Pärtel Lippus1, Karl Pajusalu1 & Jüri Allik2
1Department of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics, University of Tartu; 2Department of Psychology, University of Tartu

ID 1029
[full paper]

This paper studies the role of the pitch cue for perceiving the Estonian quantities. In addition to the importance of the tonal component we investigate the differences in native vs. learned discrimination of the quantities. Perception tests were carried out with manipulated natural speech stimuli on a group of Estonian native speakers and a group of non-native Estonian speakers. The test results show that for Estonian listeners F0 is a vital cue to the perception of Q3. This indicates that the Estonian quantity system is a binary distinction on two levels, where the distinction between short and long is perceived on the basis of durational ratios, but for the distinction of long and overlong, the pitch cue is needed. The results of the non-native group show that they have learned to focus on the duration of the stressed syllable whereas F0 does not affect their perception of quantities.