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The perception of duration-based syllabic rhythm was examined within a metrical framework. Participants assessed the duration patterns of four-syllable phrases set within the stress structure XxxX (an Abercrombian trisyllabic foot). Using on-screen sliders, participants created percussive sequences that imitated speech rhythms and analogous non-speech monotone rhythms. There was a tendency to equalize the interval durations for speech stimuli but not for non-speech. Despite the perceptual regularization of syllable durations, different speech phrases were conceived in various rhythmic configurations, pointing to a diversity of perceived meters in speech. In addition, imitations of speech stimuli showed more variability than those of non-speech. Rhythmically skilled listeners exhibited lower variability and were more consistent with vowel-centric estimates when assessing speech stimuli. These findings enable new connections between meter- and duration-based models of speech rhythm perception.
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- Metrical perception of trisyllabic speech rhythms
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