Word stress perception in European Portuguese

Susana Correia, Sónia Frota, Joseph Butler, Marina Vigário

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Previous research has reported stress "deafness" for languages with predictable stress, like French, contrary to languages with non-predictable stress, like Spanish ([1], [2], [3], [4]). The contrastive nature of stress appears to inhibit stress "deafness", but segmental and/or suprasegmental cues may also enhance stress discrimination ([5], [6]). In this study we carried out two experiments aiming to investigate stress perception in European Portuguese (EP), a language with non-predictable stress that utilizes duration and vowel reduction as main cues to stress. We used nonsense words that differed only in stress location, thus removing vowel reduction as a cue to stress. Experiment 1 was an ABX discrimination task ([1]). Experiment 2 was a sequence recall task ([2]). In both experiments, the stress contrast condition was compared with a phoneme control condition, in nuclear and post-nuclear position. Results of both experiments strongly suggest a stress "deafness" effect in EP. Despite its variable nature, word stress is hardly perceived by EP native-speakers in the absence of vowel reduction. These findings have implications for claims on prosodic-based cross-linguistic perception of word stress in the absence of vowel quality, and for stress "deafness" as a consequence of a predictable stress grammar.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication14th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH 2013)
Subtitle of host publicationSpeech in Life Sciences and Human Societies
EditorsF. Bimbot
PublisherInternational Speech Communication Association
Pages267-271
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781629934433
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event14th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association - Lyon, France
Duration: 25 Aug 201329 Aug 2013

Conference

Conference14th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association
CountryFrance
CityLyon
Period25/08/1329/08/13

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  • Cite this

    Correia, S., Frota, S., Butler, J., & Vigário, M. (2013). Word stress perception in European Portuguese. In F. Bimbot (Ed.), 14th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH 2013): Speech in Life Sciences and Human Societies (pp. 267-271). International Speech Communication Association.