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It is by now well established that during normal conversation talkers often produce large variation in the rate at which they speak. However, existing research suggests that this modification is largely due to changes in the amount of pausing during conversation, and much less to actual changes in articulation rate, that is, the rate at which the speech itself is produced. In an attempt to examine this issue further, we used a modified measurement procedure to reanalyze the speech data from 30 talkers in an interview situation. In contrast to the earlier analyses, we found that there was indeed substantial variation in articulation rate for these speakers, even within a single utterance of a single talker. The implications of these findings for theories of segmental perception and for models of speech planning are discussed.
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