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TOBI Basics. April 13, 2010. Intonation. Languages superimpose pitch contours on top of word-based stress or tone distinctions. This is called intonation . It turns out that English: has word-based stress and phrase-based pitch accents (intonation)

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tobi basics

TOBI Basics

April 13, 2010

intonation
Intonation
  • Languages superimpose pitch contours on top of word-based stress or tone distinctions.
    • This is called intonation.
  • It turns out that English:
    • has word-based stress
    • and phrase-based pitch accents (intonation)
  • The pitch accents are pragmatically specified, rather than lexically specified
    • They change according to discourse context.
  • In English, pitch accents align with stressed syllables.
pitch accent types
Pitch Accent Types
  • In English, pitch accents can be either high or low
    • H* or L*
  • Examples: High (H*) Low (L*)
  • Yes. Yes?
  • H* L*
  • Magnification. Magnification?
  • As with tones in tone languages, “high” and “low” pitch accents are defined relative to a speaker’s pitch range.
    • My pitch range: H* = 155 Hz L* = 100 Hz
    • Mary Beckman: H* = 260 Hz L* = 130 Hz
information
Information
  • Note that there’s a tendency to accent new information in the discourse.
  • 4 different patterns for 4 different contexts:
  • H*
  • H*: Manny came with Anna.
  • H*
  • H*: Manny came with Anna.
  • L*
  • L*: Manny came with Anna?
  • L*
  • L*: Manny came with Anna?
  • Note that:
  • The H* is followed by a falling pitch pattern
  • The L* is followed by a rising pitch pattern
phrases
Phrases
  • Intonation organizes utterances into phrases
    • “chunks”
  • Intonational phrases are the largest phrases
    • Boundary tones mark the end of intonational phrases
  • In the transcription of intonation, phrase boundaries are marked with Break Indices
    • Hence, TOBI: Tones and Break Indices
  • Break Indices are denoted by numbers
    • 1 = break between words
    • 4 = break between intonational phrases
tone types
Tone Types
  • There are two types of tones at play:
  • Pitch Accents
    • associated with a stressed syllable
    • may be either High (H) or Low (L)
    • marked with a *
  • Boundary Tones
    • appear at the end of a phrase
    • not associated with a particular syllable
    • may be either High (H) or Low (L)
    • marked with a %
sample tobi transcription
Sample TOBI Transcription

Tones: L* H%

Breaks: 1 1 1 4

question formation
Question Formation
  • Note that not all questions end in L* H%.
  • What’s the intonational difference between these two?
  • Did you see Bob?
  • L*H%
  • Where did you go?
  • H* L%
  • The upsloping intonation only applies to yes/no questions.
  • Also note: “Uptalk”
    • = application of L* H% pattern to declarative sentences.
downstepping
Downstepping
  • There can be more than one pitch accent within an intonational phrase.
  • Successive H* accents tend to drift downward in F0 within an intonational phrase.
    • = downdrift, or downstepping
    • This provides further evidence for phrasal organization.
  • Downstepped H* accents are denoted with a !H*
  • Anna gave Manny a mango.
  • H* !H* !H* L%
  • There’s a lovely, yellowish, old one.
    • H* !H* !H* L%
downstepping pitch track
Downstepping Pitch Track

H* !H* !H* L%

=271 Hz =238 Hz =200 Hz

intermediate phrases
Intermediate Phrases
  • A downstepping pattern can be reset by the presence of an intermediate phrase boundary.
  • Example:
  • It’s lovely, and yellowish, and it’s an old one.
  • H* !H* L- H* L-L%
  • Intermediate phrase boundaries are marked with a break index of 3.
  • At the end of each intermediate phrase is a phrase accent
    • Either Low (L-) or High (H-)
intermediate phrase transcription
Intermediate Phrase Transcription

H* !H* L- H* L-L%

1 1 1 3 1 1 0 1 4

one phrase vs two phrases
One Phrase vs. Two Phrases
  • No intermediate phrase boundary:
    • “I” means insert.
  • H* H*L-L%
  • 1 1 4
  • An intermediate phrase boundary, with a L- phrase accent:
    • “I” means insert.
    • H* L- H*L-L%

3 1 4

  • Note: intermediate sense of disjuncture, between word and intonational phrase.
one phrase vs two phrases1
One Phrase vs. Two Phrases
  • No intermediate phrase boundary:
    • Marianna made the marmalade.
  • L* L* H-H%
  • 1 1 1 4
  • An intermediate phrase boundary, with a H- phrase accent:
    • Marianna made the marmalade.
  • L* H- L* H-H%
  • 3 1 1 4
a chunking review
A Chunking Review

utterance

intonational phrase (intonational phrase) ...

intermediate phrase (intermediate phrase) ...

(pitch accent) nuclear accent

(stressed syllable) stressed syllable

break indices
Break Indices
  • 4 marks boundaries between intonational phrases
    • associated with a boundary tone (H% or L%)
    • sense of complete disjuncture
  • 3 marks boundaries between intermediate phrases
    • associated with a phrase accent (H- or L-)
    • lesser sense of disjuncture
  • 1 marks boundaries between words
  • 0 marks non-boundaries between words
  • (2 marks uncertainties or apparent mismatches)
    • rarely used
combinations
Combinations
  • Different combinations of phrase accents and boundary tones have different connotations.
  • L-L% Declarative sentences
  • H-H% Yes/No questions (usually)
  • L-H% Continuations
  • H-L% A “plateau” pattern
  • Upstep: boundary tones after H- are higher than normal.
upstepping
Upstepping
  • H-H%
  • H-L%
  • “My name is Marianna.”
bitonal pitch accents
Bitonal Pitch Accents
  • In addition to H* and L*, there are three bitonal pitch accents.
  • Here are the first two:
    • L + H*
    • L* + H
  • The starred element denotes the tone which is associated with the stressed syllable.
  • L + H* = high peak on stressed syllable, preceded by a sharp rise in pitch.
  • L* + H = low pitch target on stressed syllable, followed by a sharp rise in pitch.
h vs l h
H* vs. L + H*
  • Marianna won it.

H*

L + H*

Note: informative vs. contrastive function

l vs l h
L* vs. L* + H
  • Only a millionaire.

L* + H

L-

H%

H*

  • Marianna made the marmalade.

L*

L*

H-H%

l h vs l h
L + H* vs. L* + H
  • There’s a lovely one in Bloomingdale’s.

L* + H

L + H*

filling the gap
Filling the Gap
  • Another feature of phrase accents is that they fill in the gap between the nuclear accent and the boundary of the intermediate phrase.

L* + H L- H%

1 0 1 1 4

more downstepping
More Downstepping
  • Bitonal pitch accents can also undergo downstepping.

L + H* L + !H* L + !H* L-L%

1 1 1 1 1 4

slide25
H + !H*
  • The final pitch accent in the TOBI inventory is H+!H*.
  • This one often appears at the beginning of phrases.
pitch accents round up
Pitch-Accents Round-up
  • There are five pitch accents:
  • H*
  • L*
  • L + H*
  • L* + H
  • H + !H*
  • The * attaches to stressed syllables.
  • The final pitch accent in an intonational phrase is the nuclear accent.
    • Generally perceived as more prominent.
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