The effect of pause insertion on the intelligibility of Danish among Swedes

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Scharpff & Van Heuven (1988) have shown that low-quality, synthetic speech isbetter understood when pauses are inserted at prosodic boundaries. Their studypertains to an L1 situation. In the present paper we test the hypothesis that thepositive effect of particular pauses on intelligibility within the same languagecan be generalized to speech of an unknown but closely related language. Wepresented long Danish sentences to Swedish listeners in two versions, one withoutpauses and one with pauses at prosodic boundaries. The results showed thatthe percentage of correct translations was higher for sentences with pauses thanfor sentences without pauses, thus confirming our hypothesis.


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