The production of Estonian quantity degrees by Spanish L1 speakers

Katrin Leppik, Pärtel Lippus, Eva Liina Asu


This paper analyses the production of Estonian quantity degrees by Spanish learners. Estonian has an intricate three-way quantity system that combines durational and tonal features. It has been shown to be challenging for Estonian L2 learners to master this system and in particular the distinction between the long (Q2) and overlong (Q3) quantity degrees. This study is based on data from 22 native speakers of Spanish who participated in a reading task. The reading task consisted of 81 sentences including CV(ːː)CV structured test words. The analysis focused on vowel duration, syllable ratios and F0. The effect of length of residence was taken into account while interpreting the results. The results show that Spanish L1 speakers have two rather than three categories. Most striking in their production is the overlap of Q2 and Q3 degrees. The results of this study support previous findings of Estonian L2 production and are in line with the Feature Hypothesis which suggests that contrasts that are not present in L1 are difficult to produce in L2.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-180

Cite as: Leppik, K., Lippus, P., Asu, E.L. (2020) The production of Estonian quantity degrees by Spanish L1 speakers. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 881-885, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-180.


@inproceedings{Leppik2020,
  author={Katrin Leppik and Pärtel Lippus and Eva Liina Asu},
  title={{The production of Estonian quantity degrees by Spanish L1 speakers}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={881--885},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-180},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-180}
}