The Acoustics of Word Stress in Czech as a Function of Speaking Style

Radek Skarnitzl, Anders Eriksson


The study is part of a series of studies which examine the acoustic correlates of lexical stress in several typologically different languages, in three speech styles: spontaneous speech, phrase reading, and wordlist reading. This study focuses on Czech, a language with stress fixed on the first syllable of a prosodic word, with no contrastive function at the level of individual words. The acoustic parameters examined here are F0-level, F0-variation, Duration, Sound Pressure Level, and Spectral Emphasis. Values for over 6,000 vowels were analyzed.

Unlike the other languages examined so far, lexical stress in Czech is not manifested by clear prominence markings on the first, stressed syllable: the stressed syllable is neither higher, realized with greater F0 variation, longer; nor does it have a higher SPL or higher Spectral Emphasis. There are slight, but insignificant tendencies pointing to a delayed rise, that is, to higher values of some of the acoustic parameters on the second, post-stressed syllable. Since lexical stress does not serve a contrastive function in Czech, the absence of acoustic marking on the stressed syllable is not surprising.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-417

Cite as: Skarnitzl, R., Eriksson, A. (2017) The Acoustics of Word Stress in Czech as a Function of Speaking Style. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 3221-3225, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-417.


@inproceedings{Skarnitzl2017,
  author={Radek Skarnitzl and Anders Eriksson},
  title={The Acoustics of Word Stress in Czech as a Function of Speaking Style},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={3221--3225},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-417},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-417}
}