Homogeneity vs Heterogeneity in Indian English: Investigating Influences of L1 on f0 Range

Olga Maxwell, Elinor Payne, Rosey Billington


We present an exploratory analysis of several long-term distributional measures of f0 range in the speech of university-educated speakers of Indian English from four L1 backgrounds (Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Bengali). The aim of this study is to investigate the degree of homogeneity in Indian English prosody and any similarities between the speakers’ productions in English and their L1. Following recent studies, we examine three aspects of f0 range: pitch level (relative height of habitual f0), pitch span and pitch dynamism. Overall, across varieties, pitch level measures reveal individual speaker differences and only weak L1 effects on max f0 and median f0. Some speakers show higher f0 in their L1 productions compared to their English productions. More robust patterns were found for pitch span and dynamism: for all measures (maximum-minimum f0, pitch dynamism quotient and standard deviation), significant differences were found between L1 and English (p<0.001) for Bengali and Telugu L1 speakers. The relative weakness of L1 effects would suggest a degree of homogeneity in Indian English, at least for the prosodic parameters investigated. Evidence of a shift in pitch span when talking in English, regardless of L1, further suggests a convergent speech variety.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1476

Cite as: Maxwell, O., Payne, E., Billington, R. (2018) Homogeneity vs Heterogeneity in Indian English: Investigating Influences of L1 on f0 Range. Proc. Interspeech 2018, 2191-2195, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1476.


@inproceedings{Maxwell2018,
  author={Olga Maxwell and Elinor Payne and Rosey Billington},
  title={Homogeneity vs Heterogeneity in Indian English: Investigating Influences of L1 on f0 Range},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2018},
  pages={2191--2195},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1476},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1476}
}