Adult Early-Bilingual Speech Rhythm: Evidence from Spanish and English

Alexander Aldrich


This study examines the effect of language on rhythm production in adult early Spanish/English bilinguals. Nine subjects were recorded speaking sentences in Spanish, a so-called syllable-timed language, and in English, a so-called stress-timed language. From these data, various rhythm metrics, in addition to speech rate, are analyzed. Additionally, a detailed proficiency and bilingual profile of the speakers is given. The descriptive statistics of the latter suggest that the speakers are slightly English dominant. The inferential statistics of the rhythm metrics indicate that the bilinguals display robust evidence of language-specific rhythm production, in the expected direction: In English, speech rhythm is more variable than in Spanish, and this is true across most measures. Implications for theory and the field of bilingualism in general are discussed.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-108

Cite as: Aldrich, A. (2020) Adult Early-Bilingual Speech Rhythm: Evidence from Spanish and English. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 528-532, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-108.


@inproceedings{Aldrich2020,
  author={Alexander Aldrich},
  title={{Adult Early-Bilingual Speech Rhythm: Evidence from Spanish and English}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={528--532},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-108},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-108}
}