L2 Pronunciation Accuracy and Context: A Pilot Study on the Realization of Geminates in Italian as L2 by French Learners

Sonia d’Apolito, Barbara Gili Fivela


This paper investigates the interaction between the characteristics of both L1 and L2 phonetic-phonological systems and how the context, in terms of the amount of information available (less vs more information), may influence the accuracy in producing L2 sounds as well as speech fluency. Specifically, it focuses on how French learners of Italian as L2, representing two different competence levels (lower and higher), realize geminates (non-native sounds) in two different contexts (less and more rich). A rich context is expected to induce lower accuracy. Acoustic data of nine subjects (three beginners, three advanced and three natives as control) were collected and analyzed in order to observe: 1) the realization of geminates (duration of the consonant and preceding vowel as an index of accuracy); and 2) the speech fluency (number and duration of disfluencies; speech/articulation rate). Results suggest that learners’ productions are affected by L1, above all in the case of beginners, who show a lower degree of accuracy. As regards the accuracy and context interaction, results show that the production of geminates is more accurate (longer duration) in poor than in rich context. Further, a higher number of disfluencies is found in rich than in poor context.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2934

Cite as: d’Apolito, S., Fivela, B.G. (2019) L2 Pronunciation Accuracy and Context: A Pilot Study on the Realization of Geminates in Italian as L2 by French Learners. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 1706-1710, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2934.


@inproceedings{d’Apolito2019,
  author={Sonia d’Apolito and Barbara Gili Fivela},
  title={{L2 Pronunciation Accuracy and Context: A Pilot Study on the Realization of Geminates in Italian as L2 by French Learners}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={1706--1710},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2934},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2934}
}