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Segmental duration as a cue to syllable boundaries in Czech

Acta Universitatis Carolinae: Philologica. 2017;2017(3):121-137 DOI 10.14712/24646830.2017.38


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Journal Title: Acta Universitatis Carolinae: Philologica

ISSN: 0567-8269 (Print); 2464-6830 (Online)

Publisher: Karolinum Press

Society/Institution: Charles University

LCC Subject Category: Language and Literature: Philology. Linguistics

Country of publisher: Czechia

Language of fulltext: English, French, Spanish, Czech, German

Full-text formats available: PDF



Pavel Šturm


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 30 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The aim of the study is to establish whether the acoustic signal contains cues to the syllabification of words that are perceptually relevant, as suggested by previous research. Syllabification preferences of 27 speakers of Czech were examined in a behavioural experiment using disyllabic nonsense words with 10 CC clusters as stimuli. The C1/C2 duration ratio of the intervocalic cluster was manipulated by shortening and lengthening of both consonants. Participants repeated auditorily presented stimuli by syllables, with clear pauses between them (a pause-insertion task). Logistic regression analyses revealed significant effects of sonority type of the cluster, word-edge phonotactics and syllabification strategy reported by the participants in a post-test interview (only half of the participants reported not to have followed any strategy). However, the manipulation condition did not turn out to be a significant predictor, although the C1/C2 ratio correlated negatively with the rate of cluster division. The correlation was in compliance with the hypothesis stating that when C1 is longer than C2, the cluster has a higher probability of being maintained as the onset of the following syllable.