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J Acoust Soc Am. 1992 Mar;91(3):1707-17.

Segmental durations in the vicinity of prosodic phrase boundaries.

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New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Electrical Engineering Department, Socorro 87801.


Numerous studies have indicated that prosodic phrase boundaries may be marked by a variety of acoustic phenomena including segmental lengthening. It has not been established, however, whether this lengthening is restricted to the immediate vicinity of the boundary, or if it extends over some larger region. In this study, segmental lengthening in the vicinity of prosodic boundaries is examined and found to be restricted to the rhyme of the syllable preceding the boundary. By using a normalized measure of segmental lengthening, and by compensating for differences in speaking rate, it is also shown that at least four distinct types of boundaries can be distinguished on the basis of this lengthening.

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