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Syllabic reduction in Mandarin and English speech
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This study examined whether language specific properties may lead to cross-language differences in the degree of phonetic reduction. Rates of syllabic reduction (defined here as reduction in which the number of syllables pronounced is less than expected based on canonical form) in English and Mandarin were compared. The rate of syllabic reduction was higher in Mandarin than English. Regardless of language, open syllables participated in reduction more often than closed syllables. The prevalence of open syllables was higher in Mandarin than English, and this phonotactic difference could account for Mandarin's higher rate of syllabic reduction.
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