Jennifer Cole

Jennifer Cole
Northwestern University | NU · Department of Linguistics

Ph.D.

About

133
Publications
23,703
Reads
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1,966
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 1990 - July 2016
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Position
  • Professor
Education
September 1983 - May 1987
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Field of study
  • Linguistics

Publications

Publications (133)
Article
This study investigated the effect of semantic focus on pitch auditory feedback control in the production of phrasal prosody through an experiment using pitch-shifted auditory feedback. We hypothesized that pitch-shift responses would be mediated by semantic focus because highly informative focus types, such as corrective focus, impose more specifi...
Article
Full-text available
Entrainment, the unconscious process leading to coordination between communication partners, is an important dynamic human behavior that helps us connect with one another. Difficulty developing and sustaining social connections is a hallmark of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Subtle differences in social behaviors have also been noted in first-degr...
Preprint
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Vocal fry or creaky voice refers to a voice quality characterized by irregular glottal opening and low pitch. It occurs in diverse languages and is prevalent in American English, where it is used not only to mark phrase finality, but also sociolinguistic factors and affect. Due to its irregular periodicity, creaky voice challenges automatic speech...
Article
Full-text available
Real-time speech comprehension is challenging because communicatively relevant information is distributed throughout the entire utterance. In five mouse tracking experiments on German and American English, we probe if listeners, in principle, use non-local, early intonational information to anticipate upcoming referents. Listeners had to select a s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Speakers modulate the intonation of an utterance to express essential communicative functions, and while intonational pitch contours span entire utterances, intonational melodies can be characterized as a sequence of discrete tonal events. A tonal event may constrain the interpretation of a temporally distant tonal event, and the entire tonal seque...
Article
No PDF available ABSTRACT Northwestern University has a vibrant and highly interdisciplinary community of acousticians. Of the 13 ASA technical areas, 3 have strong representation at Northwestern: Speech Communication, Psychological and Physiological Acoustics, and Musical Acoustics. Sound-related work is conducted across a wide range of department...
Article
No PDF available ABSTRACT A hallmark of English intonation is the prosodic encoding of information structure (givenness, focus) through distinctions in acoustic prominence and pitch accenting. Information structure (IS) effects are typically illustrated for nuclear accents (rightmost), while less is known about prenuclear accents. We report on a pr...
Article
No PDF available ABSTRACT We test the hypothesis of incremental processing of intonation in American English, which predicts that pitch accent cues in the speech signal are immediately processed for inferring the referential status (focus, givenness) of the current word. A challenge to this model is the fact that a word is perceived as having pitch...
Article
No PDF available ABSTRACT Phonetic convergence between interlocutors is posited as a mechanism for long-term phonetic change (Pardo, 2006). This hypothesis requires that more frequent exposure to a phonetic variant increases the likelihood a speaker adopts said variant in their own speech. Certain instances of historical language change have, howev...
Preprint
Full-text available
Real-time speech comprehension is challenging because communicatively relevant information is distributed throughout the entire utterance. In five mouse tracking experiments on German and American English we probe, if listeners, in principle, use early intonational information to anticipate upcoming referents. Listeners had to select a speaker inte...
Preprint
Real-time speech comprehension is challenging because communicatively relevant information is distributed throughout the entire utterance. In five mouse tracking experiments on German and American English we probe, if listeners, in principle, use early intonational information to anticipate upcoming referents. Listeners had to select a speaker inte...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose In this study, we investigated how the direction and timing of a perturbation in voice pitch auditory feedback during phrasal production modulated the magnitude and latency of the pitch-shift reflex as well as the scaling of acoustic production of anticipatory intonation targets for phrasal prominence and boundary. Method Brief pitch audit...
Article
This study examines the contribution of constituent order, prosody, and information structure to the perception of word-level prominence in Russian, a free word order language. Prominence perception is investigated through the analysis of prominence ratings of nominal words in two published narrative texts. Word-level perceived prominence ratings w...
Preprint
Full-text available
Prosody is often analyzed under the Autosegmental-Metrical model (AM). Under AM, continuous pitch contours are decomposed into a series of discrete high and low pitch accents, said to be analogous to phonemes. If we interpret these pitch accents to be abstract and categorical, we would expect that listeners will be more sensitive to differences in...
Article
Full-text available
This study tests the influence of acoustic cues and non-acoustic contextual factors on listeners' perception of prominence in three languages whose prominence systems differ in the phonological patterning of prominence and in the association of prominence with information structure-English, French and Spanish. Native speakers of each language perfo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Information structure is said to play an important role in determining phrasal prominence and the assignment of nuclear pitch accents in English. Early accounts claim that discourse-new or focused words receive a prominence-lending high/rising pitch accent, while given words are unaccented, with reduced prominence. Empirical findings are varied, bu...
