Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

Prosodic Transfer from Italian to Spanish: Rhythmic Properties of L2 Speech and Argentinean Porteño

Ariadna Benet, Christoph Gabriel, Elena Kireva, Andrea Pešková

Institut für Romanistik, Universität Hamburg, Germany

This paper investigates the speech rhythm of Porteño (Buenos Aires) Spanish (PORTE), which is strongly influenced by Italian due to migration-induced contact, and L2 Peninsular Spanish, produced by Italian natives (SPA L2). It is hypothesized that Italian learners transfer the rhythmic values of their L1 to the target language Spanish and that the data produced by speakers of both the contact variety PORTE and the learner variety SPA L2 exhibit rhythmic values that pattern with Italian rather than with Peninsular Spanish. Speakers of L1 Peninsular Spanish (SPA L1) and L1 Italian (ITA), respectively, serve as control groups. Based on measurements of %V, Varcoƒ¢V, VnPVI, and CnPVI ([1], [2], [3], [4]), performed on recordings of scripted and semispontaneous speech, it is shown that Porteno Spanish displays almost the same values as L1 Italian and L2 Spanish produced by Italian natives. This suggests that Italian speech rhythm was transferred from the immigrants'f L1 to the target language Spanish.

Index Terms: speech rhythm, Porteño Spanish, Peninsular Spanish, Italian, language contact, L2, transfer.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Benet, Ariadna / Gabriel, Christoph / Kireva, Elena / Pešková, Andrea (2012): "Prosodic transfer from Italian to Spanish: rhythmic properties of L2 speech and Argentinean Porteño", In SP-2012, 438-441.