Intonation Cues to Questions and Statements: How are they Perceived? Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The present study examined the extent to which perceptual differentiation between spoken questions and statements can be made on the basis of a small set of simple feature detectors. Neurophysiological studies have described “frequency sweep” detectors which might be fruitfully extended to this task. For a number of spoken contexts it was found that a good account of question/statement differentiation can be provided by a model incorporating detectors sensitive to increases (upsweeps) and decreases (downsweeps) in fundamental frequency. This model is consistent with the view that prosodic features may be detected by “preattentive” mechanisms, which involve primitive, parallel processes that extract features without requiring focused attention.

publication date

  • July 1987