Linguistic pitch analysis using functional principal component mixed effect models


John A. D. Aston, Centre for Research in Statistical Methodology, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.


Summary.  Fundamental frequency (F0, broadly ‘pitch’) is an integral part of spoken human language; however, a comprehensive quantitative model for F0 can be a challenge to formulate owing to the large number of effects and interactions between effects that lie behind the human voice's production of F0, and the very nature of the data being a contour rather than a point. The paper presents a semiparametric functional response model for F0 by incorporating linear mixed effects models through the functional principal component scores. This model is applied to the problem of modelling F0 in the tone language Qiang, a language in which relative pitch information is part of each word's dictionary entry.