Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1996 10:01:58 -0400
From: Paul Fallon pfallon[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]S850.MWC.EDU
Subject: Re: Question: regional volubility
Wolfram's text _Dialects and American English_ (pp. 56-57) alludes to the
fact that there are different perceptions of rhythm, perhaps influenced
by southern monopthongization of diphthongs, but unfortunately he gives
John Laver's new book _Principles of Phonetics_ (and referencs therein)
have an excellent discussion of problems measuring rate of speaking vs.
rate of articulation (Ch. 17). He cites a comparative study by Gosy (1991b)
which gives average speaking rates in several languages. Dutch ranges
from 5.9 to 9.3 syllables/second, with French apparently the slowest of
the five languages cited at 4.7 to 6.8 syllables/second.
He also cites Ramsaran's (1978) study of six Rp speakers based on 20
hours of tape-recorded data. The slowest rate was 3.1 syll/sec (7.6
segments/sec) to the fastest at 5.4 syll/sec (13.4 segments/sec).
I hope this helps with the thread on speed, but I don't know of any works
dealing with American dialectal variation wrt rate of speaking or rate of
pfallon[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]mwc.edu