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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Rhythmic Intentions or Rhythmic Consequences? Cross-Language Observations of Casual Speech

Olle Engstrand, Diana Krull

Stockholms Universitet, Sweden

Recordings of careful readings and unscripted monologues in Swedish and Spanish were auditorily and acoustically analyzed to test the hypothesis that temporal equalization of syllable-sized units typically occurs in casual as opposed to elaborated speaking styles. Results indicated 1) that durations and standard deviations appearing in unscripted Swedish tended to resemble those in Spanish, 2) that durational differences between unstressed and stressed units in unscripted Swedish were smaller than those observed in Swedish careful reading, and 3) that, in both languages and speaking conditions, timing of syllable-sized units was partly determined by their size. Timing was, thus, significantly affected by alterations in speaking style. This suggests that rhythmic patterns associated with stress- and syllable-timing may arise as consequences of more primary phonetic intentions rather than themselves representing such intentions.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Engstrand, Olle / Krull, Diana (2003): "Rhythmic intentions or rhythmic consequences? cross-language observations of casual speech", In ICPhS-15, 2789-2792.