Over the years a great deal of research on the perception and production of foreign ac-cent has focused mainly on segments misarticulation by L2 speakers and on the phonological transfer from L1 to L2. Nevertheless, increasing attention has been recently paid to the contribution of prosody in the perception of foreign accent. In light of this renewed interest, the present research aimed to identify the suprasegmental features that make Chinese accented-Italian perceptively deviating from Italian native speech. In addition it focused on Italian listeners’ reaction times to foreign accent. To the purpose, 16 Chinese learners of L2 Italian, aged between 18-22, with an inter-mediate level of linguistic competence and 2 Italian native speakers were recorded while reading a 50-word text. After that, 56 Italian listeners were asked to rate the degree of accentedness of every speaker using a four-point scale (0= no accent; 1= mild accent; 2= strong accent; 3=very strong accent). Spectro-acoustic analysis was conducted on the cor-pus of L1-L2 Italian and the following rhythmic-prosodic parameters were calculated: ar-ticulation rate speech rate, fluency, tonal range, percentage of silence, mean duration of si-lent pauses. The comparison between the spectro-acoustic analysis and the results of the perception test showed that fluency, tonal range, percentage of silence and disfluences are relevant parameters to differentiate the degree of accentedness. The heavier the accent the lower the tonal range and the fluency and the higher the percentage of silence and disfluencies. As for the listeners’ reaction times to foreign accent, a second perception test, based on the same corpus of the first test was administered to different native listeners who were not familiar with Chinese-accented Italian. The results showed that 5 seconds (on average) are needed to detect the speaker’s provenience. Native listeners instead take longer - more than 10 seconds - to rate the degree of foreign accentedness.

"Quando parlo italiano, capiscono subito che sono straniero" Parametri soprasegmentali e tempi di reazione ai diversi gradi di accento straniero

PELLEGRINO, ELISA
2012

Abstract

Over the years a great deal of research on the perception and production of foreign ac-cent has focused mainly on segments misarticulation by L2 speakers and on the phonological transfer from L1 to L2. Nevertheless, increasing attention has been recently paid to the contribution of prosody in the perception of foreign accent. In light of this renewed interest, the present research aimed to identify the suprasegmental features that make Chinese accented-Italian perceptively deviating from Italian native speech. In addition it focused on Italian listeners’ reaction times to foreign accent. To the purpose, 16 Chinese learners of L2 Italian, aged between 18-22, with an inter-mediate level of linguistic competence and 2 Italian native speakers were recorded while reading a 50-word text. After that, 56 Italian listeners were asked to rate the degree of accentedness of every speaker using a four-point scale (0= no accent; 1= mild accent; 2= strong accent; 3=very strong accent). Spectro-acoustic analysis was conducted on the cor-pus of L1-L2 Italian and the following rhythmic-prosodic parameters were calculated: ar-ticulation rate speech rate, fluency, tonal range, percentage of silence, mean duration of si-lent pauses. The comparison between the spectro-acoustic analysis and the results of the perception test showed that fluency, tonal range, percentage of silence and disfluences are relevant parameters to differentiate the degree of accentedness. The heavier the accent the lower the tonal range and the fluency and the higher the percentage of silence and disfluencies. As for the listeners’ reaction times to foreign accent, a second perception test, based on the same corpus of the first test was administered to different native listeners who were not familiar with Chinese-accented Italian. The results showed that 5 seconds (on average) are needed to detect the speaker’s provenience. Native listeners instead take longer - more than 10 seconds - to rate the degree of foreign accentedness.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11574/63993
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