Journal Article

Suprasegmental Characteristics of Speech Produced during Simultaneous Communication by Inexperienced Signers

Robert L. Whitehead, Dale E. Metz, Erin Girardi, Jacqueline Irwin, Amanda Krigsman, Christina Swanson, Douglas MacKenzie and Nicholas Schiavetti

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 14, issue 3, pages 362-370
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online December 2008 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enn043
Suprasegmental Characteristics of Speech Produced during Simultaneous Communication by Inexperienced Signers

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This study investigated suprasegmental variables of syllable stress and intonation contours in contextual speech produced during simultaneous communication (SC) by inexperienced signers. Ten hearing inexperienced sign language users were recorded under SC and speech-alone (SA) conditions speaking a set of sentences containing stressed versus unstressed versions of the same syllables and a set of sentences containing interrogative versus declarative versions of the same words. Results indicated longer sentence durations for SC than SA for all speech materials. Vowel duration and fundamental frequency differences between stressed and unstressed syllables as well as intonation contour differences between declarative and interrogative sentences were essentially the same in both SC and SA conditions. The conclusion that prosodic rules were not violated by inexperienced signers in SC is consistent with previous research indicating that temporal alterations produced during SC do not involve degradation of other temporal or spectral characteristics of English speech.

Journal Article.  4964 words. 

Subjects: Education ; Linguistics ; Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs

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