The Unit of Speech Encoding: The Case of Romanian

Irene Vogel, Laura Spinu

The number of units in an utterance determines how much time speakers require to physically plan and begin their production [1]–[2]. Previous research proposed that the crucial units are prosodic i.e., Phonological Words (PWs), not syntactic or morphological [3]. Experiments on Dutch using a prepared speech paradigm claimed to support this view [4]–[5]; however, compounds did not conform to predictions and required the introduction of a different way of counting units. Since two PWs in compounds patterned with one PW, with or without clitics, rather than a phrase containing two PWs, a recursive PW’ was invoked. Similar results emerged using the same methodology with compounds in Italian [6], and it was thus proposed that the relevant unit for speech encoding is not the PW, but rather the Composite Group (CompG), a constituent of the Prosodic Hierarchy between the PW and Phonological Phrase that comprises both compounds and clitic constructions [7]. We further investigate the relevant unit for speech encoding using the same methodology in Romanian. Similar findings support the CompG as the speech planning unit since, again, compounds with two PWs pattern with single words and clitic constructions, not Phonological Phrases which also contain two PWs.

DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1601

Cite as

Vogel, I., Spinu, L. (2016) The Unit of Speech Encoding: The Case of Romanian. Proc. Interspeech 2016, 62-66.

author={Irene Vogel and Laura Spinu},
title={The Unit of Speech Encoding: The Case of Romanian},
booktitle={Interspeech 2016},