International Journal of Speech Language and the Law, Vol 9, No 1 (2002)

Intonation in speaker identification: an experiment on pitch alignment features

Francis Nolan
Issued Date: 6 Mar 2007


While long-term fundamental frequency statistics have been shown to be useful in discriminating speakers, relatively little attention has been paid in work on speaker characterization to intonation as a linguistically and phonetically structured phenomenon. To help redress the balance, this article presents the results of an experiment on between-speaker differences in linguistically specified intonational events. An autosegmental-metrical model of intonation is assumed which uses H (high) and L (low) targets as its primes. Since the pitch of the events corresponding to these targets is highly variable due to factors such as within-speaker variation in pitch range (or ‘pitch span’), this study investigates as a source of speaker discrimination the temporal alignment of these intonational events with segmental events. A limited degree of discrimination is achieved in highly controlled materials. Of theoretical interest is that definable pitch events lying between H and L targets show more potential for betweenspeaker discrimination than the targets themselves.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/sll.2002.9.1.1


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email:

Privacy Policy