other Examples

• 480 Hz tone

• 620 Hz tone

• the combo = ?

### Fundamental Frequency

• The fundamental frequency of a complex wave is the frequency at which the complex wave repeats itself.

• = greatest common denominator of frequencies of component waves.

• Greatest common denominator =

• largest number that two (or more) numbers can be divided by to yield an integer (whole number) value.

• Q: What’s the fundamental frequency of a complex wave consisting of 600 Hz and 800 Hz tones?

• How about one with 120 Hz and 150 Hz tones?

### Linguistically Speaking

• In speech, the fundamental frequency of voiced sounds is based on the rate at which the vocal folds open and close.

• The wave set up by the vocal folds is a complex wave.

### Complex Wave Visual

• Combination of 100 Hz and 300 Hz wave.

• Voicing sort of looks like this, but it’s even more complex:

### Why Should You Care?

• The modulation of fundamental frequency in speech can have linguistic meaning.

• Tone

• Pitch Accent

• Stress

• Intonation

• Since this modulation can occur (relatively) independently of the stream of vowel and consonant segments in speech…

• these linguistic properties are often referred to as suprasegmentals.

### Suprasegmentals

• Suprasegmentals are phonetic features of speech which are “above the segment”

• Tone/Accent/Intonation

• Quantity

• Stress

• “Suprasegmental features are established by a comparison of items in a sequence.” --Ilse Lehiste (1970)

•  Suprasegmental features are always defined in a relative manner.

### Where Tone Comes From

Here’s a waveform for my vowel :

• The acoustic shockwave of each opening of the vocal folds shows up as a vertical bar in the waveform.

• A “voicing bar”

### Voicing Bar Close-up

Individual glottal pulses

### Voicing bars, really close up

• Voicing is a complex wave. (i.e., not sinusoidal)

• The fundamental frequency of voicing can be calculated by measuring the period between glottal pulses.

### Voicing bars, really close up

period

• Frequency = 1 / period

• In this case, period = .008 seconds, so frequency = ?

### Pitch Tracks

• Measuring the fundamental frequency (F0) at every step in a sound file yields a pitch track.

• Time on the x-axis.

• Fundamental frequency on the y-axis.

F0

time

I’d like to collect sea shells this after noon

### Just So You Know

• Praat has an automatic pitch tracker.

• Check it out.

• It can be messed up by:

• voiceless sounds

• obstruents (stops, fricatives, affricates)

• Also, it can sometimes double or halve the correct fundamental frequency.

• I’ll spare you the technical reasons why.

• In general, though, it works well.

### Tone

• Tone is the linguistic use of fundamental frequency to signal important differences in meaning.

• Note:

• Acoustic=Fundamental Frequency

• Perceptual=Pitch

• Linguistic=Tone

• English is a tone language…

• Sort of. For one set of words only.

### A Typology

• F0 generally varies in three different ways in language:

1. Tone languages (Chinese, Navajo, Igbo)

• Lexically determined tone on every syllable or word

2. Accentual languages (Japanese, Swedish)

• The location of an accent in a particular word is lexically marked.

3. Stress languages (English, Russian)

• It’s complicated.

### Mandarin Tone

• Mandarin (Chinese) is a classic example of a tone language.

ma1: mother

ma2: hemp

ma3: horse

ma4: to scold

### Mandarin Sentences

ma1-ma0 ma4 ma3.

“Mother scolds the horse.”

ma3 ma4 ma1-ma0.

“The horse scolds mother.”

### How to Transcribe Tone

• Tones are defined by the pattern they make through a speaker’s frequency range.

• The frequency range is usually assumed to encompass five levels (1-5).

• (although this can vary, depending on the language)

Highest F0

5

4

3

2

Lowest F0

1

Tone

1

2

3

4

• In Mandarin, tones span a frequency range of 1-5

• Each tone is denoted by its (numerical) path through the frequency range

• Each syllable can also be labeled with a tone number (e.g., ma1, ma2, ma3, ma4)

### How to Transcribe Tone

• Tone is relative

• i.e., not absolute

• Each speaker has a unique frequency range. For example:

Male

Female

~200 Hz

Highest F0

5

~350 Hz

4

3

2

~100 Hz

Lowest F0

~150 Hz

1

### Relativity, in Reality

• The same tones may be denoted by completely different frequencies, depending on the speaker.

• Tone is an abstract linguistic unit.

female speaker

ma, tone 1 (55)

male speaker

### How To Transcribe Tone

female speaker

ma, tone 4 (51)

male speaker

Some speakers also use more of their frequency range.

level tones

contour tones

### Variations

• Other tone languages only have two or three tone targets

• These are transcribed as sequences of High (H) and Low (L) tones. (or also Mid (M) tones)

• They can also be labeled with accents over vowels

• High = ´

• Low = `

• In these languages, tone can be used for grammatical markers (tense, possession)

### Ibibio Tones

• Ibibio is spoken in southern Nigeria

### Accentual Languages

• In accentual languages, there is only one pitch accent associated with each word.

• The pitch accent is realized on only one syllable in the word.

• The other syllables in the word can have no accent.

• Accent is lexically determined, so there can be minimal pairs.

• Japanese is a pitch accent language…

• for some, but not all, words

• for some, but not all, dialects

### Japanese

• Japanese words have one High accent

• it attaches to one “mora” in the word

• A mora = a vowel, or a consonant following a vowel, within a syllable.

• For example:

• [ni] ‘two’has one mora.

• [san] ‘three’ has two morae.

• The first mora, if not accented, has a Low F0.

• Morae following the accent have Low F0.

It’s actually slightly more complicated than this; for more info, see: http://sp.cis.iwate-u.ac.jp/sp/lesson/j/doc/accent.html

### Japanese Examples

• asa‘morning’H-L

• asa‘hemp’L-H

• “chopsticks”H-L-L

• “bridge”L-H-L

• “edge”L-H-H

### Length Distinctions

• Another suprasegmental linguistic feature is quantity.

• Note:

• Quantity = Linguistic

• Length = Perceptual

• Duration = Acoustic

• Quantity distinctions are also relative.

• depend on speaker

• depend on speaking rate

### Danish Vowels

= 150 milliseconds

= 275 milliseconds

• Differences in quantity between segments translates to relative differences in duration.

### Italian

• Italian contrasts both long and short vowels and consonants.

• Note: Italian has both palatal nasals and palatal laterals.