Andreeva, Bistra; Dimitrova, Snezhina

The influence of L1 prosody on Bulgarian-accented German and English

Proc. Speech Prosody 2022, pp. 764-768, Lisbon, 2022.

The present study investigates L2 prosodic realizations in the readings of two groups of Bulgarian informants: (a) with L2 German, and (b) with L2 English. Each group consisted of ten female learners, who read the fable “The North Wind and the Sun” in their L1 and in the respective L2. We also recorded two groups of female native speakers of the target languages as controls. The following durational parameters were obtained: mean accented syllable duration, accented/naccented duration ratio, speaking rate. With respect to F0 parameters, mean, median, minimum, maximum, span in semitones, and standard deviations per IP were measured. Additionally, we calculated the number of accented and unaccented syllables, IPs and pauses in each reading. Statistical analyses show that the two groups differ in their use of F0. Both groups use higher standard deviation and level in their L2, whereas the ‘German group’ use higher pitch span as well. The number of accented syllables, IPs and pauses is also higher in L2. Regarding duration, both groups use slower articulation rate. The accented/unaccented syllable duration ratio is lower in L2 for the ‘English group’. We also provide original data on speaking rate in Bulgarian from an information theoretical perspective.