Speech Prosody 2008

Campinas, Brazil
May 6-9, 2008

The Role of Speech Rate in Perceiving Speech Rhythm

Volker Dellwo

Department of Phonetics and Linguistics, University College London, UK

Human listeners can distinguish between languages of different rhythmic classes (e.g. stress- and syllable-timed languages). The present study investigated the role of speech rate in this process. Acoustic data suggests (experiment I) that speech rate can distinguishes as reliable between stress- and syllable-timed languages as previously proposed correlates of speech rhythm (%V, VarcoC and nPVI). Behavioral data showed (experiment II) that listeners make use of rate differences when asked to assess rhythmic characteristics of stress- and syllable-timed languages in delexicalized speech. Results imply that speech rate is an important acoustic correlate for cross-language speech rhythm.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Dellwo, Volker (2008): "The role of speech rate in perceiving speech rhythm", In SP-2008, 375-378.