Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Rural versus urban accent as an influence on the rate of speech

By Nigel Hewlett and Monica Rendall

Abstract

Speakers of rural accents have been said to speak more slowly than speakers of urban accents. However, there would appear to have been no previous empirical investigation of such a claim. In the study reported here, recordings were made of 12 Orkney English speakers and 12 Edinburgh English speakers, during a reading task and in conversation with the experimenter. Measurements, in syllables per second, were made of both the Speaking Rate and the Articulation Rate (i.e. the rate calculated after excision of pauses) of each speaker in reading mode and in conversation mode. Comparison of the results for the two groups revealed no tendency for the urban (Edinburgh) speakers to speak faster than the rural (Orkney) speakers. The claim that rural speakers speak more slowly than urban speakers therefore still awaits empirical support. Some discussion is offered concerning the possible relationships among speech tempo, lifestyle and accent

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 1998
OAI identifier: oai:eresearch.qmu.ac.uk:2564

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (1982). Accents of English. Volume 1. Cambridge: doi
  2. (1992). An investigation for motor control for speech in phonologically delayed children, normally developing children and adults. doi
  3. (1984). Articulation rate and its variability in spontaneous speech: A reanalysis and some implications. doi
  4. (1987). Disfluency and rate characteristics of young middle-aged, and older males. doi
  5. (1988). Durational characteristics of young adults during speaking and reading tasks. Folia Phoniatrica40, doi
  6. (1983). Economy of speech gestures. doi
  7. (1983). Effects of physiological aging on speaking and reading rates. doi
  8. (1976). Linguistic uses of segmental duration in English: Acoustic and perceptual evidence. doi
  9. (1994). Principles of Phonetics. Cambridge: doi
  10. (1968). Psycholinguistics: Experiments in Spontaneous Speech.
  11. (1982). Silent and non silent pauses in three speech styles.
  12. (1972). Syllabic rate and utterance length. doi
  13. (1956). The determinants of the rate of speech output and their mutual relations. doi
  14. (1996). Towards a definition and working model of stress and its effects on speech. doi
  15. (1982). Urban-Rural Migration, Change and Conflict in an Orkney Island Community. London: Social Science Research Council.
  16. (1960). Voice and Articulation Drillbook. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.