Measured and perceived speech tempo: Comparing canonical and surface articulation rates

Plug, L., Lennon, R. and Smith, R. (2022) Measured and perceived speech tempo: Comparing canonical and surface articulation rates. Journal of Phonetics, 95, 101193. (doi: 10.1016/j.wocn.2022.101193)

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Studies that quantify speech tempo tend to use one of various available rate measures. The relationship between these measures and perceived tempo as elicited through listening experiments remains poorly understood. This study furthers our understanding of the relationship between measured articulation rates and perceived speech tempo, and the impact of syllable and phone deletions on speech tempo perception. We follow previous work in using stimuli from a corpus of unscripted speech, and in sampling stimuli in distinct ‘global tempo’ ranges. Within our stimulus sets, the differences between canonical and surface rate measurements are directly due to syllable or phone deletions. Our results for syllable rates suggest that listeners use both canonical and surface rates to estimate speech tempo: that is, deletions do not have a consistent effect on perceived tempo. Our results for phone rates suggest that surface phone rate also influences judgements, but canonical phone rate does not. Our results also confirm previously-reported effects of f0 and intensity on speech tempo perception, plus an effect of stimulus duration, but no effect of listeners’ own tempo production tendencies.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was made possible by a Leverhulme Trust Research Grant (RPG-2017-060: Speech tempo perception and missing sounds).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Dr Rachel
Creator Roles:
Smith, R.Conceptualization, Methodology, Formal analysis, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Plug, L., Lennon, R., and Smith, R.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Journal of Phonetics
ISSN (Online):1095-8576
Published Online:15 October 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Journal of Phonetics 95:101193
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
300604Speech tempo perception and missing soundsRachel SmithLeverhulme Trust (LEVERHUL)RPG-2017-060 / RG.LING.11Arts - English Language and Linguistics