Session6: Tones

1. Helen Meng from Chinese University of Hong Kong gave a talk on Mandarin tone.

* various kinds of tone for a syllable
  - tone 1 - 6: long duration (non-entering)
  - tone 7 - 9: short duratin (entering)

* (syllable + tone) notation is essential for Chinese synthesis
  - pinyin (for Mandarin)
  - jyutping (for Cantonese)

* proposal of <tone> element
  - tone changes correspond changes of meanings/context/speaking style

* several tone sandhi rules depending on dialects
  - rule for Mandarin: tone3 + tone3 => tone2 + tone3
  - rule for Cantonese: tone4 + tone4 => tone4 + tone{2,1,4}

* how to denote the combination of characters and tones ?
  - <phoneme alphabet="t" ph="2 4">不要</pnonenme>
  - <phoneme alphabet="pt" ph="/bu 2/yao 4/">不要</pnonenme>

* if word boundary differs, meaning and tone can differ...
  - 打死/老鼠 (kill a mouse)
  - 打/死老鼠 (hit a dead mouse)

2. Jianhua Tao from Chinese Academy of Sciences gave a talk on Tone Sandhi

* various dialects in Chinese
  - 9 or 10 variety
  - almost local language
  - various tone sandhi rules

* tone and tone sandhi
  - 25 tones for a character (24 are defined in ISO 10646)
  - (25 + 25) * 2 = 100 sandhi possible

* How to denote tone sandhi?
  - Can tone sandhi problem be considered as co-articulation problem?
  - Add a tone element with between 9 and 24 (number is not important now) values?
  - Is this sufficient for specifying most Chinese dialects?
  - tone sandhi is example of tonal errors?

* 2 Levels of language specification should be considered
  - Phonemic alphabet: phoneme is sound differenciate lang
  - Phonetic alphabet: differenciate same phoneme (e.g. using tone)

* "xml:lang" specificatin
  - how about use "xml: lang" in combination with "speak-as" attribute?

  language (character) specification

  how-to speak (accent, etc.) specification

  c.f.) RFC3066 (new)

  - lang element extention for how to specify link of syllable?

* relation between dialects and syllable inventory (=phonemeic inventory)
  - pinyin is tone and syllable (and phonemic) inventory
  - character -> syllable mapping 
  - phonemic distincution
  - phonetic markup: phonemic + something

* How about Korean?
  - tone element proposal by Korea?
  - What does Korean use as phonemic 
  - phonemic rep vs. phonetic rep

* what character set?
  - not only IPA but also supportint specific phonetic system for many speech vendor's own languages?

* creation phonemic and syllabic inventory to distinct
  - phoneme level distinction which is phonemically important
  - maybe syllable & tonal 


We agreed to recommend:
* necessary for SSML to support and encourage the definition of dialect-specific phonemic inventories.
These may be syllabic but must incorporate all phonemically relevant
distincitions (such as lexical tones, syllable duration, etc.)

Still under discussion:
* need for explicit tone marking element (beyond the use of phonemic inventory)
* need for explicit marking of tone sandhi (beyond the use of IPA)
  - slight leaning towards IPA being sufficient because this is allophonic variation
* need for explicit marking of phonemically relevant syllable duration