Sound Contraction at Word Boundaries in Spontaneous and Read-Aloud Speech: Evidence from Russian

This study quantifies all possible vowel and some consonant contractions that occur within word boundaries. It is based on data from spontaneous and read-aloud Russian. The data for word-external contractions are compared with the data for the word-internal ones. External word-external contractions evoke fading of word boundaries that can lead to speech segmentation problems. Patterns of contraction formation and possible marks of contractions, contraction markers are investigated. The
results reveal no strict rules to predict contractions. Duration of consonants was not proved to be a reliable feature that a listener could use in the process of recognition. Stress, on the other hand, seems to play a significant role for vowels: unstressed vowels are more likely to contract easier than stressed ones involved in contracted forms.


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