Listeners feel the beat: Entrainment to English and French speech rhythmsReport as inadecuate

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Psychonomic Bulletin and Review

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 1035–1041

First Online: 13 September 2011


Can listeners entrain to speech rhythms? Monolingual speakers of English and French and balanced English–French bilinguals tapped along with the beat they perceived in sentences spoken in a stress-timed language, English, and a syllable-timed language, French. All groups of participants tapped more regularly to English than to French utterances. Tapping performance was also influenced by the participants’ native language: English-speaking participants and bilinguals tapped more regularly and at higher metrical levels than did French-speaking participants, suggesting that long-term linguistic experience with a stress-timed language can differentiate speakers’ entrainment to speech rhythm.

KeywordsSpeech rhythm Sensorimotor synchronization Entrainment Stress-timed language Syllable-timed language Psycholinguistics Speech perception Phonology Embodied cognition  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Pascale Lidji - Caroline Palmer - Isabelle Peretz - Michele Morningstar


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