Prosodic Patterns of Information Structure in Spoken Discourse—a Preliminary Study of Mandarin Spontaneous Lecture vs. Read Speech

Chiu-yu Tseng, Zhao-yu Su and Lin-shan Lee, Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica

The aim of the study is to explore the prosodic patterns spontaneous lecture speech vs. read speech to show where and how these monologues differ and why by analyzing perceived emphasis and its acoustic features within and between speech paragraphs. Systematic but distinct patterns are found for both speech types in emphasis distribution across speech, overall and local tempo modulations. Read speech is characterized by discourse coherence while spontaneous information structure in addition. Intricate tempo modulations characterizing information structure are discussed.