Rhythm classes and speech perception

Amalia Arvaniti, Tristie Ross, University of California, San Diego

This study indirectly tests whether American, Greek and Korean listeners can classify low-pass filtered utterances of English, German, Greek, Italian, Korean and Spanish into rhythm classes, by examining how they rate each utterance’s rhythm in comparison to a series of non-speech trochees. Such classification was difficult for all groups of listeners and did not support the rhythmic classification of the languages of the stimuli, casting doubt on the impressionistic basis of the rhythm class hypothesis.