15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

September 14-18, 2014

Is Speech Rhythm an Intrinsic Property of Language?

Jason Brown, Eden Matene

University of Auckland, New Zealand

Different languages have traditionally been classified into different rhythm types. Most studies of rhythm have either implicitly or explicitly accepted that rhythm is an inherent property of a language. This study aims to determine whether rhythm is an intrinsic property of languages, or whether rhythm is an epiphenomenal byproduct of the phonotactic structures of a given stimulus. The question that this project addresses is to what extent the phonological properties of a language can be correlated with rhythmic categories; for instance, whether a language has consonant clusters, makes use of contrastive tone, has complex syllables, exhibits vowel reduction, etc. and whether these can be linked to what kind of rhythmic profile a language fits into.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Brown, Jason / Matene, Eden (2014): "Is speech rhythm an intrinsic property of language?", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 1693-1697.