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Re: Statistics for word rate in natural speech

With respect to your second scitation:
We measured the threshold (50% correct) of intelligibility for time-compressed sentences. It appeared to be about 12.5 syll/s, i.e. 80ms per syllable, or 750 syll/minute. Note that the time compression was artificially imposed by means of PSOLA. No way speakers could utter these sentences at such a fast tempo.


The relationship between the intelligibility of time-compressed speech and speech in noise in young and elderly listeners.
Versfeld NJ, Dreschler WA.J Acoust Soc Am. 2002 Jan;111(1 Pt 1):401-8.

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception [mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] Namens Gerry A Stefanatos
Verzonden: woensdag 22 juni 2016 21:52
Aan: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Onderwerp: Re: Statistics for word rate in natural speech

Hi all, 

I am also finding it very helpful to get this input from such diverse and widely read  group of contributors. Thank-you. 

Here are a couple of other citations to add to the pile.

Sandra Duchin and Edward Mysak (1987) DISFLUENCY AND RATE CHARACTERISTICS OF YOUNG ADULT, MIDDLE-AGED, AND OLDER MALES. Journal of Communication Disorders, 20, pgs 245-257. They calculated both syllables per second and words per minute in different age groups ranging from young adult to the elderly.  Measurements were taken during conversation, picture description and oral reading. Not surprisingly, the rates varied across speaking measures. Oral reading was fastest,   followed by conversation and finally picture description. All declined with age.  (Note, included inter sentence  pauses in the calculations.)  The maximum speaking rate  as indexed by syllables/second was evident in young adults during oral reading ( mean = 4.69,   SD =.77). Average word rate/min  was highest in young adults during oral reading (219.9, SD=37.1)  decreasing to  182.7 (SD=17.2) during conversation.  

Also of potential interest, a fairly recent study using Chinese speakers and listeners suggested that speech remains readily intelligible until about  400 words per minute and then declines rapidly from 400 to 1200 words per minute (Du, Lin & Wang (2014),  Effect of speech rate for sentences on speech intelligibility, IEEE, pgs 233-236)

Gerry A. Stefanatos, D.Phil.
Associate Professor
Director, Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab
Dept of Communication Science & Disorders Temple University
1301 N. 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19122.

On 6/22/16, 5:00 AM, "AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception on behalf of Bruno L. Giordano" <AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on behalf of brungio@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Thank you all for the useful references and discussion!

Another I found for speech rate (wpm) but also syllabic rate is this one:

   title={Speech rates in british english},
   author={Tauroza, Steve and Allison, Desmond},
   journal={Applied linguistics},
   publisher={Am Assoc Appl Ling}



On 21/06/2016 02:56, Kevin Austin wrote:
> Thank you.
> In Dunn and White(1940) at the bottom of page 282, the article reads:
>>>> The one-eighth-second interval, used in the preceding work, was chosen as being of the same order of magnitude as the length of a syllable.
> I did not see the reference to ‘how’ this was determined. My reading of ‘order of magnitude’ is that this is a factor of ten. If my understanding is approximately correct, this would mean that rather than 125 ms being the length of a syllable, a syllable could be from about 65ms to 650ms in duration.
> My understanding of the article is that it is about peak and R.M.S. pressures in 125 ms intervals in 12 frequency bands up to 12kHz.
> Kevin
>> On 2016, Jun 20, at 7:33 AM, Christine Rankovic <rankovic@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> Dunn and White (1940) is a classic report on speech measurements.  They assumed 1/8-second as the length of a syllable for their classic measurements.
>> The reference is:  Dunn, H.K. and White, S.D. (1940). Statistical Measurements on Conversational Speech.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 11:278-288.
>> Christine Rankovic, PhD
>> Speech and Hearing Scientist

Bruno L. Giordano, PhD
Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
58 Hillhead Street, University of Glasgow Glasgow, G12 8QB, Scotland T +44 (0) 141 330 5484
Www: http://www.brunolgiordano.net
Email charter: http://www.emailcharter.org/