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IELTS Reading: which paragraph contains...?

 Read the following passage, and try the exercise below it.

Language rhythms

A) When analysing the rhythm of spoken languages, some languages are referred to as syllable-timed, whereas others are commonly defined as stress-timed.

B) In a syllable-timed language, every syllable is perceived as taking up roughly the same amount of time. Syllable-timed languages tend to give syllables approximately equal prominence and generally lack reduced vowels. French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Icelandic, Cantonese, Mandarin Chinese and Turkish are commonly quoted as examples of syllable-timed languages. This type of rhythm was originally metaphorically referred to as "machine-gun rhythm" because each underlying rhythmical unit is of the same duration, similar to the transient bullet noise of a machine-gun.

C) In a stress-timed language, syllables may last different amounts of time, but there is perceived to be a fairly constant amount of time (on average) between consecutive stressed syllables. Consequently, unstressed syllables between stressed syllables tend to be compressed to fit into the time interval. English, Thai, German, Russian, Danish, Swedish, Catalan, Norwegian, Faroese, Dutch, European Portuguese, and Persian are typical stress-timed languages.

D) There can be varying degrees of stress-timing within the different standards of a language. English, a stress-timed language, has become so widespread over the globe that some standards tend to be more syllable-timed than the British or North American standards, an effect which comes from the influence of other languages spoken in the relevant region. Indian English, for example, tends toward syllable-timing.

E) A better-documented case of these varying degrees of stress-timing in a language comes from Portuguese. European Portuguese is more stress-timed than the Brazilian standard. The latter has mixed characteristics and varies according to speech rate, sex and dialect. At fast speech rates, Brazilian Portuguese is more stress-timed, while in slow speech rates, it can be more syllable-timed.

(Source: wikipedia.org)

Which paragraphs contain the following information?

  1. How one language’s stress rhythm can change according to how quickly the language is spoken.
  2. Examples of languages that give more prominence to certain syllables during speech.
  3. How stress-timing in one language may be affected by the rhythm of a different language.

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