Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule

New from Cambridge University Press!


Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.

New from Brill!


Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin

Summary Details

Query:   Speaking rates
Author:  Julio Santiago
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Typology

Language Family:   Indo-European

Summary:   I recently posted a query to the list for references on crosslinguistic speech rate comparisons (mainly Germanic versus Romance languages). Thanks a thousand to Matt Goldrick, Michael Barrie, Paul Fallon, Stephan Schmid, Anthony Lewis, and Luis F. Tejedo-Herrero, who took the time to reply.

Here is a summary of their suggestions:

Matt Goldrick recommended reading the following paper on changes in the
voiced-voiceless obstruent distinction across speaking rates in Thai,
French and English:

Kessinger, R. H. & Blumstein, S.E. (1997) Effects of speaking rate on
voice-onset time in Thai, French, and English. Journal of Phonetics, 25,

Michael Barrie and Luis F. Tejedo-Herrero suggested the following book chapter:

Roach, Peter. 1998. Some languages are spoken more quickly than others. En Language Myths. Bauer, Laurie & Peter Trudgill, (eds.), pags. 150-58. London: Pinguin Books.

and Michael Barrie actually took the pain of scanning it and sending it over (thanks!).

Paul Fallon mentioned that John Laver's ''Principles of Phonetics'', Cambridge University Press, has a good overview of different ways of measuring speech (and articulation) rate, and cites statistics from various languages.

Stephan Schmid sent a link to the abstract of recent work by Laura Mori regarding Italian (, and actually made copies of most relevant references cited therein and mailed them over (just got them, thanks!!!).

Anthony Lewis suggested that the relevant way of measuring speech rate is a mean for ''syllables per second'' extracted from spontaneous speech, which, however, should be obtained from within each intonational phrase.

Thanks again to everyone.

LL Issue: 15.25
Date Posted: 07-Jan-2004
Original Query: Read original query


Sums main page