Task-related effects in the prosody of Spanish heritage speakers and long-term immigrants

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We compare the extent to which Spanish heritage speakers and long-term immigrants in the United States differ in their intonation of broad focus declaratives, and propose that the between-group variability is motivated by the specific language learning/literacy conditions of each group. Results from a phonetically balanced reading task and an elicited narrative revealed significant differences between the two groups in their realization of pitch accents in read speech but not in the narratives. These results suggest that less-controlled tasks are more representative of the bilingual status of adult bilinguals, and that metalinguistic tasks, such as reading aloud, should be implemented with caution, crucially among Spanish heritage speakers who are in a semi-diglossic situation in the United States.


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