Articulatory Correlates of Prosodic Control: Emotion and Emphasis

Donna Erickson*, Osamu Fujimura, Bryan Pardo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


This study examines mandibular correlates of prosodic control in nonread dialog exchanges, in which the subject is asked to repeat the same correction of one digit in a three-digit sequence consisting of "five" or "nine" followed by "Pine Street." Articulatory and acoustic data were collected for four speakers of American English at the X-ray Microbeam Facilities at the University of Wisconsin. Jaw opening was measured as vertical jaw position at the time of maximum opening. Middle digits perceived by independent listeners as emphasized generally show jaw opening which is larger than the average jaw opening for the utterances in which they occur. As the speaker repeatedly makes the same correction, not only does jaw opening increase significantly on the corrected digit but also the overall amount of jaw opening on all digits in the corrected exchanges increases. Independent separate perception tests show that listeners also perceive the speakers' answers to be more irritated as the speaker repeats the same correction. The findings suggest a local and global use of the jaw opening gesture to produce both linguistic or paralinguistic and extralinguistic information, that is, word emphasis and the emotional tenor of the dialog itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-417
Number of pages19
JournalLanguage and Speech
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Articulation
  • Emotion
  • Emphasis
  • Prosody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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