Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing
(ICSLP 2000)

Beijing, China
October 16-20, 2000

Fast Speech Timing in Dutch: Durational Correlates of Lexical Stress and Pitch Accent

Esther Janse, Anke Sennema, Anneke Slis

Utrecht institute of Linguistics OTS, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

In this study we investigated the durational correlates of lexical stress and pitch accent at normal and fast speech rate in Dutch. Previous literature on English shows that durations of lexically unstressed vowels are reduced more than stressed vowels when speakers increase their speech rate. We found that the same holds for Dutch, irrespective of whether the unstressed vowel is schwa or a "full" vowel. In the same line, we expected that vowels in words without a pitch accent would be shortened relatively more than vowels in words with a pitch accent. This was not the case: if anything, the accented vowels were shortened relatively more than the unaccented vowels. We conclude that duration is an important cue for lexical stress, but not for pitch accent.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Janse, Esther / Sennema, Anke / Slis, Anneke (2000): "Fast speech timing in Dutch: durational correlates of lexical stress and pitch accent", In ICSLP-2000, vol.3, 251-254.