The ToDI system

As the name suggests, ToDI was inspired by the well-known ToBI (Tone and Break Indices) system for transcription of intonation for American English (Beckman and Ayers 1994). However, ToDI differs sufficiently from ToBI to warrant a different name. In particular, ToDI focuses on the transcription of tones, and does not deal with various degrees of boundary strength. That is, there are no break indices in ToDI. ToDI employs two boundaries. One, the utterance boundary, is implied in this course at the end of most examples, while the other, the intonation phrase, is explicitly transcribed. The user is otherwise free to apply any boundary transcription system in combination with ToDI.

ToDI also differs from two earlier systems for the transcription of Dutch Intonation:

This course assumes no familiarity with any of these systems. Its primary aim is to introduce the ToDI system to you, and to help you become proficient in intonation transcription in a relatively short amount of time.

However, this is not a course in phonetics. It is assumed that you have some background in phonetics and phonology, and are familiar with speech analysis tools used in phonetic research.

The synthesis rules for F0 and duration were especially developed for this course by Joop Kerkhoff. The segmental speech files were produced with the help of the MBROLA diphone synthesis program (Dutoit et al, 1996).

Comments are welcome. Please address these to

New in the second edition:


M.E. Beckman and G.M. Ayers (1994). Guidelines for ToBI transcription. Version 2.0. Ms

R. Collier and J. 't Hart (1981). Cursus Nederlandse Intonatie. Leuven: Acco.

T. Dutoit, V. Pagel, N. Pierret, F. Bataille, O. van der Vreken (1996), "The MBROLA Project: Towards a Set of High-Quality Speech Synthesizers Free of Use for Non-Commercial Purposes" Proc. ICSLP'96, Philadelphia, vol. 3, pp. 1393-1396 .

C. Gussenhoven (1988). Adequacy in intonation analysis: The case of Dutch. In H. van der Hulst & N. Smith (eds.) Autosegmental Studies on Pitch Accent. Dordrecht: Foris.

C. Gussenhoven (1991). Tone segments in the intonation of Dutch. In Thomas F. Shannon & Johan P. Snapper (eds.) The Berkeley Conference on Dutch Linguistics 1989. Lanham (MD): University Press of America.

C. Gussenhoven (forthcoming) Transcription of Dutch Intonation. In Sun-Ah Jun (ed.) Prosodic Typology and Transcription: A Unified Approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

C. Gussenhoven & T. Rietveld (1992). A target-interpolation model for the intonation of Dutch. In Proceedings ICSPL 92. 1235-1238.

J. 't Hart, R. Collier and A. Cohen (1990). A perceptual study of intonation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Proceed with section 0.2