AUC Philologica (Acta Universitatis Carolinae Philologica) is an academic journal published by Charles University. It publishes scholarly articles in a large number of disciplines (English, German, Greek and Latin, Oriental, Romance and Slavonic studies, as well as in phonetics and translation studies), both on linguistic and on literary and cultural topics. Apart from articles it publishes reviews of new academic books or special issues of academic journals.

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AUC PHILOLOGICA, Vol 2019 No 2 (2019), 145–158

The size of prosodic phrases in native and foreign-accented read-out monologues

[The size of prosodic phrases in native and foreign-accented read-out monologues ]

Jan Volín

published online: 18. 10. 2019


The objective of this study is to provide quantitative data concerning size of prosodic phrases in foreign-accented Czech. The speech production of Anglophone users of the Czech language is contrasted with that of Czech professional and non-professional speakers. Each of the three groups of speakers of Czech is represented by 12 speakers. The fourth group of speakers (also 12 subjects) are English professional news readers. They provide data pertaining to the mother tongue of the target group. As expected, the prosodic phrases produced by non-native speakers are shorter and our data provide basis for their modelling that can be used in perceptual testing. One of the interesting outcomes of the study is the revelation that although Czech professional speakers make longer phrases than English professionals if counted in syllables (10.78 against 7.76 syllable per phrase), if counted in words, the difference disappears (4.56 against 4.54 words per phrase). This suggests that semantic constraints on prosodic phrase length are stronger than purely structural ones.

keywords: prosodic phrase; prosodic boundary; foreign accent; clear speech; Czech; English

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