Duration of syllable-sized units in casual and elaborated Finnish: a comparison with Swedish and Spanish  

Krull, D.

In the Proceedings of Fonetik 2005, Göteborg, 25-27 May 2005: 33-36.


Recordings of Finnish casual dialogue and careful reading were analyzed auditorily and on spectrograms. Syllables on the phonological level were compared to syllable-sized units (CīVīs) on the phonetic level. Comparisons with existing Swedish and Spanish data revealed several differences: Finnish had much less temporal equalization of syllable-sized units in casual speech than Swedish, and even slightly less than Spanish. Instead, there was a greater decrease in the number of CīVīs. In all three languages, the duration of a CīVī was partly dependent on its size. In Finnish, however, (in contrast to Swedish and, to a lesser degree, Spanish) CīVī duration was only marginally affected by lexical stress. Finnish, like Spanish, had rhythmic patterns typical of syllable-timed languages in both speaking styles, while Swedish changed from a more stress-timed pattern in careful reading to a more syllable-timed in casual speech.

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