Durational cues to stress, final lengthening, and the perception of rhythm

Anya Lunden


Binary stress languages have a well-known asymmetry between their tolerance of initial versus final lapse; the former being extremely rare and the latter being quite common. Lunden (to appear) proposes that final lengthening plays a role in this asymmetry, as the additional inherent phonetic duration of the final syllable can contribute to the continuation of a perceived rhythm, even in the absence of actual final stress. She notes this effect of final lengthening should only be available in languages that use duration as a cue to stress. However, some languages are described as having different cues to primary and secondary stress, and it is not clear which is more important for this perceptual effect. The results of four new studies show that final lengthening contributes to the perceptual rhythm of the word even when only one level of stress is cued with duration.


stress; stress cues; stress perception; duration; rhythm; final lengthening

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v3i1.4312

Copyright (c) 2018 Anya Lunden

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