The Effect of Unstressed Affixes on Stress Beat Location in English


  • Robert Allen Fox
  • Lise Lehiste


Although listeners commonly hear speech as rhythmical (Donovan & Darwin, 1979; Lehiste, 1972) it is not the case that the perception of rhythmicity arises from acoustic onset isochrony. For example, if sequences of monosyllables whose initial consonants differ in manner of articulation, are presented to listeners so that the acoustic onset-to-onset intervals are isochrony, the rhythm of the sequence will sound irregular. These sequences will sound regular to listeners only if systematic deviations from acoustic isochrony are introduced (Morton, Marcus, & Frankish,1976; Fowler, 1979, 1983). Talkers behave in a similar manner in that when required to produce rhythmic sequences of monosyllables which contain different initial consonants the same kinds of deviations from isochrony are found (Allen, 1972a, b ; Rapp, 1971; Fowler, 1979; Fowler & Tassinary, 1981). The term "stress beat" or "perceptual center" has been used in the literature to reference that point (or psychological event) in a stimulus upon which listeners/talkers base their rhythmic judgments.

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How to Cite

Fox RA, Lehiste L. The Effect of Unstressed Affixes on Stress Beat Location in English. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2022 Dec. 3 [cited 2024 Apr. 23];14(3 bis):36-7. Available from:



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada