I am doing an experiment on Mandarin tone discrimantion and I would like to plot the tone contours of the speakers.

I know how to do it in Praat for every tone separately, (View & Edit -> Pitch -> Draw Visible pitch contour) but I'd rather have all 4 utterances of a speaker in a single graph.

To give you an example of what I would like to achieve please see this. enter image description here


Does anybody know a way to do this in Praat or by using another software (e.g. R)?

  • Can you turn this into a specific request for information, rather than a declaration of personal interest? E.g. is the answer "No, that is a bad idea", or "Here is the Praat code for ding that", or "Here is the R code for computing the average contour".
    – user6726
    May 7 at 5:01
  • I made an edit to make it more clear. Thanks!
    – 3lingap
    May 7 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


I assume you have a collection of Praat sound objects "s1" to "s12" corresponding to specific recordings. For each sound object, create a pitch object using Analyze periodicity. Then select the pitch objects and Draw then, and they are drawn together in the same drawing window.

This is probably better done by a script. The commands for drawing, as you would put into the script, are along the lines of

selectObject: "Pitch s1"
plusObject: "Pitch s2"
plusObject: "Pitch s3"
Draw: 0, 0, 0, 500, "no"

You can also do this within each Sound Editor window under Pitch - Draw Visible Pitch Contour (uncheck "Erase first"). However, the graph in the paper is a different thing – it's a pitch track of a 4 single utterances by one speaker, not multiple tone patterns and not from multiple speakers. Presumably you want the individual lines to be visually distinct, so you need to include some "pen" modification. The "Pen" menu in the Picture window gives you various options for that: read this page for more details. There are 4 styles, any number of widths and 16 colors.

  • We are getting somewhere, thank you very much! Yes you are right about one graph per speaker, that was what I was thinking actually. It was my expression that was wrong. I'll update it. Another thing, is there any way to add a legend with the tones?
    – 3lingap
    May 7 at 22:21

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