Speech Planning and Prosodic Phrase Length

Jelena Krivokapic, Department of Linguistics, Yale University

A synchronous speech study investigates effects on pause duration of prosodic phrases of different length. The goal is to examine local and distant effects of prosodic phrase length on pause duration. Subjects read 24 English sentences varying along the parameters: a) length in syllables (long or short) of the intonation phrase immediately following a target pause and b) length in syllables (long or short) of the second, more distant, intonation phrase following the pause. We find both local and global effects of phrase length on pause duration, indicating that speakers have a large lookahead in speech production, mediated by prosodic structure.