12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

Acquisition of Timing Patterns in Second Language

Mikhail Ordin (1), Leona Polyanskaya (1), Christiane Ulbrich (2)

(1) Universität Bielefeld, Germany
(2) University of Ulster, UK

The paper presents an analysis of speech rhythm development in second language. 51 German learners of English with varying degrees of proficiency were recorded producing 33 identical sentences of quasi-spontaneous speech. Durational characteristics of syllables, consonantal and vocalic intervals were calculated to allow for analysis of timing patterns on different proficiency levels. We found that 1) durational characteristics in second language depend on the proficiency level of the speaker and can be modeled to predict the proficiency level of the language learner; 2) durational characteristics become more consistent throughout the progress of second language mastery; 3) multiple rhythms operate on multiple timescales.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ordin, Mikhail / Polyanskaya, Leona / Ulbrich, Christiane (2011): "Acquisition of timing patterns in second language", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 1129-1132.