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A perspective study on the tone-3 accent in Chinese intonation

【摘要】:It has already been found in various researches that a big drop of the key is an important feature of the focal accent. However, the tone-3 in Chinese is often dipping or low, how can we tell whether it is focused or not when it is surrounded by other lexical tones which have [+H]? Containing tone-3 words, a total of 156 sentences in three groups were synthesized as stimuli, differing in dropped values between two [+H]s, and durations and phonation types of the tone-3 syllables. 39 subjects were asked to judge where the focus was for each sentence. The results showed that there tended to be at least three D-value degrees involved in focus recognition procedure. The middle sized D-value is conven-tional for the L*. Besides, lengthening and being creaky could help the low tone to be focused as well. The tone combina-tion effect was also discussed in this article.

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