The study is part of a series of studies, describing the acoustics of lexical stress in a way that should be applicable to any language. The present database of recordings includes Brazilian Portuguese, English, Estonian, German, French, Italian and Swedish. The acoustic parameters examined are F0-level, F0- variation, Duration, and Spectral Emphasis. Values for these parameters, computed for all vowels (a little over 24000 vowels for Italian), are the data upon which the analyses are based. All parameters are examined with respect to their correlation with Stress (primary, secondary, unstressed) and speaking Style (wordlist reading, phrase reading, spontaneous speech) and Sex of the speaker (female, male). For Italian Duration was found to be the dominant factor by a wide margin, in agreement with previous studies. Spectral Emphasis was the second most important factor. Spectral Emphasis has not been studied previously for Italian but intensity, a related parameter, has been shown to correlate with stress. F0-level was also significantly correlated but not to the same degree. Speaker Sex turned out as significant in many comparisons. The differences were, however, mainly a function of the degree to which a given parameter was used, not how it was used to signal lexical stress contrasts.
ISCA , 2016. 1059-1063 p.