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Swedish speech rhythm in a cross-language perspective
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen. (Department of phonetics)
1985 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The study aims to describe and to explain some temporal aspects of the rhythmic structure of Swedish, and to compare Swedish, Spanish, and Finnish, characterized as rhythmically different languages.

The temporal effects of some manipulations believed to have consequences for rhythm were studied in a series of experiments based on sets of Swedish sentences. These manipulations included the length of stress groups - the number of unstressed syllables between stressed ones - and their structural properties. Also the length of the surrounding stress group was varied, as well as speech rate.

The results indicated the presence of several interacting factors. First, there was an inverse relation between the length of the phrase and the duration of the stress group: phrase-lenqth adjustments. Ihe

effects were similar to those obtained when speech rate was independently varied. Secondly, adjacent stress groups were adjusted so that differences of duration were counteracted: stress-qroup adjustments.

In addition, in longer stress groups rhythmic alternation between unstressed syllables occurred. Finally, there was an interplay between rhythm and language structure. This was evident from the stability of the temporal manifestations of the quantity distinction and the distinction between stressed and unstressed syllables irrespective of the experimental manipulations.

The results were interpreted in terms of a process model of speech rhythm, the generality of which was considered in the cross-language comparisons. The presence of similar temporal effects in all three languages was taken to support assumptions of language-independent processing constraints. Deviations from the general pattern were explainable in terms of differences of language structure and adjustments to preserve important structural properties, especially quantity relations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå :: Umeå universitet , 1985. , 158 p.
Umeå studies in the humanities, ISSN 0345-0155 ; 69Acta Universitatis Umensis, ISSN 0345-0147
Keyword [en]
speech rhythm, temporal organization, speech production, language structure, Finnish, Spanish, Swedish
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100378ISBN: 91-7174-209-3OAI: diva2:792520
Public defence
1985-06-03, Humanisthuset, Hörsal F, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15

Diss. Umeå : Umeå universitet, 1985

Available from: 2015-03-04 Created: 2015-03-02 Last updated: 2015-04-10Bibliographically approved

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