Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

Prosodic Transfer in Black South African English

Marc Swerts (1), Sabine Zerbian (2)

(1) Communication & Cognition, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
(2) Department of Linguistics, University of Potsdam, Germany

This article reports on a perception study that was carried out with Zulu-English bilinguals in order to investigate how suprasegmental aspects differ in Black South African English compared to White English-speaking South African English. Two prosodic phenomena were investigated: prosodic focus marking on noun phrases (NPs) and prosodic boundary marking. The results support existing claims in the literature that Black South African English falls into at least two distinct groups (van Rooy 2004): L2 English spoken by non-native speakers and "L1 speakers of English whose dialects have developed from non-native varieties" (Da Silva 2008: 96), the speech of the former showing L1 influence in not marking focus prosodically. In contrast, prosodic means are used for boundary marking by all speakers.

Index Terms: second language prosody, prosodic focus marking, prosodic boundary marking

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Swerts, Marc / Zerbian, Sabine (2010): "Prosodic transfer in Black South African English", In SP-2010, paper 198.