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Between-speaker rhythmic variability is not dependent on language rhythm, as evidence from Persian reveals


Asadi, Homa; Nourbakhsh, Mandana; He, Lei; Pellegrino, Elisa; Dellwo, Volker (2018). Between-speaker rhythmic variability is not dependent on language rhythm, as evidence from Persian reveals. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 25(2):151-174.

Abstract

Acoustic measures of speech rhythm based on the durational characteristics of consonantal and vocalic intervals (henceforth C- or V-intervals) as well as syllabic intensity reveal between-speaker variability. The evidence obtained so far is based on speakers of stressed-timed languages, which are assumed to have complex consonant clusters and a higher degree of vowel reduction. Speakers of stressed-timed languages might operate their articulatory organs in different ways due to the syllable complexity and vowel reduction. Complex consonant clusters are released differently, and vowel reduction tends to be produced more or less strongly depending on speakers. When a language lacks such features, it is possible that rhythmic variation between its speakers decreases. In the present study, we aimed at exploring between- and within-speaker rhythmic variability in Persian, an Indo-European language categorised as syllable-timed. Acoustic correlates of speech rhythm (%V, ΔV[ln], ΔC[ln], n-PVI-V) and articulation rate were obtained from two Persian corpora with different sources of within-speaker variability. In the first corpus, the source of within-speaker variability mainly comes from non-contemporaneous recording sessions, and in the second corpus, from different speech rates. Results revealed that there were significant differences between speakers in all investigated speech rhythm measures in Persian and %V best discriminated between speakers. This reveals that the lack of typical stress-time features does not affect between-speaker variability in speech rhythm.

Abstract

Acoustic measures of speech rhythm based on the durational characteristics of consonantal and vocalic intervals (henceforth C- or V-intervals) as well as syllabic intensity reveal between-speaker variability. The evidence obtained so far is based on speakers of stressed-timed languages, which are assumed to have complex consonant clusters and a higher degree of vowel reduction. Speakers of stressed-timed languages might operate their articulatory organs in different ways due to the syllable complexity and vowel reduction. Complex consonant clusters are released differently, and vowel reduction tends to be produced more or less strongly depending on speakers. When a language lacks such features, it is possible that rhythmic variation between its speakers decreases. In the present study, we aimed at exploring between- and within-speaker rhythmic variability in Persian, an Indo-European language categorised as syllable-timed. Acoustic correlates of speech rhythm (%V, ΔV[ln], ΔC[ln], n-PVI-V) and articulation rate were obtained from two Persian corpora with different sources of within-speaker variability. In the first corpus, the source of within-speaker variability mainly comes from non-contemporaneous recording sessions, and in the second corpus, from different speech rates. Results revealed that there were significant differences between speakers in all investigated speech rhythm measures in Persian and %V best discriminated between speakers. This reveals that the lack of typical stress-time features does not affect between-speaker variability in speech rhythm.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Computational Linguistics
06 Faculty of Arts > Center for Linguistics
08 Research Priority Programs > Language and Space
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
410 Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Linguistics and Language, Law
Language:English
Date:13 November 2018
Deposited On:14 Dec 2018 07:52
Last Modified:20 Dec 2018 06:21
Publisher:Equinox Publishing Ltd.
ISSN:1748-8885
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.37110

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