Focus plays a vital role in spoken communication. Unlike some languages in which word-level accent is assigned lexically, most Chinese words have no lexical constraint on accentuation at the word level. Thus, if a disyllabic word is to be focused on, Chinese speakers must decide which syllable, or indeed if both syllables, should be stressed. Moreover, the stress assignment of the focal words is affected by the semantic structure of the words, which are composed of meaningful characters. In this paper, the manner in which disyllabic focused words affect variations in the prosodic correlates is investigated, in terms of the semantic structures, stress patterns and tonal combinations of the words in Mandarin Chinese. The findings are summarized as follows. (1) The effects of semantic structures of the focused words on the prosodic correlates are completely mediated by the stress patterns. (2) The prosodic correlates of the second syllable of the focused word are more variable than those of the first syllable. Specifically, there is a significant asymmetry of vowel duration as well as fundamental frequency (F0) range between the pre-stressed and post-stressed syllables. Moreover, the tonal combination significantly affects the variations of both the vowel duration and F0 range.
The purpose of this paper is to present a simple method for predicting the excess attenuation of road traffic noise by detached houses. The Acoustical Society of Japan (ASJ) presents one method; however, it cannot estimate noise levels at specific individual points in residential areas. In this paper, therefore, an experiment is performed with a one-twentieth scale model and a new empirical formula for excess attenuation, based on only five parameters, is proposed. The validity of the formula is verified through additional experiments, a comparison with the current method, and noise measurements in actual residential areas. This new and simple method is applicable to evaluations of environmental quality standards for noise.
In order to investigate the effect of a hall response on music players, subjective tests on professional players were performed in an electrically simulated sound field. For the experimental system, a 6-channel sound simulation technique has been contrived in which 6-channnel directional impulse responses measured in real halls are used to synthesize the test sound field in an anechoic room. In the subjective experiment, the subjects (players) performed several types of notes and responded to the questionnaires. From the result of the experiment, the relationship between the subjective judgments and acoustical properties of the sound field was examined.