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

no citations.

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


Paul Fallon