Exploring timing in accents of British English

Rathcke, T. and Smith, R. (2011) Exploring timing in accents of British English. In: ICPhS XVII, Hong Kong, 17-21 August 2011, pp. 1666-1669.

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This paper reports an investigation of speech timing in spontaneous speech of four British English accents spoken in Cambridge, Glasgow, Leeds and Bradford. We tested the effect of lexical stress, word boundary and syllable weight on syllable durations and found systematic differences between Glasgow and Cambridge on all factors, with Glasgow being the most conservative about lengthening. Differences were also observed between Leeds and Cambridge in terms of syllable weight, and between Leeds and Bradford with respect to word-final lengthening. A new rhythm metric, the multi-factorial dispersion coefficient, was found to effectively separate the four accents by capturing the effects of not only structural lengthening but also phonetic variability. This proposed measure seeks to combine the elegance of acoustic rhythm metrics with the exploratory power of prosodic timing research.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rathcke, Dr Tamara and Smith, Dr Rachel
Authors: Rathcke, T., and Smith, R.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics

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