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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Prosody and Syntax in Spontaneous Speech: Evidence from Czech and French

Tomáš Duběda

Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

Phonosyntactic behaviour of spontaneous Czech and French is tested at stress unit level. While the 'syntactic' length of stress units (in terms of words) varies considerably in the two languages, the 'phonetic' length tends to remain stable and obey grammar-independent rhythmic laws. Only a small number of stress units correspond to a syntagma in Czech, whereas in French, this type of stress unit is the prevailing one. The proportion of stress units covering more than one syntactic node is almost equal in both cases. However, the frequency of these apparently 'asyntactic' stress units is the main factor that differentiates spontaneous and read speech.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Duběda, Tomáš (2003): "Prosody and syntax in spontaneous speech: evidence from Czech and French", In ICPhS-15, 2079-2082.