ASA 124th Meeting New Orleans 1992 October

4pSP5. How do two speakers' speech rhythms interact?

Kuniko Kakita

Dept. of Liberal Arts and Sci., Toyama Prefecture Univ., Kosugi, Toyama 939-03, Japan

The present study investigated how one speaker's speech rhythm affected another speaker's speech rhythm. Specifically, it examined the changes in speech rate and intersentence interval duration to see how two speakers' speech rhythms interacted. A number of series of five short sentences were read by two speakers in three different ways. In one instance, a series of five sentences were read through by a single speaker; in other instances, the second speaker took over from the first speaker (a) after the first sentence or (b) after the third sentence. The speech rate of the sentences and the duration of the intervals immediately after the takeover were compared with those at comparable locations in single-speaker readings. As concerns speech rate, one speaker adjusted it in accordance with the preceding speaker's speech rate, while the other speaker did not. As concerns interval duration, both speakers showed a significant amount of adjustment, but in two contrasting ways of assimilating and dissimilating to the preceding speaker's speech rhythm. The results for additional speakers will also be discussed.