A comparative analysis of speech rate and perception in radio bulletins

  • 1 Departament of Communication, Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Roc Boronat, 138, 08108, Barcelona, Spain

Abstract

Speech rate is one of the most important elements in a news presentation, especially on radio, a sound medium. Accordingly, this study seeks to compare broadcasters' speech rate and the number of pauses in 40 news bulletins from the BBC (United Kingdom), Radio France (France), RAI (Italy), and RNE (Spain). Most authors addressing the medium of radio recommend a speech rate of between 160 and 180 words per minute (wpm). If this rate is considered, only one radio station, BBC, would be within the suitable limits. Instead, higher speeds and fewer pauses have been identified in the RAI and RNE bulletins. The second part of this study attempts to analyze whether perception in the news can be affected by different speech rates. The findings indicate that the extent to which the individuals surveyed experience subjective assessment varies according to the speech rate.

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Text & Talk (founded as TEXT in 1981) is an internationally recognized forum for interdisciplinary research in language, discourse, and communication studies, focusing, among other things, on the situational and historical nature of text/talk production; the cognitive and sociocultural processes of language practice/action; and participant-based structures of meaning negotiation and multimodal alignment.

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