Word-boundary-related duration patterns in English

A E Turk, S Shattuck-Hufnagel

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Abstract / Description of output

Segments and syllables with identical distinctive feature specifications in the lexicon can be produced with strikingly different durations in different contexts, depending for example on the location of a lexical word boundary. In a study of Il triads like tune acquire, tuna choir and tune a choir, durational differences between, e.g., tune acquire and tuna choir occurred on either side of the word boundary in a variety of prominence contexts, broadly confirming earlier findings in the literature for a more limited set of stimuli. In general, duration measurements for tune # a # choir tokens were found to be intermediate between those of tune # acquire and tuna # choir, suggesting that boundaries at function words are weaker than boundaries between two content words. In addition, an investigation of the distribution of durational differences across and within syllables was conducted to evaluate five duration adjustment mechanisms proposed in the literature. Support was found for word-initial lengthening, polysyllabic shortening, accentual lengthening, and syllable ratio equalization, but not for word-final lengthening. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-440
Number of pages44
JournalJournal of Phonetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000

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