Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

Native-like Duration Ratio of Stressed vs. Unstressed Syllables through Visualizing Prosody

Markus Rude

Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences, Nagoya University, Japan

Japanese language learners of stress-timed languages like English (L2) or German (L3) have problems acquiring the prosody of these languages. The questions are, how to teach prosody in this context efficiently, and. specifically. what role visualizations play in the acquisition of accentuation. Therefore a reading experiment was undertaken, as reported here, in which students read out texts in three formats, among them a curved text with prosody-encoding size variations called prosodic writing (PW). In a pre-test, students read a normal text; in a post-test they read PW. Additionally, access possibilities to corresponding audio files varied among students. The following results were obtained for the accentuation of the German word gzentralh [ts.n.tra.l]: (1) there was a substantial increase in correct accentuation among the 15 students reading PW; (2) of these, all five students without access to audio files corrected their accentuation; and (3) for four of these five, the duration ratio of stressed to unstressed syllables approached the ratio of a native speaker (>2:1). Visualizations might therefore be an efficient tool for teaching certain aspects of prosody.

Index Terms: speech prosody, prosodic writing (PW), interference, visualization, stressed syllable, duration ratio.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Rude, Markus (2012): "Native-like duration ratio of stressed vs. unstressed syllables through visualizing prosody", In SP-2012, 254-257.