A coupled-oscillators-model-based method for measuring speech rhythm is presented. This model explains cross-linguistic differences in rhythm as deriving from varying degrees of coupling strength between a syllable oscillator and a phrase stress oscillator. The method was applied to three texts read aloud in French, in Brazilian and European Portuguese by seven speakers. The results reproduce the early findings on rhythm typology for these languages/varieties with the following advantages: it successfully accounts for speech rate variation, related to the syllabic oscillator frequency in the model; it takes only syllable-sized units into account, not splitting syllables into vowels and consonants; the consequences of phrase stress magnitude on stress group duration are directly considered; both universal and language-specific aspects of speech rhythm are captured by the model.
Bibliographic reference. Barbosa, Plínio A. (2009): "Measuring speech rhythm variation in a model-based framework", In INTERSPEECH-2009, 1527-1530.