How prior experience with pitch accents shapes the perception of word and sentence stress

Published: 8 June 2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/gjcxmdpsbj.1
Sophie Kutscheid,


The paper related to this dataset investigates the effect of immediate exposure with high- vs. low-pitched stressed syllables on the identification of word and sentence stress. Listeners have been shown to perceive high or rising pitch as stressed – at the word and sentence level (high-pitch bias). Since stressed syllables can also be low-pitched, this bias may lead to misinterpretations of word and sentence stress and thus slow down speech comprehension. In this study participants were exposed to utterances containing only high- vs. low-pitched stressed syllables. In experimental trials, they then heard either trisyllabic words with word stress on the second syllable (Experiment 1) or three-word sentences with sentence stress on the second word (Experiment 2) and indicated the position of word or sentence stress, respectively, using a metalinguistic stress judgment task. Stimuli were presented in three intonation conditions (high-pitched first, second, or third syllable/word). Both experiments endorsed the high-pitch bias, with an increase after high-pitch exposure. Our results suggest a speaker-independent re-weighting of acoustic cues to stress, which is driven by experience. On this platform, datasets for all experiments are provided (raw data for judgements of word stress, Experiment 1, and sentence stress, Experiment 2) and a R-Markdown file showing all steps in the statistical analysis (Exp. 1 & 2). Reference: Kutscheid, Zahner, Leemann & Braun (submitted). How prior experience with pitch accents shapes the perception of word and sentence stress. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience.



Psycholinguistics, Phonetics, Perception, Phonology