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

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


Prosodic Structure and Vowel Duration in Dutch

T. Rietveld, J. Kerkhoff, Carlos Gussenhoven

Centre for Language Studies, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands

A production experiment with reiterant speech aimed at assessing the relation between prosodic structure of words and vowel duration in Dutch. The vowels used in this experiment were [a:] and [i], which are traditionally distinguished on the basis of quantity in the conditions discussed here. It was found that the duration of a vowel in the strong syllable of a foot exceeds that of the weak syllable(s) in the same foot. Besides, in only three conditions are consistent differences found between [a:] and [i]: in strong syllables of strong and weak feet, and in strong monosyllabic feet. The results challenge the traditional division of Dutch vowels into ‘long’ and ‘short’. A common intrinsic duration assigned to all vowels in a Text-to-Speech System for Dutch, only modulated by prosodic position, yields a good temporal quality of the generated speech.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Rietveld, T. / Kerkhoff, J. / Gussenhoven, Carlos (1999): "Prosodic structure and vowel duration in Dutch", In ICPhS-14, 463-466.