Article
Full-text available
Prosody is a central part of human speech, with prosodic modulations of the signal expressing important communicative functions. Yet, the exact mechanisms of how listeners map prosodic aspects of the speech signal onto speaker-intended discourse functions are only poorly understood. Here we present three perception experiments that test the mapping...
Article
The phonological and phonetic realization of a nuclear pitch accent has been claimed to reflect aspects of its information structure (IS). As the rightmost accented word in an intonational phrase, the nuclear pitch accent often co-occurs with utterance-final position, which in American English, is often cued by prosodic means such as creaky voice a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Listeners can rapidly integrate intonational information to infer a speaker's intended meaning. But not all components of an intonation contour contribute to meaning equally well. Prenuclear pitch accents, tonal events preceding the nuclear pitch accent in an utterance , have been described as not reliably mapping onto discourse meaning. We use mou...
Preprint
Full-text available
Prosody is a central part of human speech, with prosodic modulations of the signal expressing important communicative functions. Yet, the exact mechanisms of how listeners map prosodic aspects of the speech signal onto speaker-intended discourse functions are only poorly understood. Here we present three perception experiments that test the mapping...
Article
Full-text available
Information structure is said to play an important role in determining phrasal prominence and the assignment of nuclear pitch accents in English. Early accounts claim that discourse-new or focused words receive a prominence-lending high/rising pitch accent, while given words are unaccented, with reduced prominence. Empirical findings are varied, bu...
Preprint
Full-text available
We examined prosodic entrainment in spoken dialogs separately for several dialog acts in cooperative and competitive games. Entrainment was measured for intonation features derived from a superpositional intonation stylization as well as for rhythm features. The found differences can be related to the cooperative or competitive nature of the game,...
Article
Full-text available
The influence of information structure (IS: givenness, accessibility, newness and focus) on pitch accent assignment and acoustic prominence measures of prenuclear words was investigated for American English speech elicited through read production of mini-stories. Results showed a consistent pattern of accenting the initial content word in the sente...
Presentation
Full-text available
As instructors of a large introductory linguistics course, we face a challenge common to many teachers in the language sciences: we have a large amount of basic knowledge to communicate before moving on to more complex applications, and our students have varying degrees of preparation for our class. We address this challenge by using team-based lea...
Article
Full-text available
The challenge of prosodic annotation is reflected in commonly reported variability among trained annotators in the assignment of prosodic labels. The present study examines individual differences in the perception of prosody through the lens of prosodic annotation. First, Generalized Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs) reveal the non-linear pattern of so...
Article
Northwestern University has a vibrant and highly interdisciplinary community of acousticians. Of the 13 ASA technical areas, 3 have strong representation at Northwestern: Speech Communication, Psychological and Physiological Acoustics, and Musical Acoustics. Sound-related work is conducted across a wide range of departments including Linguistics (i...
Article
Schizophrenia is known to impact prosody, often described as “flat affect.” Individuals with schizophrenia show reduced F0 variability relative to neurotypical individuals (Rapcan et al. 2010). However, the speech of adolescents at high risk for psychosis in the prodromal (pre-diagnosis) stage has not been investigated, leaving open the question of...
Article
Much of what is known about prosody is based on native-speaker intuitions of idealized speech, or on prosodic annotations from expert annotators trained to interpret a visual display of f0. These approaches have been deployed to study prosody primarily in languages accessible to university researchers, and largely based on small, homogenous speech...
Article
This study examines prosody in read productions of two published narratives by 15 Russian speakers. Two distinct sources of variation in acoustic-prosodic expression are considered: structural and referent-based. Structural effects refer to the particular linearization of words in a sentence or phrase. Referent-based effects relate to the semantic...
Article
Much of what is known about prosody is based on native speaker intuitions of idealized speech, or on prosodic annotations from trained annotators whose auditory impressions are augmented by visual evidence from speech waveforms, spectrograms and pitch tracks. Expanding the prosodic data currently available to cover more languages, and to cover a br...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the role of prosody in encoding linguistic meaning and in shaping phonetic form requires the analysis of prosodically annotated speech drawn from a wide variety of speech materials. Yet obtaining accurate and reliable prosodic annotations for even small datasets is challenging due to the time and expertise required. We discuss several...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Since Bolinger's [1] discovery that pitch cues accentual prominence in English, a tension has arisen between two strategies: equating accent with pitch excursions and relying on perception for identifying accented words. This paper investigates the relation between prominence judgments from untrained listeners and accentual labels produced by train...
Article
Full-text available
The Autosegmental-metrical model of prosody [1,2] holds that pitch melodies can be modeled with level low and high tones; information about the shape of the pitch contour is not part of the phonological representation. Yet recent results [3,4] show that contour shape affects the perception of tone height and timing. A pitch plateau that maintains a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Most studies on prosodic entrainment focus on coarse paramet-ric variables as f0 mean and standard deviation. Only recently first attempts were made to measure entrainment also for categorical intonation representations namely pitch accent types [1]. We propose further metrics for this purpose adopted from text similarity measurement and alignment....
