speech and music (Robert Port )

Subject: speech and music
From:    Robert Port  <port(at)CS.INDIANA.EDU>
Date:    Sun, 29 Mar 1998 16:22:15 -0500

My students and I are working on the tendency of speech to be spoken with strong rhythmical constraints. Although speech does not ALWAYS have a periodic structure underlying it, it very often does. Thus, preachers and news broadcasters frequently impose a fairly strict regularity on their speech - for short intervals at least. If a person simply repeats a phrase over and over (eg, `auditory list...auditory list...auditory list...), you will find that the stress on `list' tends to occur exactly halfway between the stresses on `auditory'. Or else speakers can put the onset of `list' at 1/3 or 2/3 of the way through the phrase repetition cycle. NO OTHER TEMPORAL LOCATIONS CAN BE PRODUCED RELIABLY. If you don't believe this, please check a recent manuscript to appear in J. Phonetics later this spring by Fred Cummins and R. Port. We used both trained musicians and nonmusicians and tried to get them to hit other target phase angles without success. You can pick up a prepublication draft of this paper by putting this in your web browser: ftp://ftp.cs.indiana.edu/pub/port/oct97.ps We also have a more general paper on they rhythmic aspects of speech with comparisons to many nonspeech rhythmicities available here: ftp://ftp.cs.indiana.edu/pub/gasser/cls95.ps Someone has already pointed out the periodicity in the Japanese mora. I did a study of this some years ago in: Port, Robert, Jonathan Dalby and Michael O'Dell (1987) Evidence for mora timing in Japanese. JASA 81, 1574-1585 and the basic effect has been replicated by others, eg, Han, Mieko (1994) Acoustic manifestations of mora timing in Japanese. JASA 96, 73-82. See you, Bob Port ( ( ( O ) ) ) ( ( ( O ) ) ) ( ( ( O ) ) ) Lingstcs/Comp Sci/Cogntv Sci ROBERT F. PORT 330 Memorial Hall, Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana 47405 812-855-9217 Fx 812-855-5363 http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~port

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