Quantitative analysis of fundamental frequency in Spanish (L2) and Brazilian Portuguese (L1)

evidence of learning and language attrition

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.20396/joss.v10i00.15779

Keywords:

Bilingualism, Intonation, Spanish L2, Language attrition, Brazilian portuguese L1

Abstract

This paper analyzes the intonation of Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese (BP) produced by monolingual speakers of both languages and bilingual BP speakers that lived in Spain on average for 6 years. Bilinguals produced data in both Spanish L2 (BL2) and BP L1 (BL1). Speech materials are sentences in different modalities (declaratives, yes-no and wh-questions) and reading styles (isolated sentences and storytelling). Fundamental frequency (f0) contours were analyzed to assess learning in Spanish L2 and language attrition in the L1 production of bilinguals. Variability in the f0 contours of the four language conditions was gauged by means of three indices (peak rate, peak range and global standard deviation). Dynamic time warping (DTW) distances between pairs of f0 contours were also measured as a way to measure within- and between-language differences in intonation patterns. The main results are: 1) BL2 and BL1 contours are significantly more variable than the monolingual ones both quantitatively and qualitatively; 2) BL2 contours partially converge towards the patterns of Spanish monolinguals, showing that there is learning; 3) there is evidence for language attrition in the form of transfer of Spanish patterns to BP contours produced by bilinguals; 4) Learning and attrition levels are different depending on sentence modality, such that learning is greater in modalities that differ less between BP and Spanish and attrition is greater in modalities that differ the most.

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Author Biographies

Cristiane Conceição Silva, Federal University of Santa Catarina

PhD in Linguistics by the State University of Campinas. Professor at the Department of Foreign Language and Literature, Federal University of Santa Catarina.

Pablo Arantes, Federal University of São Carlos

PhD in Linguistics by the University of Campinas. Professor at the Department of Arts, Federal University of São Carlos.

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Published

2021-12-08

How to Cite

1.
Silva CC, Arantes P. Quantitative analysis of fundamental frequency in Spanish (L2) and Brazilian Portuguese (L1): evidence of learning and language attrition. J. of Speech Sci. [Internet]. 2021 Dec. 8 [cited 2022 Jun. 29];10(00):e021003. Available from: https://econtents.bc.unicamp.br/inpec/index.php/joss/article/view/15779

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