Timing in sentence production

Meyer, A. S. (1994). Timing in sentence production. Journal of Memory and Language, 33, 471-492. doi:doi:10.1006/jmla.1994.1022.
Recently, a new theory of timing in sentence production has been proposed by Ferreira (1993). This theory assumes that at the phonological level, each syllable of an utterance is assigned one or more abstract timing units depending on its position in the prosodic structure. The number of timing units associated with a syllable determines the time interval between its onset and the onset of the next syllable. An interesting prediction from the theory, which was confirmed in Ferreira's experiments with speakers of American English, is that the time intervals between syllable onsets should only depend on the syllables' positions in the prosodic structure, but not on their segmental content. However, in the present experiments, which were carried out in Dutch, the intervals between syllable onsets were consistently longer for phonetically long syllables than for short syllables. The implications of this result for models of timing in sentence production are discussed.
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