Acquisition of L2 prosody features and individual differences: the role of L1 use and musical training - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2016

Acquisition of L2 prosody features and individual differences: the role of L1 use and musical training

Mariapaola d'Imperio


During the process of second language acquisition, the only basis on which the learner will be able to build the new system of the second language (L2) is that of her mother tongue (L1). Consequently, the main features of native-language prosody might manifest themselves in L2 production as a result of a transfer from L1 to L2. Specifically, this L1 linguistic transfer is the manifestation of the foreign accent phenomenon (FA), which can be seen as pervasive L1 segmental and prosodic features that are acquired very soon after birth. Among those features, the early-acquired rhythmic properties of the L1 might shape some of those patterns in the L2. Hence, we here investigate the impact of Italian L1 stress features on the realization and direct imitation of French L2 rhythmical patterns, in a production/perception study. Though French and Italian belong to the same language family, there are typologically very different from a prosodic point of view. In fact, French places the accent at the phrasal level and specifically on the last syllable of Accentual Phrase (AP, Jun & Fougeron 2000, 2002). It is the last syllable of the AP that has the longest duration in French, while in Italian the domain of stress implementation it the prosodic word, with a preference for penultimate stress (D'Imperio and Rosenthal, 1999). Hence, we expect that the longest duration with which stress is implemented in Italian will show on the penultimate syllable in the AP in L2 French. Our main hypothesis is hence that the degree of foreign accent (FA) of Italian speakers of L2 French might also be a dirent consequence of rhythmic errors relative to primary stress realization and boundary related phenomena. Moreover, apart from language-specific differences between L1 and L2, a number of indexical factors, as well as L1/L2 use in everyday life can have an impact on L2 production [4]. In fact, if we predict, as in [4], that the development of new phonetic categories within the L2 might be slowed down by the continuative use of L1, causing various degrees of FA, our second hypothesis is that Italian speakers presenting high scores of L1 use would show duration values for the penultimate syllable of the their L1. In order to test our hypotheses, we employed the Imitation Paradigm to study, in production, how rhythm phonetic detail can be rapidly modified in the interest to imitate the rhythmic structure of a different language. In the course of the talk, I will discuss notions related to the AM framework and the Imitation Paradigm, with data from Singapore and American English, as well as mentioning recent results in ERP showing an L2 learning advantage for musicians relative to non-musicians.
No file

Dates and versions

hal-01462237 , version 1 (08-02-2017)


  • HAL Id : hal-01462237 , version 1


Mariapaola d'Imperio. Acquisition of L2 prosody features and individual differences: the role of L1 use and musical training. Convegno Associazione Italiana Scienze della Voce (AISV 2016), Jan 2016, Salerno, Italy. non paginé. ⟨hal-01462237⟩
307 View
0 Download


Gmail Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More