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Comparing native and non-native speech rhythm using acoustic rhythmic measures: Cantonese, Beijing Mandarin and English


Mok, Peggy; Dellwo, Volker (2008). Comparing native and non-native speech rhythm using acoustic rhythmic measures: Cantonese, Beijing Mandarin and English. In: Speech Prosody 2008, Campinas/Brazil, 6 May 2008 - 9 May 2008, 423-426.

Abstract

This study investigates the speech rhythm of Cantonese, Beijing Mandarin, Cantonese-accented English and Mandarin accented English using acoustic rhythmic measures. They were compared with four languages in the BonnTempo corpus: German and English (stress-timed) and French and Italian (syllable-timed). Six Cantonese and six Beijing Mandarin native speakers were recorded reading the North Wind and the Sun story with a normal speech rate, telling the story semi-spontaneously and reading the English version of the story. Both raw and normalised rhythmic measures were calculated using vocalic, consonantal and syllabic durations (ΔC, ΔV, ΔS, %V, VarcoC, VarcoV, VarcoS, rPVI_C, rPVI_S, nPVI_V, nPVI_S). Results confirm the syllabletiming impression of Cantonese and Mandarin. Data of the two foreign English accents poses a challenge to the rhythmic measures because the two accents are syllable-timed impressionistically but were classified as stress-timed by some of the rhythmic measures (ΔC, rPVI_C, nPVI_V, ΔS, VarcoS, rPVI_S and nPVI_S). VarcoC and %V give the best classification of speech rhythm in this study.

Abstract

This study investigates the speech rhythm of Cantonese, Beijing Mandarin, Cantonese-accented English and Mandarin accented English using acoustic rhythmic measures. They were compared with four languages in the BonnTempo corpus: German and English (stress-timed) and French and Italian (syllable-timed). Six Cantonese and six Beijing Mandarin native speakers were recorded reading the North Wind and the Sun story with a normal speech rate, telling the story semi-spontaneously and reading the English version of the story. Both raw and normalised rhythmic measures were calculated using vocalic, consonantal and syllabic durations (ΔC, ΔV, ΔS, %V, VarcoC, VarcoV, VarcoS, rPVI_C, rPVI_S, nPVI_V, nPVI_S). Results confirm the syllabletiming impression of Cantonese and Mandarin. Data of the two foreign English accents poses a challenge to the rhythmic measures because the two accents are syllable-timed impressionistically but were classified as stress-timed by some of the rhythmic measures (ΔC, rPVI_C, nPVI_V, ΔS, VarcoS, rPVI_S and nPVI_S). VarcoC and %V give the best classification of speech rhythm in this study.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Event End Date:9 May 2008
Deposited On:05 Aug 2015 08:54
Last Modified:14 Aug 2016 15:39
Publisher:s.n.
Funders:UCL Graduate School
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://sprosig.isle.illinois.edu/sp2008/papers/id063.pdf
Related URLs:http://sprosig.isle.illinois.edu/sp2008/ (Organisation)

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