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Authors: Hill, David R.
Reid, Neal A.
Keywords: Computer Science
Issue Date: 1-Aug-1976
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Hill, D.R. & Reid, N.A. (1977) "An experiment on the perception of intonational features." (Research Report 76/6/6.) International Journal of Man-Machine Studies 9(2) 337-347.
Abstract: An experiment was run in which listeners heard pairs of nonsense words exhibiting the same segmental structure, but differing in the form of pitch variation imposed. In each pair, the first word bore a pitch rise over 100 msecs superimposed upon a generally declining pitch frequency, while the second word carried a similar variation, but with the rise occurring later. Listeners made a forced choice response of "SAME" or "DIFFERENT". The null hypothesis, that listeners' ability to discriminate pairs as different would be independent of the mean position of the pitch rises, was rejected with great confidence and, subject to several caveats, the conclusion was drawn that position of ptich rise, under the conditions of the experiment, was perceived categorically, one category being early in the syllable and the other late. There was some evidence for the existence of two further catagories. The generalization and extension of the work will provide a continuing challenge.
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