Despite the significant impact of prosody on L2 speakers' intelligibility, few studies have examined the production of prosodic cues associated with word segmentation in non-native or non-dominant languages. Here, 62 French-English bilingual adults, who varied in L1 (French or English) and language dominance, produced sentences built around syllable strings that can be produced either as one bisyllabic word or two monosyllabic words. Each participant produced both English and French utterances, providing both native productions (used as reference) and L2 productions. Acoustic analyses of the mean fundamental frequency (F0) and duration of both syllables of the ambiguous string revealed that speakers' relative language dominance affected the speakers' prosodic cue production over and above L1. Speakers also produced different prosodic patterns in English and French, suggesting that the production of prosodic cues associated with word-segmentation is both adaptive (modified by language experience) and selective (specific to each language).
Adaptive and selective production of syllable duration and fundamental frequency as word segmentation cues by French-English bilinguals
Annie C. Gilbert, Max Wolpert, Haruka Saito, Shanna Kousaie, Inbal Itzhak, Shari R. Baum; Adaptive and selective production of syllable duration and fundamental frequency as word segmentation cues by French-English bilinguals. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 December 2019; 146 (6): 4255–4272. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.5134781
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