In 1955, 1958, and 1965, Fry published three very influential papers that have revolutionized phoneticians’ understanding of the acoustic correlates of lexical stress. Fry does not only show that F0, duration, intensity, and vowel quality interact, but he also ranks them relative to each other for their individual contribution to the perception of stress. His experiments led him to rank the four correlates as follows: F0 > Duration > Intensity > Vowel Quality. I review Fry’s papers and highlight his main findings. I re-analyze his raw data on duration and intensity and re-interpret them in light of Just Noticeable Differences (JND) thresholds. The re-analysis of Fry’s empirical data has revealed that the participants in his 1955 encoded lexical stress differently depending on the stress pattern of the word. For words with a trochaic pattern (nouns), speakers relied more heavily on intensity than duration. For words with an iambic pattern (verbs), duration was relied upon more often than intensity. Furthermore, the data allows us to see clearly that there are important inter-speaker variations in the production of lexical stress.
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"A Just Noticeable Difference (JND) Reanalysis Of Fry's Original Acoustic Correlates Of Stress In American English,"
Linguistic Portfolios: Vol. 7
, Article 2.
Available at: https://repository.stcloudstate.edu/stcloud_ling/vol7/iss1/2