First language attrition on prosody in a foreign language environment: A speech production study on anaphora resolution

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Abstract

In this study, we explore whether first language (L1) attrition affects the use of prosodic cues in anaphora resolution. 18 late Italian-Swedish bilinguals completed a speech production task in L1 Italian, wherein we measured the inter-clausal pause duration and the pronoun’s degree of prosodic prominence. They also completed a control interpretation task, wherein we analyzed response preferences, to test the status of L1 attrition on anaphora resolution when sentences are not vocalized. Prominence patterns and pause features exhibited by the late bilinguals were compared to those shown by the Italian and Swedish monolinguals, which were investigated in Gargiulo, Tronnier, and Bernardini (2019). The results suggest L1 attrition to affect the use of prosodic cues in anaphora resolution. The attrition rate was influenced by length of residence (LoR): the longer the residence in the foreign language (FL)-environment, the higher the probability of adaptation to the FL-prominence patterns, for most of the prosodic cues.

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Keywords

  • L1 attrition, Prosody, Pronominal anaphora resolution, Speech production
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes