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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

LingLunch - Phonetic attrition in L1 speech of late Czech-French bilinguals and extralinguistic factors

When: Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Where: Online: https://qmul-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/86866738540,

Speaker: Marie Hevrova

We have the pleasure to welcome Marie Hevrova (Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès) who will give a talk about her recent research:

The study concerns phonetic attrition of the first language (L1) affected by the second language (L2) use in Czech L1 speakers living in Toulouse, France (hereafter late Czech-French bilinguals - CF). Many extralinguistic factors are supposed to be responsible for the occurrence of phonetic L1 attrition, for example the length of residence (LoR) in L2 country and L1 use. This study examines potential relationships between extralinguistic factors and phonetic attrition in the L1 speech of 17 late Czech-French bilinguals. Thanks to the data obtained from L1 speech recordings of CF and the questionnaire they completed, we analysed the correlations between 9 extralinguistic independent variables, 1 perceptual dependent variable and 5 acoustic dependent variables. As extralinguistic variables we had LoR, amount of L1 use and L2 use, frequency of L1 use, amount of code-switching, identity preference, contact with L1, L2 speaking and comprehension proficiency. Our perceptual variable was obtained from a foreign pronunciation rating test. The first acoustic variable concerned the rising intonation in L1. The second indicated how much a speaker used a typical L2 hesitation marker. The other acoustic variables concerned F1 of selected vowels. Results showed statistically significant correlations between L2 use, identity preference and L2 proficiency and the perceptual variable, and the correlation of L2 use and identity preference with F1 frequency of [ɛː] in the reading task (but not in spontaneous speech). It may be supposed that we found the significant correlations of variables concerning L2 and not L1 because our perceptual and acoustic variables describe the influence of L2 on L1 rather than the phonetic phenomena showing the L1 disuse. It might also be that the correlation between frequency of L1 use and the perceptual and acoustic variables wasn’t found because the speakers’ answers to the question concerning frequency of L1 use were quite homogenous. Nevertheless, the results concerning amount of L1 use, amount of code-switching and contact with L1 cannot be explained similarly because of very heterogeneous answers to the questions concerning these variables.