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Trends in Phonetics and Phonology

Studies from German-speaking Europe

Edited By Adrian Leemann, Marie-José Kolly, Stephan Schmid and Volker Dellwo

This volume was inspired by the 9th edition of the Phonetik & Phonologie conference, held in Zurich in October 2013. It includes state of the art research on phonetics and phonology in various languages and from interdisciplinary contributors. The volume is structured into the following eight sections: segmentals, suprasegmentals, articulation in spoken and sign language, perception, phonology, crowdsourcing phonetic data, second language speech, and arts (with inevitable overlap between these areas).
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Speaker-individual rhythmic characteristics in read speech of German-Italian bilinguals



Rhythmic characteristics of speech vary between speakers of the same language. In the present paper we analyzed whether speaker-specific temporal characteristics in one language are also present in another language of the same speaker. In an experiment, 10 sentences in each German and Italian of five German-Italian bilingual speakers were recorded and analyzed. As correlates of speech rhythm we measured low-frequency temporal characteristics of speech (%V, deltaV, deltaC, %VO, deltaVO, deltaUV, deltaStressed, deltaUnstressed, and deltaIPI) and articulation rate (syllables/second). Speaker and language effects were studied using ANOVA; correlations between variable pairs were studied using Pearson’s correlation coefficient. Results revealed speaker effects for some of the variables (speech rate, %VO, %V and deltaV). We argue that the obtained between-speaker temporal variability is most likely the result of speaker-specific ways in the control of the articulators.


Speech rhythm, speech timing, speech time-domain, bilingualism

*   Corresponding author:, Tel: +41 (0)44 634 29 95

a   Phonetics Laboratory, Department of Comparative Linguistics, University of Zurich, Plattenstrasse 54, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland ← 349 | 350 →

1.0   Introduction

Voices are highly individual. The present study investigated how temporal characteristics of speech contribute to speaker individuality for a speaker speaking in different languages. By now there is a large body of evidence in the literature showing that temporal characteristics of speech vary between speakers. This is true for pausing (Goldman Eisler, 1968; Künzel, 1997), for segmental characteristics (e.g. formant...

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