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Determinants of phonetic word duration in ten language documentation corpora: Word frequency, complexity, position, and part of speech

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Title:Determinants of phonetic word duration in ten language documentation corpora: Word frequency, complexity, position, and part of speech
Authors:Strunk, Jan
Seifart, Frank
Danielsen, Swintha
Hartmann, Iren
Pakendorf, Brigitte
show 3 moreWichmann, Søren
Witzlack-Makarevich, Alena
Bickel, Balthasar
show less
Keywords:quantitative methods
language documentation
phonetic word duration
endangered languages
Date Issued:Jul 2020
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Strunk, Jan, Frank Seifart, Swintha Danielsen, Iren Hartmann, Brigitte Pakendorf, Søren Wichmann, Alena Witzlack-Makarevich, & Balthasar Bickel. 2020. Determinants of phonetic word duration in ten language documentation corpora: Word frequency, complexity, position, and part of speech. Language Documentation & Conservation 14: 423-461.
Abstract:This paper explores the application of quantitative methods to study the effect of various factors on phonetic word duration in ten languages. Data on most of these languages were collected in fieldwork aiming at documenting spontaneous speech in mostly endangered languages, to be used for multiple purposes, including the preservation of cultural heritage and community work. Here we show the feasibility of studying processes of online acceleration and deceleration of speech across languages using such data, which have not been considered for this purpose before. Our results show that it is possible to detect a consistent effect of higher frequency of words leading to faster articulation even in the relatively small language documentation corpora used here. We also show that nouns tend to be pronounced more slowly than verbs when controlling for other factors. Comparison of the effects of these and other factors shows that some of them are difficult to capture with the current data and methods, including potential effects of cross-linguistic differences in morphological complexity. In general, this paper argues for widening the cross-linguistic scope of phonetic and psycholinguistic research by including the wealth of language documentation data that has recently become available.
Pages/Duration:39 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/24926
ISSN:1934-5275
Rights:Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Journal:Language Documentation & Conservation
Volume:14
Appears in Collections: Volume 14 : Language Documentation & Conservation


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