“Pitch” Accent in Alaryngeal Speech Highly proficient alaryngeal speakers are known to convey prosody successfully. The present study investigated whether alaryngeal speakers not selected on grounds of proficiency were able to convey pitch accent (a pitch accent is realized on the word that is in focus, cf. Bolinger, 1958). The participating speakers (10 tracheoesophageal, 9 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2002
“Pitch” Accent in Alaryngeal Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • M. A. van Rossum
    Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS The Netherlands
  • G. de Krom
    Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS The Netherlands
  • S. G. Nooteboom
    Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS The Netherlands
  • H. Quené
    Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS The Netherlands
  • Contact author: Maya van Rossum, Utrecht institute of Linguistics, Trans 10-3512JK Utrecht, the Netherlands. E-mail: maya.vanrossum@let.uu.nl
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2002
“Pitch” Accent in Alaryngeal Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2002, Vol. 45, 1106-1118. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/089)
History: Received March 13, 2002 , Accepted July 18, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2002, Vol. 45, 1106-1118. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/089)
History: Received March 13, 2002; Accepted July 18, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

Highly proficient alaryngeal speakers are known to convey prosody successfully. The present study investigated whether alaryngeal speakers not selected on grounds of proficiency were able to convey pitch accent (a pitch accent is realized on the word that is in focus, cf. Bolinger, 1958). The participating speakers (10 tracheoesophageal, 9 esophageal, and 10 laryngeal [control] speakers) produced sentences in which accent was cued by the preceding context. For each utterance, a group of listeners identified which word conveyed accent. All speakers were able to convey accent. Acoustic analyses showed that some alaryngeal speakers had little or no control over fundamental frequency. Contrary to expectation, these speakers did not compensate by using nonmelodic cues, whereas speakers using F0 did use nonmelodic cues. Thus, temporal and intensity cues are concomitant with the use of F0; if F0 is affected, these nonmelodic cues will be as well. A pitch perception experiment confirmed that alaryngeal speakers who had no control over F0 and who did not use nonmelodic cues were nevertheless able to produce pitch movements. Speakers with no control over F0 apparently relied on an alternative pitch system to convey accents and other pitch movements.

Acknowledgments
We would like to thank Marika Voerman (Leiden University Medical Centre) and Corina van As (Nederlands Kanker Instituut/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Ziekenhuis, Amsterdam) for assisting us in securing participants to participate in this study. We also appreciate the helpful comments given by Johanneke Caspers (Leiden University).
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