Why Some Languages Sound So Much Faster

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3 thoughts on “Why Some Languages Sound So Much Faster”

  1. Thanks Drew, very interesting!
    On the subject of articles, I could not seem to access the Wall Street Journal article that was referenced in Ben’s September 6th blog, “Executive Function”. Is it just me? Thanks 🙂

  2. I found this article interesting and forwarded it to my department. I hope it starts some sort of discussion on slowing down Spoken language.
    I think the fact that syllables are so dense in some languages but not in others is interesting when it comes to the concept of slow. The article pointed out that Chinese sounds slow in comparison with Spanish. Chinese, which speaks two fewer syllables per second, could be the reason that we think Linda Li speaks so slowly and clearly. There are fewer syllables but more information within each one.

  3. Interesting. Another factor has to do with the difference between stress-timed and syllable-timed languages. English is stress-timed, so important syllables are longer, slowing us down. Spanish is syllable-timed, so syllables are more or less even, making the words sound faster. Perceived word speed goes down some when you learn to hear the subtler stress. I wonder if there’s a tie between syllable richness and what kind of timing a language uses.

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