Applying Rhythm Metrics to Non-native Spontaneous Speech


This study investigates a variety of rhythm metrics on two corpora of non-native spontaneous speech and compares the nonnative distributions to values from a corpus of native speech. Several of the metrics are shown to differentiate well between native and non-native speakers and to also have moderate correlations with English proficiency scores that were assigned to the non-native speech. The metric that had the highest correlation with English proficiency scores (apart from speaking rate) was rPVIsyl (the raw Pairwise Variability Index for syllables), with r = −0.43. Index Terms: Rhythm metrics, non-native speech, fluency 1

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