14thAnnual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Lyon, France
August 25-29, 2013

Production of Estonian Quantity Contrasts by Native Speakers of Finnish

Einar Meister, Lya Meister

Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia

Estonian and Finnish are closely related languages both exploiting duration cues contrastively; however, the quantity systems in the two languages are different. The Estonian quantity system involves three contrastive patterns referred to as short (Q1), long (Q2) and overlong (Q3) quantity degrees. These contrasts are manifested by a complex interaction of durational and tonal cues in a disyllabic foot. In Finnish, the quantity contrast is binary and phonologically clearly segmental. Research has shown that L2 subjects with Finnish language background failed to produce the Estonian Q2 vs. Q3 contrast in vowel-peaked structures (CVVCV vs. CVV:CV) not distinguished in the orthography. In order to test the effect of L2 orthographic input on L2 pronunciation target words involving consonantpeaked quantity contrast (CVCCV vs. CVC:CV) have been used in the current study; in the case of plosives between the first and second syllable vowels, the quantity contrast is manifested orthographically. The results confirm the role of L2 orthographic input in L2 pronunciation . in the case of target words with plosives L2 subjects produced different patterns for Q2 and Q3 structures, but not in the case of target words with non-plosives.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Meister, Einar / Meister, Lya (2013): "Production of estonian quantity contrasts by native speakers of Finnish", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 330-334.