14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Segmental Durations and Lengthened Syllables

Yiqing Zu, Xiaoxia Chen

Institute of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China

This study examined three speakers' 1560 utterances in aim of getting good understanding of segmental durations in continuous speech of standard Chinese. By using normalized speaking rate which can reduces inherent/intrinsic duration, the levels of segmental lengthening are calculated. The results show that different tones, final nasals, tongue position of vowels and numbers of phonemes of final are factors to influence compensation between initial, transition and final (38% for initials, 40% c-v transitions and 22% finals). Aarticulatory manners of consonants are found to be a factor affecting initial lengthening. We also found that nearly half lengthening is implemented in middle part of syllable and voice duration which includes transition and final is easily lengthened. At last, we try to find the role of syllable lengthening as a prosodic feature by perception test and find that the lengthening syllables mainly play the stress role, but not prosodic boundaries.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Zu, Yiqing / Chen, Xiaoxia (1999): "Segmental durations and lengthened syllables", In ICPhS-14, 277-280.