A series of experiments was carried out to investigate how fundamental frequency declination is perceived by speakers of English. Using linear predictor coded speech, nonsense sentences were constructed in which fundamental frequency on the last stressed syllable had been systematically varied. Listeners were asked to judge which stressed syllable was higher in pitch. Their judgments were found to reflect normalization for expected declination; in general, when two stressed syllables sounded equal in pitch, the second was actually lower. The pattern of normalization reflected certain major features of production patterns: A greater correction for declination was made for wide pitch range stimuli than for narrow pitch range stimuli. The slope of expected declination was less for longer stimuli than for shorter ones. Lastly, amplitude was found to have a significant effect on judgments, suggesting that the amplitude downdrift which normally accompanies fundamental frequency declination may have an important role in the perception of phrasing.