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The timing of syllables.

The timing of syllables

Difficulties with rhythm may be a major reason why nonnative speakers of English are hard to understand, say Z.S. Bond and Joann Fokes of Ohio University in Athens. One aspect of this problem is the timing of syllables. In sets of words like stick, sticky, sticking, sticker, stickily and stickiness, U.S. speakers of English consistently shorten the duration of the base word (stick) as the number of syllables in the suffix increases. Nonnative speakers from a variety of backgrounds, they found, compress the base word the same amount regardless of the number of syllables in the suffix. These individuals are also less consistent in how much the base word is compressed.
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Title Annotation:speech rhythm of non-native speakers of English
Publication:Science News
Date:May 4, 1985
Words:117
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