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Nordic Prosody

Proceedings of the XIIth Conference, Trondheim 2016

Edited By Jardar Eggesbö Abrahamsen, Jacques Koreman and Wim van Dommelen

This volume contains articles based on the presentations given at the Nordic Prosody XII conference, which was held at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim, Norway) in August 2016. The contributors investigate various prosodic aspects, including intonation, rhythm, speaking rate, intensity, and breathing, using approaches ranging from phonetic and phonological analysis to speech technology methods. While most of the studies examine read speech, some of them explore the prosodics of spontaneous speech. The languages that receive most attention are Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic as well as Estonian, Latgalian and Polish. In addition to the larger Nordic languages, several papers focus on regional languages spoken in these areas.

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Rhythm and speech rate variation in Norwegian dialects (Wim A. van Dommelen)


Wim A. van Dommelen

Rhythm and speech rate variation in Norwegian dialects

Abstract: The main goal of this study was to investigate the degree to which Norwegian dialects differ from each other with regard to speech rhythm. To that aim, read sentences were selected from a large database containing recordings from 12 different regions in Norway. Speech rhythm was measured using both vocalic (%V, nPVI-V, ΔV, VarcoV) and consonantal (rPVI-C, ΔC, VarcoC) metrics.

Results indicated statistically significant variation in temporal organization in the dialects under scrutiny. At the same time, variation was less strong than found for similar measures for English dialects in other studies. In line with previous research, differences in speech material contributed substantially to variation in rhythm metrics. Further, speech rhythm appeared to be affected by speaker age and, to a lesser degree, speaker sex. In addition, speech rate was shown to vary with the two latter factors, but to be similar across dialects.

1. Introduction

Experimental investigations into the phonetics of Norwegian dialects are relatively scarce. Traditionally, descriptions have mainly been based on impressionistic observations. While cross-dialectal comparisons have focussed on intonational issues (Fintoft, 1987), to the best of our knowledge no such studies of temporal characteristics have been performed. Therefore, the goal of the present paper is to examine rhythmical properties of Norwegian dialects and to compare them with previous findings for some other languages. Together with other Germanic languages such as English and German,...

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