Speech Timing and Linguistic Rhythm: On the Acoustic Bases of Rhythm Typologies

Rathcke, Tamara V and Smith, Rachel (2015) Speech Timing and Linguistic Rhythm: On the Acoustic Bases of Rhythm Typologies. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 137 (5). pp. 2834-2845. ISSN 0001-4966. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4919322) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4919322

Abstract

Research into linguistic rhythm has been dominated by the idea that languages can be classified according to rhythmic templates, amenable to assessment by acoustic measures of vowel and consonant durations. This study tested predictions of two proposals explaining the bases of rhythmic typologies: the Rhythm Class Hypothesis which assumes that the templates arise from an extensive vs a limited use of durational contrasts, and the Control and Compensation Hypothesis which proposes that the templates are rooted in more vs less flexible speech production strategies. Temporal properties of segments, syllables and rhythmic feet were examined in two accents of British English, a “stress-timed” variety from Leeds, and a “syllable-timed” variety spoken by Panjabi-English bilinguals from Bradford. Rhythm metrics were calculated. A perception study confirmed that the speakers of the two varieties differed in their perceived rhythm. The results revealed that both typologies were informative in that to a certain degree, they predicted temporal patterns of the two varieties. None of the metrics tested was capable of adequately reflecting the temporal complexity found in the durational data. These findings contribute to the critical evaluation of the explanatory adequacy of rhythm metrics. Acoustic bases and limitations of the traditional rhythmic typologies are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > English Language and Linguistics
Depositing User: Tamara Rathcke
Date Deposited: 21 May 2015 14:47 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2017 13:11 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/48598 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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