An analysis of prosodic boundaries across speaking styles in two varieties of German

Bogdan Ludusan*, Barbara Schuppler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research has shown that differences in the marking of prosodic boundaries exist not only between varieties of the same language, but also between speaking styles of the same variety. Our aim is to gain insights into how these two factors interact in the case of German and Austrian German read and conversational speech. Analysing four acoustic cues, representing durational and fundamental frequency (f0) measures, we observed that pause duration was the strongest cue to prosodic boundaries and that f0 reset was the weakest, in both varieties and across speaking styles. In read speech however, we noticed differences between the two varieties in the weighting given to the four cues. We then employed the four investigated acoustic cues for the annotation of the less-resourced variety, by examining ways of exploiting resources from the more well-resourced variety. Testing three automatic approaches for boundary detection, we obtained an overall high performance: 82.4% and 76.6% F-score for read and conversational speech, respectively. Moreover, our results showed that training on more data from the well-resourced variety did not outperform the same system trained on less data from the target variety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-106
JournalSpeech Communication
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Austrian German
  • Automatic boundary detection
  • Conversational speech
  • German
  • Prosodic phrase boundaries
  • Read speech

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'An analysis of prosodic boundaries across speaking styles in two varieties of German'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this