Tunes of different speech styles in Cantonese
Different speech styles come with different tunes. This paper reports the first empirical study of the tunes of different speech styles; namely, opera speaking versus opera singing, opera speaking versus normal speaking, and normal speaking versus normal singing. In all these speech styles, Cantonese lexical tones are well preserved. The data analyses show that speaking and singing differ mainly in pitch slope. Speaking styles are associated with a declining intonation, while singing styles show a slightly ascending tendency. The acoustic data also indicate that a higher pitch register is usually employed when a speech type is considered more conspicuous, such as opera speaking (compared with normal speaking) and normal singing (compared with normal speaking).
Keywords: pitch, opera, Cantonese, singing, tone, speech style, declination
Published online: 28 January 2016
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