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Startling auditory stimulus (SAS) can trigger rapid release of pre-planned movement sequences and can effect a physiological perturbation of pitch level. An SAS-based paradigm was used to investigate planning of pitch profiles in English and Taiwanese Mandarin. Results show that startle-elicited pitch level is elevated, whereas pitch contours are preserved. These results support the view that pitch contours are pre-specified in speech plans, while absolute pitch level is not.


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