Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, French

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Previous research has demonstrated similarities in the rhythmic characteristics of the speech and instrumental music within individual languages, such as French or English, but clear differences in these rhythmic patterns between languages. A recent finding has shown a comparable result for the rhythmic patterns of the spontaneous speech and instrumental music of musicians who speak different dialects of English, such that within-dialect speech and music rhythms are more similar to one another than are across-dialect rhythms. We extend the latter finding by comparing the rhythmic characteristics of the spontaneous speech and jazz productions of jazz musicians who speak American English with those of the spontaneous speech and riddim productions of Jamaican musicians, who speak Jamaican English. We find that the speech and music rhythmic patterns are similar within each dialect but different across dialects. Though scholars have suggested a link between speech prosody and jazz in the past, this is the first study known to us to demonstrate a link between the rhythmic properties of the speech and music of jazz musicians.


Post-print of article to be published in Music perception (2016).