Rhythm Class Perception by Expert Phoneticians

Rathcke, T. and Smith, R. (2015) Rhythm Class Perception by Expert Phoneticians. In: 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, UK, 10-14 Aug 2015, ISBN 9780852619414

109758.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Publisher's URL: http://www.icphs2015.info/Default.aspx


This paper contributes to the recent debate in linguistic-phonetic rhythm research dominated by the idea of a perceptual dichotomy involving “syllable-timed” and “stress-timed” rhythm classes. Some previous studies have shown that it is difficult both to find reliable acoustic correlates of these classes and also to obtain reliable perceptual data for their support. In an experiment, we asked 12 British English phoneticians to classify the rhythm class of 36 samples spoken by 24 talkers in six dialects of British English. Expert listeners’ perception was shown to be guided by two factors: (1) the assumed rhythm class affiliation of a particular dialect and (2) one acoustic cue related to the prosodic hierarchy, namely the degree of accentual lengthening. We argue that the rhythm class hypothesis has reached its limits in informing empirical enquiry into linguistic rhythm, and new research avenues are needed to understand this multi-layered phenomenon.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rathcke, Dr Tamara and Smith, Dr Rachel
Authors: Rathcke, T., and Smith, R.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
480471Timing in Accents of EnglishRachel SmithEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/G001456/1CRIT - ENGLISH LANGUAGE