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ERIC Number: EJ845339
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8309
Rhythmic Characteristics of Colloquial and Formal Tamil
Keane, Elinor
Language and Speech, v49 n3 p299-332 2006
Application of recently developed rhythmic measures to passages of read speech in colloquial and formal Tamil revealed some significant differences between the two varieties, which are in diglossic distribution. Both were also distinguished from a set of control data from British English speakers reading an equivalent passage. The findings have implications for the usefulness of the rhythmic measures and also the temporal characteristics of Tamil. High levels of interspeaker variability affected the measures; in some cases differences within each group of five speakers exceeded those separating distinct languages, indicating that such measures may not be reliable indicators of typological status. Discrepancies between previous findings and remeasurements of the same data also show the measures to be sensitive to differences in measurement criteria, specifically the treatment of pauses. The results confirm that the differences between colloquial and formal Tamil encompass durational characteristics, which appear to be largely explicable from differences in their syllabic structure. Provisional comparison with other languages suggests that their rhythmic properties cannot easily be captured by reference to traditional rhythmic classes. This may explain previous confusion in the literature over Tamil's temporal characteristics, which have been variously described in terms of stress-timing, syllable-timing, and mora-timing. (Contains 10 figures, 6 tables, and 5 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A