Timing restrictions on prosodic phrasing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


Prosodic evidence for the existence of isochronal 2-2.5 sec speech production units is presented. Factors such as F0-declination patterns defined over these 2-2.5 sec. units, as well as boundary tones at the edges of these assumed planning units give support to the idea that prosodic structure serves as an important planning framework for an utterance. The findings provide support for the assumption of a ’Prosodic Planning Hypothesis’ such as that proposed by Shattuck-Hufnagel and Turk (1996) and Shattuck-Hufnagel (2000: 222), who assume that an utterance-specific frame ‘‘independent of its contents plays a role in production processing, and prosodic structure is a natural candidate for this structural frame’’. Similar ideas have also been presented by Wheeldon and Lahiri (1997: 377) who claim that ‘‘articulation is preceded by the generation of an abstract prosodic representation of an utterance’’.
Breathing is assumed to play an important role in delimitation of the production units: Inspirations only occur at edges and can thus function as anchors for the grouping of speech into 2-2.5 sec speech chunks. Local prosodic information (pauses, boundary tones (H%/L%) and the timing restriction, can be used to make a further segmentation of spontaneous speech into 2-2.5 sec production units. The existence of such a timing restriction on speech planning can be used in the design of algorithms for the automatic segmentation of speech.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • pauses, timing, prosody, phrasing
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNordic Prosody IX
EditorsGösta Bruce, Merle Horne
PublisherPeter Lang Publishing Group
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)0-2804-7709-5
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch
EventNordic Prosody, 2004 - Lund, Lund, Sweden
Duration: 2004 Aug 82004 Aug 10
Conference number: 9


ConferenceNordic Prosody, 2004

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)

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