Too cautious to vary more? A comparison of pitch variation in native and non-native productions of French and German speakers.

Frank Zimmerer, Jeanin Jügler, Bistra Andreeva, Bernd Möbius, Jürgen Trouvain


This article presents preliminary results indicating that speakers have a different pitch range when they speak a foreign language compared to the pitch variation that occurs when they speak their native language. To this end, a learner corpus with French and German speakers was analyzed. Results suggest that speakers indeed produce a smaller pitch range in the respective L2. This is true for both groups of native speakers. A possible explanation for this finding is that speakers are less confident in their productions, therefore, they concentrate more on segments and words and subsequently refrain from realizing pitch range more native-like. For language teaching, the results suggest that learners should be trained extensively on the more pronounced use of pitch in the foreign language.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-196

Cite as: Zimmerer, F., Jügler, J., Andreeva, B., Möbius, B., Trouvain, J. (2014) Too cautious to vary more? A comparison of pitch variation in native and non-native productions of French and German speakers.. Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014, 1037-1041, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-196.


@inproceedings{Zimmerer2014,
  author={Frank Zimmerer and Jeanin Jügler and Bistra Andreeva and Bernd Möbius and Jürgen Trouvain},
  title={{Too cautious to vary more? A comparison of pitch variation in native and non-native productions of French and German speakers.}},
  year=2014,
  booktitle={Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014},
  pages={1037--1041},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-196},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-196}
}