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Department of Linguistics


Prosody, Tone, Emotion and Voice Quality

This is not a single project, but rather it attempts to capture some of the themes that occur across other projects, including projects undertaken by some of my research students.

Prosody and Tone in Chinese

This topic relates especially to the work carried out by my former Ph.D. student Jing Wang, who completed a successful Ph.D. dissertation, in 2004, entitled "Rhythmic grouping, tone sandhi and stress in Beijing Mandarin". 

Lydia So, in a Ph.D. thesis entitled "The acquisition of Cantonese phonology: Normal and Disordered" examined the acquisition by Cantonese children of both tone and segmental phonology.

Kwok-Cheung Ho, in a Ph.D. thesis entitled " A study of Cantonese speaking teachers’ acquisition of the pronunciation of Putonghua (Mandarin)" examined the acquisition of Mandarin tones and segments by Cantonese speaking adults.

Wang Shuo (Shannon Wang), as part of a Masters dissertation and in subsequent research, developed speech audiometry tests for Mandarin Chinese. Consideration of Mandarin tone was an essential component of this project. For her Ph.D. she is examining aspects of Mandarin tone perception by normal hearing and hearing impaired people.

Prosody in Hindi

Anuradha Sengar is currently approaching the final stages of PhD research on Hindi Prosody (specifically, declarative sentences).

Vocal Emotion: Acoustics and Perception

Cécile Pereira completed a successful Ph.D. thesis in 2001 entitled Perception and expression of emotion in speech (supervised jointly with Philip Newall). This thesis examines both the acoustic correlates of vocal emotion as well as the perception of emotion by normally-hearing subjects and hearing-impaired subjects with either hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Vocal Behavior and Group Identity

Victor Khachan completed a successful Ph.D. in 2005 entitled "Vocal Behaviour as a Group Characteristic: A Socio-Acoustic Study across Four Villages in North Lebanon" which examined a commonly held belief in that part of Lebanon that speakers from higher altitude villages tend to have louder voices.

The Acoustic Correlates of Prosody and Speech Recognition

Dong-Ki Kim completed a successful Ph.D. in 2001 entitled "Three-stage lexical access based on knowledge sources in very large vocabulary isolated word speech recognition" which examined the use of various acoustic correlates of prosody in speech recognition.

Modelling of Prosody, Emotion and Voice Quality

This project examines various aspects of the synthetic generation of these aspects of human speech. These interests underly the development of the prosodic module in MU-Talk which is still under development. An integral part of this endeavour is the work on the segmental, prosodic and para-linguistic modelling of intensity in the project entitled "A hybrid concatenation and rule-based approach to the synthesis of intensity parameters in formant and channel speech synthesis systems". This work overlaps with the work carried out by Pereira (above).

Relevant Papers

Wang, S., Mannell, R., Newall, P., and Han, D. (2011) "Contribution of spectral cues to Mandarin lexical tone recognition in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired Mandarin Chinese speakers", Ear and Hearing, 32:97-103 (Publication date and copyright date, December 2010)

Han, D., Wang, S., Zhang, H., Chen, J., Jiang, W., Mannell, R., Newall, P., and Zhang, L. (2009) "Development of Mandarin monosyllabic speech test materials in China", International Journal of Audiology, 48:300-311

Wang, S., Mannell, R., Newall, P., Zhang, H., and Han, D. (2007), "Development and evaluation of Mandarin disyllabic materials for speech audiometry in China", International Journal of Audiology, 46:719-731

Mannell, R., Wang, S., and Newall, P. (2008), "Source and resonance in the perception of Mandarin tone", HCSNet Workshop on Speech, Perception and Action, 10-11 July 2008 , University of Western Sydney, Milperra

Wang, S., Mannell, R., and Newall, P. (2008), "Contribution of spectral envelope and spectral fine-structure cues to lexical tone", XXIXth International Congress of Audiology, 8-12 June 2008, HKCEC, Hong Kong

Wang, S., Mannell, R. and Newall, P. (2008), "Spectral features for lexical perception in Mandarin", Audiology Australia, XVII National Conference 2008, Canberra, 20-23 May, 2008.

Mannell R.H. (2002), "Modelling of the segmental and prosodic aspects of speech intensity in synthetic speech", Proceedings of the Ninth Australian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, Melbourne, December 2002.

Wang J. and Mannell R.H. (1995), "The relationship between rhythm and the tone sandhi domain in Mandarin", Proceedings of the XIIIth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden, August 13-19, 1995