Dawn M. Behne
Linguist. Inst., Univ. of Trondheim, N-7055 Dragvoll, Norway
The relative timing of consonants and vowels of a syllable can be affected by factors such as speaking rate, focal stress, and distinctive vowel length. Speaking rate and focal stress tend to have a global affect on syllable-internal timing, whereas the effect of distinctive vowel length in Norwegian is generally believed to be localized to the syllable rhyme. When these factors converge on a syllable, the syllable-internal timing simultaneously reflects their concurrent effects. The goal of the present study is to examine and characterize the concurrent effects of speaking rate, focal stress, and distinctive vowel length on syllable-internal timing of C1VC2 components. Conversations were developed in which 12 Norwegian CVCs containing /i, o, a, i:, o:, a:/ were either focused or nonfocused by the discourse. The set of conversations was produced at three speaking rates by native speakers of Norwegian. Results indicate that speaking rate and focal stress have an overall affect on the timing of components in the syllable. In addition, the effects of distinctive vowel length and focal stress on components of the syllable rhyme were found to be interdependent across speaking rates. These findings are discussed in terms of syllable- and rhyme-internal timing.