[print]

Sonderforschungsbereich 732:

Project A7-N (2014-2018)

Cross-linguistic interactions in second language prosody

Project team: Prof. Dr. Sabine Zerbian (PI),  Dr. Meg Zellers, Nadja Schauffler 

Student assistants: Yulia Pavlyuchenko, Sabrina Beer, Nicole Stirm

The project aims at contributing to our understanding of L2 prosody by investigating the production and perception of intonation for information structuring in two L2 varieties of English. The varieties under consideration are L2 English with German as L1 and Black South African English (thus, with one of the South African Bantu languages as L1).

On the one hand, the project has the descriptive goal of providing empirical data on prosody used for information structuring, contributing both to language-specific description as well as to cross-linguistic comparison. Cross-linguistic comparison is ensured by following a comparable methodological protocol in data elicitation and analysis in the varieties under investigation.

On the other hand, the project aims at modelling intonational production and processing in L2 prosody. The starting point is the recent claim that there are similarities in segmental and suprasegmental learning (Trofimovich & Baker 2006), an extension of the Speech Learning Model (SLM; Flege 1995). A basic tenet of the SLM is that new category formation, and thus ultimate attainment, is easier between phonological systems that are different from each other than between systems that are similar. Individual studies suggest, though, that this is not the case for intonation related to information structuring. Hence, the first theoretical goal of the project is to test systematically if the SLM also holds for prosody related to information structure.

Second, a model of L2 prosody will be developed, which takes phonological differences in prosodic systems into consideration. Therefore, two L2 varieties of English have been chosen in which the respective L1s have different prosodic systems: the German prosodic system is similar to English with word stress, pitch accents, deaccentuation and boundary tones, whereas South African Bantu languages have a dissimilar prosodic system with lexical and grammatical tone and only boundary tones.

Project proposal

 

Former project members: Dr. Giuseppina Turco (01.08.2014 - 31.08.2015)

Publications

Quaglia, Stefano, and Giuseppina Turco. In press. Prosody in Italian particle verbs: A preliminary study. The 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences Glasgow.

Schauffler, Nadja, Giuseppina Turco, and Petra Augurzky. 2015. Producing multiple contrastive accents in German: Rhythmic and syntactic factors. Proceedings of the ICPhS Glasgow.

Zerbian, Sabine. 2015. Syntactic and prosodic focus marking in contact varieties of South African English. English World-Wide 36(2). pp. 228–258.

Zerbian, Sabine. 2015. Prosodic marking of focus in transitive sentences in varieties of South African English. In: Gut, U., Fuchs, R. & Wunder, E. (eds.) Universal or diverse paths to English Phonology. Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 209-240.

Zerbian, Sabine. 2015. Markedness considerations in L2 Prosodic Focus and Givenness Marking. In: Delais-Roussarie, E., Avanzi, M., Herment, S. (eds.) Prosody and Language in Contact: L2 Acquisition, Attrition and Languages in Multilingual Situations. Berlin: Springer. pp. 7-27.

Presentations

Sabine Zerbian, Giuseppina Turco, Nadja Schauffler and Arndt Riester, 08.10.2015, Universität Marburg: "Speaker- and context-dependent cues in the prosodic marking of contrastive topics in German." (talk at the conference Phonetik und Phonologie im deutschsprachigen Raum)

Nadja Schauffler, 02.10.2015, University of Stuttgart: Poster Presentation "The role of rhythm in the prosodic realisation of focus." (in the context of the workshop on Modeling Variability in Speech)

Giuseppina Turco, Nadja Schauffler, Sabine Zerbian and Arndt Riester, 02.10.2015, University of Stuttgart: Poster Presentation "Speaker- and context-dependent cues in the prosodic marking of contrastive topics in German." (in the context of the workshop on Modeling Variability in Speech)

Nadja Schauffler, Giuseppina Turco and Petra Augurzky, 13.08.2015, Glasgow: Poster Presentation "Multiple contrastive accents in German production: Syntactic and rhythmic factors." (in the context of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences ICPhS)

Nadja Schauffler, 02.12.2014, University of Cologne: "Prosody-inherent factors affecting pitch accent placement - deaccentuation of foci due to pitch accent clashes." (talk at the workshop Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on the Interrelation of Syntax, Semantics and Prosody.)

Sabine Zerbian, 13.11.2014, University of Mannheim: "Focus marking in varieties of South African English." (invited talk)

Giuseppina Turco and Elisabeth Delais-Roussarie, 14.-18.09.2014, Singapore: "A crosslinguistic and acquisitional perspective on French intonational rises." (talk presentation at the 15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, Interspeech)

Activities

22.03. - 23.03.2016: Workshop on Prosody and Information Structure (PINS) at the University of Stuttgart, more information here

11.12.2015: Workshop on Rhythm in Language at the University of Stuttgart, more information here

01.10.- 02.10.2015: Organizing Committee Workshop on Modeling Variability in Speech at the University of Stuttgart, more information here

03.09.- 18.09.2015: Data collection, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

03.07. - 16.07.2015: Guest Khutso Matlou (University of the Witwatersrand) on Sepedi phonology

14.05. - 30.06.2015: John Scott (Indiana University) on an MGK-fellowship for cooperation on L2 phonology

18.03. - 23.03.2015: Data collection, pilot "Phoneme detection in Sepedi and South African Englishes", University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

21.11. - 22.11.2014: Guest Isabelle Darcy (Indiana University) in the context of the workshop "Linguistic and psycholinguistic studies in L2 phonology"

 

Workshop on L2 Phonology at the University of Stuttgart, 21./22.11.2014; more information here