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Correlates of linguistic rhythm in the speech signal

Ramus, Franck and Nespor, Marina and Mehler, Jacques (1999) Correlates of linguistic rhythm in the speech signal. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Abstract

Spoken languages have been classified by linguists according to their rhythmic properties, and psycholinguists have relied on this classification to account for infantsÂ’ capacity to discriminate languages. Although researchers have measured many speech signal properties, they have failed to identify reliable acoustic characteristics for language classes. This paper presents instrumental measurements based on a consonant/vowel segmentation for eight languages. The measurements suggest that intuitive rhythm types reflect specific phonological properties, which in turn are signaled by the acoustic/phonetic properties of speech. The data support the notion of rhythm classes and also allow the simulation of infant language discrimination, consistent with the hypothesis that newborns rely on a coarse segmentation of speech. A hypothesis is proposed regarding the role of rhythm perception in language acquisition.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:speech rhythm, phonetics, consonant, vowel, language discrimination, phonological bootstrapping, speech segmentation, syllable structure, language acquisition
Subjects:Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Linguistics > Learnability
Linguistics > Phonology
Psychology > Psycholinguistics
ID Code:869
Deposited By:Ramus, Dr Franck
Deposited On:17 Jul 2000
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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