9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

Correlation of Utterance Length and Segmental Duration in Finnish Is Questionable

Jussi Hakokari, Tuomo Saarni, Jouni Isoaho, Tapio Salakoski

University of Turku, Finland

This paper examines the way acoustic segmental duration correlates with utterance length in Finnish. It is commonly assumed that shorter utterances are characterized by greater segmental duration. However, that view has recently attracted some criticism. We conducted an explorative study on two linguistically uncontrolled Finnish-language speech corpora by examining segmental duration as a function of utterance length. We tested a hypothesis that the perceived differences in duration are in fact caused by short utterances containing a greater proportion of domain-edge effects, such as final lengthening. Pearson correlations were calculated for the timing information in different conditions. The results show that the weak correlation holds no more if domain edges are excluded from the material, suggesting there is no domain-span process at work.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hakokari, Jussi / Saarni, Tuomo / Isoaho, Jouni / Salakoski, Tapio (2008): "Correlation of utterance length and segmental duration in Finnish is questionable", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 881-884.