Modeling prosody and rhythmic distributions in Spanish speech groups

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Cross-linguistic differences in rhythm and second language speech rhythm have been investigated using a variety of measures that typically reduce a language or speech group to a single number, ignoring possible differences in the distribution of quantities. The hypothesis pursued here is that a relation exists between phrasal prominence and rhythmic distribution in a language and that this relation can be observed in the behavior of L1Spanish/L2English learners, whose phrasal prominence acquisition is conditioned by prior acquisition of learning rhythm at the foot level in English. This hypothesis was tested in three experiments designed to probe the difference in prominence placement in English and Spanish. The findings support the hypothesis that the distribution for phrasal prominence differs in the two languages, and that a relation between phrasal prominence and rhythmic distribution exists.


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