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

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


English Rhythm and the Slovak Speaker

Magdalena Bila (1), Julius Zimmermann (2)

(1) Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Humanities & Natural Sciences of Presov University, Slovakia
(2) Laboratory of Phonetics, Department of Slovak Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts of Presov University, Slovakia

It has been hypothesized that since in Slovak the difference in durations between stressed and unstressed syllables is not maximized in the same way as in English, Slovak speakers of English will tend to make insufficient differences between the two groups of syllables. Thus Slovak speakers' utterances in English will be perceived by native speakers as having nonnative- like rhythm.
   Spontaneous utterances of native and non-native speakers have been analyzed through segmentation of sonorous nuclei of stressed and unstressed syllables and through measurements of their durations. In mathematical processing methods of descriptive statistics and probability t-test have been applied. The results indicate a stable difference in durations of sonorous nuclei of stressed and unstressed syllables in native speakers and significantly varied difference in non-native speakers.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Bila, Magdalena / Zimmermann, Julius (1999): "English rhythm and the Slovak speaker", In ICPhS-14, 547-550.