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ERIC Number: EJ863786
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8309
Variability in Word Duration as a Function of Probability, Speech Style, and Prosody
Baker, Rachel E.; Bradlow, Ann R.
Language and Speech, v52 n4 p391-413 2009
This article examines how probability (lexical frequency and previous mention), speech style, and prosody affect word duration, and how these factors interact. Participants read controlled materials in clear and plain speech styles. As expected, more probable words (higher frequencies and second mentions) were significantly shorter than less probable words, and words in plain speech were significantly shorter than those in clear speech. Interestingly, we found second mention reduction effects in both clear and plain speech, indicating that while clear speech is hyper-articulated, this hyper-articulation does not override probabilistic effects on duration. We also found an interaction between mention and frequency, but only in plain speech. High frequency words allowed more second mention reduction than low frequency words in plain speech, revealing a tendency to hypo-articulate as much as possible when all factors support it. Finally, we found that first mentions were more likely to be accented than second mentions. However, when these differences in accent likelihood were controlled, a significant second mention reduction effect remained. This supports the concept of a direct link between probability and duration, rather than a relationship solely mediated by prosodic prominence. (Contains 4 tables and 5 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A