ISCA Archive Interspeech 2006
ISCA Archive Interspeech 2006

Pauses as a tool to ensure rhythmic wellformedness

Augustin Speyer

Rhythmic wellformedness on the level of syllables and words and the mechanisms which are employed to ensure it are well known and researched on. The level of sentential accent is less often in the focus of such studies. In this paper I argue that rhythmic wellformedness plays an equally important role on the sentential level and that the preferred strategy to ensure it is the insertion of a pause (or lengthening of an already present pause), rather than the classical strategies of stress shift and destressing. This has to do with the role that focal accent plays for the semantic interpretation of an utterance. A reading experiment showed clearly that in clash cases the distance between the words in clash is increased by a pause; as we get the same effect in words in which a number of unstressed syllables intervenes between the clashing focal accents, it is clear that it is not simply stress clash resolution but resolution of a clash on a higher level of representation.

doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2006-256

Cite as: Speyer, A. (2006) Pauses as a tool to ensure rhythmic wellformedness. Proc. Interspeech 2006, paper 1406-Tue3A3O.2, doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2006-256

  author={Augustin Speyer},
  title={{Pauses as a tool to ensure rhythmic wellformedness}},
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2006},
  pages={paper 1406-Tue3A3O.2},