Article
Full-text available
Transcribers make mistakes. Workers recruited in a crowdsourcing marketplace, because of their varying levels of commitment and education, make more mistakes than workers in a controlled laboratory setting. Methods for compensating transcriber mistakes are desirable because, with such methods available, crowdsourcing has the potential to significan...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We investigate the prominence of English words with stress reversal (e.g. èlevátion 2-1 → élevàtion 1-2). We ask what motivates the occurrence of the " early high " (1-2) pattern outside of stress clash contexts, and consider the hypothesis that it marks prominence non-locally. Experiment 1 tests the effect of prominence pattern on memory. Given it...
Article
Full-text available
Prosody conveys information about the linguistic context of an utterance at every level of linguistic organisation, from the word up to the discourse context. Acoustic correlates of prosody cue this rich contextual information, but interpreting prosodic cues in terms of the lexical, syntactic and discourse information they encode also requires reco...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We examine evidence for a regularity bias in the perception of sentence-level stress patterns, asking to what degree listeners perceive speech as metrically regular, with few or no occurrences of stress clash. We assess regularity through a stress perception task carried out by untrained listeners annotating transcripts of recorded speech, with sen...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates how prosodic elements such as prominences and prosodic boundaries in Hindi are perceived. We approach this using data from three sources: (i) native speakers of Hindi without any linguistic expertise (ii) a linguistically trained expert in Hindi prosody and finally, (iii) classifiers trained on English for automatic prominen...
Article
Full-text available
The perception of prosodic structure (phrasal prominences and boundaries) may depend in part on acoustic cues in the speech signal and in part on utterance meaning as related to syntactic structure and discourse context. In this study we ask if listeners are able to differentially weigh acoustic and meaningbased cues to prosody. We test naïve subje...
Article
Full-text available
Examining articulatory compensation has been important in understanding how the speech production system is organized, and how it relates to the acoustic and ultimately phonological levels. This paper offers a method that detects articulatory compensation in the acoustic signal, which is based on linear regression modeling of co-variation patterns...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated speaker variation in the production of various acoustic cues of prominence, including durational and intensity measures. This study stems from our prior work where we used the Bayesian Information Criterion to determine whether each cue were gradiently or discretely associated with prominence. In our prior work, we found tha...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated speaker variation in the production of various acoustic cues of prominence, including duration and in-tensity measures. The Bayesian Information Criterion was used to specify a threshold distinction between cues that are linearly vs. piece-wise linearly predictors of the degree of perceived prominence. For all speakers, some...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Cooperative and competitive game dialogs are comparatively examined with respect to temporal, basic text-based, and dialog act characteristics. The condition-specific speaker strategies are amongst others well reflected in distinct dialog act probability distributions, which are discussed in the context of the Gricean Cooperative Principle and of R...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates the role F0 plays in the perception of prominence in American English. Raw, log and locally normalized measures of F0 were extracted from words in a 35K word corpus of spontaneous speech. Linear regression analyses were conducted to test the strength of these measures as cues to prominence, with prominence based on judgments...
Chapter
Full-text available
This article introduces a wide range of approaches to using large bodies of data for linguistic research. Corpus analysis for phonological research involves the investigation of the phonetic, phonological, and lexical properties of speech for the purpose of understanding the patterns of variation in the phonetic expression of words, and the distrib...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
An imitation experiment tests the hypothesis that when asked to reproduce a spontaneously-spoken utterance that they hear, speakers imitate the prosody of the stimulus in its phonological structure more accurately than the phonetic details. Results suggest that speakers rarely distort the presence of a pitch accent or an intonational phrase boundar...
Chapter
The product of speech perception is contrast between discrete units of meaning, words, which are contrasted by features. While traditional approaches argued that discreteness is imposed by mechanisms like categorical perception that discard within-category detail, recent research suggests that fine-grained detail is preserved throughout processing....
Article
Full-text available
Elementary school children have short attention spans. This paper describes three multimodal speech and audio user interfaces that captured and held the attention of a few dozen elementary-school and high-school children during the course of a two-day university open house. The Speech Recognition Game demonstrated an isolated word recognizer with a...
Article
We examine the prosodic variation in production with corpus and experimental speech materials. Prosodic transcription of spontaneous speech from the Buckeye corpus of American English (38 speakers, 54 excerpts, 11-55-s duration each) reveals striking inter-speaker variation in the frequency and distribution of prosodic prominences and boundaries, a...