Transcription and analysis of intonation using the ToBI system

Maria del Mar Vanrell Bosch (Freie Universität Berlin)



This workshop has a practical approach. Attendants will acquire the necessary skills to analyze and transcribe intonation. Particular emphasis will be placed on Ibero- and Italo-Romance languages, although we will refer to other languages too. For each tonal entity (pitch accents and boundary tones), we will work on what it sounds like, how it is phonetically realized, and how it is integrated in the sentence.


  • Develop skills in the identification and discrimination of tonal events.

  • Learn more about ToBI systems developed for Romance languages and be able to classify tonal movements according to these systems.

  • Promote abstract thinking, being able to imagine and produce a specific tonal contour on bases with different segmental and stress patterns.

  • Learn how to perform intertranscriber reliability tests.

Structure and content (9.30-12.30 & 13.30-16.00)

  1. Introduction. The Autosegmental Metrical (AM) framework and the ToBI transcription system.

  2. Development of tonal sensitivity. Perception (identification, discrimination, ordering, counting, and location) and production of tonal movements.

  3. Tonal inventories in some Ibero- and Italo-Romance languages. Presentation and discussion of the inventory of pitch accents and boundary tones in several Ibero- and Italo-Romance languages.

  4. Intertranscriber reliability tests.

  5. Labeling using the ToBI system. Labeling practice in ToBI. (Participants are encouraged to bring their own data).