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Suprasegmental aspects of Speech

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Coarticulation
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overlapping of articulatory movements so that acoustic characteristics of adjacent sounds influence each other.
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Backward coarticulation/progressive or preservative assimilation
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the influence of an upcoming sound on a preceding sound (e.g., /s/ in ‘Sue’ vs. /s/ in ‘see’)
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Anticipatory coarticulation/regressive assimilation
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the influence of preceding sounds on an upcoming sound (e.g., nasalization of /a/ in ‘not’)
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Segmental units
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basic units of an utterance, whereas Suprasegmentals are the features superimposed on the segmental units.
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Prosody or Suprasegmental features
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Intonation Tempo Loudness
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Paralinguistics
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Emotion Speaking style Voice quality
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Acoustic features of Prosody
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-Phrase level F0 contours -Phrase level Intensity contours -Relative timing measures of multisyllabic utterance -Local changes in F0, intensity, duration, and vowel quality used to depict syllable stress
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Prosody
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Mainly expressed by manipulations of pitch (perceptual correlate of frequency), loudness (perceptual correlate of intensity), and length (perceptually related to duration)
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Main features of prosody
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Intonation Tempo Loudness
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Intonation
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Refers to the pattern of pitch rise and fall and the stress patterns in a language
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Rhythm
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-Distribution of stress across a syllable chain -Stress refers to the degree of prominence associated with a syllable -Language across the world vary in rhythmic characteristics -enables the person to predict the upcoming element in the speech stream
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Pair-wise Variability Index (Intonation)
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is used to evaluate rhythm issues whereby the durations of consecutive vowels are different (in normals) or the similar (in ataxic dysarthria)
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Pitch declination (Intonation)
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-Fall of fundamental frequency/pitch across a sentence or utterance -Typically high on the beginning parts and it gradually decreases
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New information (Intonation)
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is spoken with an increase in amplitude, higher frequency and longer in duration
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Contrastive stress (Intonation)
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Marks difference between a word or a phrase that contrasts with an alternative word/phrase (i.e., increase in amplitude, higher frequency and longer duration)
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Lexical stress (Intonation)
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-Marks different words in a lexicon -E.g., Noun/verb contrasts: IMport versus imPORT INsert versus inSERT
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Tone (Intonation)
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-regulation of F0 i.e., level or no change, falling, rising-falling pattern -These patterns can differentiate between words
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Tempo
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Refers to factors affecting the timing of speech.
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Subcomponents of Tempo
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-Pause (Juncture) -Phrase final lengthening -Speaking rate
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Pause (Juncture)
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-Silence of at least 200 ms -Mark boundaries between clauses/phrases, depicts hesitation, and increases anticipation on part of the listener
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Phrase final lengthening
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Duration of final stressed syllable in a phrase is long to mark the end of a phrase, indicating parsing on sentences
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Speaking rate
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Increasing it results in reductions/undershoot
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Loudness
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-Perceived magnitude or strength of an utterance. -Weak to strong or soft to loud -Its acoustic correlate is called amplitude -Intensity variations in speech as consonants are less intense that vowels
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Paralinguistics
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Features related to emotion, speaking style, and voice quality
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What are the subcomponents of paralinguistics?
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-Emotion -Speaking style -Voice quality
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Emotion
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Person’s affect can effect intonation and stress
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Speaking style
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Clear versus Conversational characterized by vowel reductions and modification of final consonants
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Voice quality
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constitute evaluating roughness, hoarseness, strain, tremor, loudness/pitch instability, and pitch and loudness level