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

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

Stochastic Suprasegmentals: Relationships between Redundancy, Prosodic Structure and Syllabic Duration

Matthew P. Aylett

HCRC and Dept. Linguistics, University of Edinburgh, UK

Prosodic Prominence and prosodic boundaries have been shown to effect syllabic durations. However another factor, redundancy, also appears to have a major impact. More common words and words you can easily predict from context (more redundant) tend to be articulated less clearly and so also have a tendency to have shortened syllabic durations.
   This paper explores the relationship between measures of redundancy, prosodic structure and syllabic duration of a large corpus of spontaneous speech. Although 50% (r=0.71) of syllable variation is predictable from measures of accentedness, break index and other prosodic parameters, word frequency alone predicts 11% of the duration variation. Combining prosodic information and redundancy measurements improves prediction by 0.75% (r=0.72), suggesting that although redundancy measurements can offer a statistically independent contribution to predicting syllabic duration, prosodic structure implicitly represents most of the variation caused by redundancy.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Aylett, Matthew P. (1999): "Stochastic suprasegmentals: relationships between redundancy, prosodic structure and syllabic duration", In ICPhS-14, 289-292.