Rhythm in Thai esophageal speech

J Gandour, B Weinberg, S H Petty, R Dardarananda
Journal of Speech and Hearing Research 1986, 29 (4): 563-8
Duration measurements associated with rhythmic aspects of speech produced by one Thai esophageal speaker were compared to previously published identical measures for normal Thai speakers. Measures of central tendency and variability were taken of the duration of syllables, pauses, phrases, and interstress intervals. Despite a slower-than-normal overall speaking rate and a shorter-than-normal phrase length, the esophageal speaker was able to maintain normal relative temporal relations among syllables within phrases. Although his speech was dysrhythmic at the overall discourse level, it was rhythmic at the phrase level. Findings are interpreted to highlight the importance of differentiating features of alaryngeal speech that are common across languages from those that are specific to particular languages.

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