Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

Effects of Lexical Stress and Speech Rate on the Quantity and Quality of Slovak Vowels

Štefan Beňuš (1,2), Katalin Mády (3)

(1) Dep. of English and American Studies, Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra, Slovakia
(2) Institute of Informatics, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia
(3) Institute of Phonetics and Speech Processing, University of Munich, Germany

We investigate the relationship between vowel quantity and the utilization of formant space in Slovak, and how prosodic variation in speech rate and lexical stress marking affects this relationship. Slovak presents a common five-vowel system with full phonemic quantity contrast for all vowels in all positions. We found that 1) phonemic quantity contrast in Slovak is salient and minimally affected by lexical stress and speech rate, and 2) shortening due to phonemic contrast and destressing but not due to speech rate, are accompanied by vowel space contraction. We compare the results to the geographically neighboring languages Czech and Hungarian that display similar prosodic characteristics to Slovak.

Index Terms: vowel quantity, vowel quality, lexical stress, speech rate, Slovak

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Beňuš, Štefan / Mády, Katalin (2010): "Effects of lexical stress and speech rate on the quantity and quality of Slovak vowels", In SP-2010, paper 185.