Your “VOORnaam” is not my “VOORnaam”: An acoustic analysis of individual talker differences in word stress in Dutch
Different talkers speak differently, even within the same homogeneous group. These differences lead to acoustic variability in speech, causing challenges for correct perception of the intended message. Because previous descriptions of this acoustic variability have focused mostly on segments, talker variability in prosodic structures is not yet well documented. The present study therefore examined acoustic between-talker variability in word stress in Dutch. We recorded 40 native Dutch talkers from a participant sample with minimal dialectal variation and balanced gender, producing segmentally overlapping words (e.g., VOORnaam vs. voorNAAM; ‘ﬁrst name’ vs. ‘respectable’, capitalization indicates lexical stress), and measured different acoustic cues to stress. Each individual participant’s acoustic measurements were analyzed using Linear Discriminant Analyses, which provide coefﬁcients for each cue, reﬂecting the strength of each cue in a talker’s productions. On average, talkers primarily used mean F0, intensity, and duration. Moreover, each participant also employed a unique combination of cues, illustrating large prosodic variability between talkers. In fact, classes of cue-weighting tendencies emerged, differing in which cue was used as the main cue. These results offer the most comprehensive acoustic description, to date, of word stress in Dutch, and illustrate that large prosodic variability is present between individual talkers.
Publication typeJournal article