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Titre: Research on rhythm(strem-timing and isochrony) : A comparative study of teachers and british native speakers ' Realisations'

Domaine: Lettres et Langues Etrangères (LLE)

Filière: Langues anglo-saxonnes

Option: Phonetics and Linguistics


Soutenu (e) le: 03/07/2007

Sous la direction de: M. DEKKAK, Professeur, Université d'Oran

Le président du jury : A. BOUAMRANE, Professeur, Université d'Oran

Examinateur1: Abbes BAHOUS, Maitre de conférences, Université d'Oran

Examinateur2: Rachid BENALI MOHAMED, Univérsité d’ Oran


The present research aims to assess the state of rhythm of English in its dual manifestation, stress-timing and isochrony, in some Oran schools. The selected variety is British English as it is the one taught in our schools and colleges. We hope to achieve this objective by weighting the oral performances of a representative sample of thirty Oran teachers of English, and more specifically, in their realisations of twenty-five utterances and a rhyme, against those of British native speakers’. The first chapter sets the theoretical background of rhythm and its relationship to stresstiming on the one hand and to isochrony on the other. A few words are said about acoustics, or at least those of its aspects which we make use of in the present research. The second chapter presents the two components of the corpus, the four British and the thirty local informants, the measuring tools such as WASP and Metronome, and the various calculations and statistical operations that make up the bulk of this research. The third chapter makes use of ear perception as a way of rating and ranking, on a scale from four to one, the non native informants and detecting in their realisations the presence or absence of isochronous stress-timing in selected utterances as well as in a traditional rhyme. The fourth chapter presents and analyses the findings of three instrumental operations related to stress-timing in the twenty-five utterances of the corpus. The fifth chapter presents and analyses the findings of four instrumental operations related to isochrony in a traditional British Rhyme, ‘This is the house that Jack built’. Tentative conclusions are drawn and a few suggestions are offered. The results concern sometimes the groups, and they give a picture of the state of rhythm in this part of the world, and sometimes they concern the local performers as individuals. A calculations booklet accompanies the present research and is included in the Appendix. There is also a CD with all the recordings, and the appropriate software applications.

Mots clefs: Teachers; Speakers; Realisations; Background; Corpus; Ear Perception; Stress-Timing; Isochrony; Mat; Fat.