ASA 125th Meeting Ottawa 1993 May

2aSP15. Rhythm and compression in Caribbean Spanish.

Henrietta J. Cedergren

Guillermo Toledo

Dept. de Linguist., Univ. du Quebec a Montreal, C.P. 8888, Montreal, PQ H3C 3P8, Canada

The goal of this research was the observation of temporal relations and degrees of compression in spontaneous speech. Recorded materials of casual speech from one female and one male speaker of a dialect of Panamanian Spanish were studied. Acoustic measurements were made by examining phonetic segments, syllables, and rhythmic groups embedded in intonational phrases through the use of digital spectrograms and oscillographic traces. Results indicate low degrees of temporal compression; rhythmic group duration shows significant linear correlation with rhythmic group size. In addition, rhythmic groups in intonational phrase preboundary position are subject to local deceleration, which affects both the penultimate stressed syllable and the following unstressed final syllable. Both speakers reveal a positive relation between the duration of the stressed and unstressed syllables. These findings suggest that casual speech style in this dialect has both syllable-timing and a locally bound deceleration. [Work supported by SSHRCC.]