Session Speech Timing:

Speech Timing: Approaches to Speech Rhythm

Type: special
Chair: Eric Keller, Robert Port
Date: Thursday - August 09, 2007
Time: 16:00
Room: 6 (Black)


Eric Keller, University of Lausanne
Robert Port, Indiana University
Paper File
  In recent years, a number of authors have suggested various oscillator-based mechanisms to account for rhythmicity. This session brings together a number of researchers who have proposed and/or examined these proposals in detail with respect to a number of languages (English, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese and French).
Speech Timing-2 How prosodic variability can be handled by a dynamical speech rhythm model
Plinio Barbosa, State University of Campinas
Paper File
  A method is shown for using a two-coupled oscillator model of speech rhythm to handle variability of durational patterns in natural data. In this framework, speech rhythm is the quasi-optimal output of the coupling of two components, one using local syntactic information and a phrase stress oscillator. The syllabic oscillator pulses are anchored at vowel onsets, implementing the carrier component of speech rhythm production, the building block of prosodic timing. The model generates complex patterns of V-to-V durations via the consequence of a phrase-stress oscillator's entrainment to the syllabic oscillator. This mechanism can cope with intra- and inter-speaker rhythmic variability.
Speech Timing-3 Quantifying vowel-onset periodicity in Japanese
Michael Connoly Brady, Indiana University
Robert Port, Indiana University
Paper File
  Many researchers agree the brain must employ some expectancy mechanisms for speech as it unfolds through time. We posit that an adaptive oscillator may be made to synchronize with speech expectancies. In a recent study of compensatory mora relationships, we found that voice onsets are the most salient events for determining rhythmic structure. Based on circular statistics, we find some vowel onsets should be treated as strong coupling targets while others should be treated more as distractions.
Speech Timing-4 Approaches to conversational speech rhythm: Speech activity in two-person telephone dialogues
Nick Campbell, ATR Labs, Kyoto, Japan
Paper File
  This paper examines speech activity patterns in telephone dialogues and illustrates some details of their timing organization. It is shown that partners participate actively, even when listening, through frequent use of speech overlaps and backchannel utterances.
Speech Timing-5 Vowel-onset interval as a timing unit for singleton/geminate stop distinction in Japanese
Yukari Hirata, Colgate University
Connor Forbes, Colgate University
Paper File
  This study examined whether vowel onset intervals in Japanese disyllables can serve as a reliable timing unit in Japanese. Duration of vowel onset intervals was measured in Japanese disyllables containing singleton and geminate stops spoken in a carrier sentence at three speaking rates. Analysis included the vowel onset interval duration divided by the mean mora duration, and this value was predicted to show timing regularity in terms of the mora, in accordance with Brady Port and Nagao, 2006. Results supported this prediction.
Eric Keller, University of Lausanne
Paper File
  In this study, a mechanism for the emergence of beats is proposed. Examples from physics (e.g., pendulum, sine tones, or water waves) indicate that beats are produced by interferential patterns between similar events, creating mutually reinforced wave forms (“beats”) alternating with weakened wave forms (“off-beats” or “anti-beats”). In biological “coordinative structures”, similar task requirements can also create interferential events that translate into beat, e.g. the need to coordinate the horse’s anterior and posterior body portions for a canter. In speech, it can be argued that strong voice onsets coincide with a neurological anticipation of such onsets, which is likely to lead to the creation of beat reinforcement. Weakening would be predicted for rapid subsequent events. The notion of beat patterns operating within coordinate structures promises a number of useful hypotheses for the temporal structuring of gestures in speech.

Back to Conference Schedule