Auditory and Visual Similarity of Pitch Contours It has been shown that visual display systems of intonation can be employed beneficially in teaching intonation to persons with deafness and in teaching the intonation of a foreign language. In this paper, the question is addressed whether important audible differences between two pitch contours correspond with visually conspicuous differences ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1998
Auditory and Visual Similarity of Pitch Contours
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dik J. Hermes
    IPO, Center for Research on User-System Interaction Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Contact author: Dik J. Hermes, PhD, IPO, Center for Research on User-System Interaction, P. O. Box 513, NL-5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1998
Auditory and Visual Similarity of Pitch Contours
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1998, Vol. 41, 63-72. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4101.63
History: Received October 3, 1996 , Accepted July 10, 1997
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1998, Vol. 41, 63-72. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4101.63
History: Received October 3, 1996; Accepted July 10, 1997

It has been shown that visual display systems of intonation can be employed beneficially in teaching intonation to persons with deafness and in teaching the intonation of a foreign language. In this paper, the question is addressed whether important audible differences between two pitch contours correspond with visually conspicuous differences between displayed pitch contours. If visual feedback of intonation is to be effective in teaching situations, such correspondence must exist. In two experiments, phoneticians rated the dissimilarity of two pitch contours. In the first experiment they rated the two pitch contours auditorily (i.e., by listening to two resynthesized utterances). In the second, they rated the same two pitch contours visually (i.e., by looking at the two contours displayed on a computer screen). The results indicate why visual feedback may be very effective in intonation training if pitch contours are displayed in such a way that only auditorily relevant features are represented.

Acknowledgments
I would like to thank Huib de Ridder and Don Bouwhuis for showing me the way about in the tricky field of statistics, and Jan Roelof de Pijper for his critical reading of the manuscript.
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