Speech tempo perception and missing sounds




This research investigates how listeners estimate speech tempo. A common assumption is that this involves counting sounds or syllables, but there is surprisingly little experimental evidence to confirm this. We run a series of experiments probing listeners' explicit and implicit tempo judgements in order to improve our understanding of how speech tempo perception works, establish how well commonly used methods of measuring speech tempo match listeners' estimations, and assess novel measurement techniques. We focus in particular on whether sounds that appear missing in casual articulations are counted for the purpose of tempo estimation.