15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

The Effect of Local Speaking Rate on Perceived Quantity: A Comparison Between Three Languages

Diana Krull (1), Hartmut Traunmüller (1), Wim A. van Dommelen (2)

(1) Stockholms Universitet, Sweden
(2) Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet, Norway

In an earlier experiment, the effect of the speech rate of a short preceding or following context was manipulated in addition to the duration of a V, C or VC-sequence that carried a quantity distinction in Estonian words. In order to see to what extent and in which sense the observed perceptual effects are language dependent, the same stimuli were presented to Finns and a subset to Norwegians, representing languages with a different or smaller functional load of quantity distinctions. The results obtained with Estonian and Finnish listeners are compatible with a model of speech perception in which variations in speaking rate are reflected in the pace of an "inner clock" by which listeners measure segment durations. More 'absolute' and narrow scoped results obtained with Norwegians are compatible with such a model only if the inner clocks of listeners with a less demanding linguistic background are assumed to resist such influence to a higher degree.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Krull, Diana / Traunmüller, Hartmut / Dommelen, Wim A. van (2003): "The effect of local speaking rate on perceived quantity: a comparison between three languages", In ICPhS-15, 1739-1742.