Units of speech production in Italian

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When speakers produce a prepared utterance, the amount of time required to initiate the utterance reflects the number of units in the utterance. In this paper, we investigate the nature of this unit on the basis of Italian experimental data, and compare our findings to previous studies of Dutch. We demonstrate that thwe findings for Italian and Dutch are essentially the same, despite substantial prosodic differences between Romance and Germanic languages. It is shown that in order to account for these findings, a prosodic unit between the Phonological Word and the Phonological Phrase is needed. Two possibilities are considered, a recursive Phonological Word and a more recently proposed constituent, the Composite Group.


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