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Romance Languages

Multilingualism and Language Acquisition

by Anna Gudmundson (Volume editor) Laura Álvarez López (Volume editor) Camilla Bardel (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 181 Pages

Summary

This volume contains a collection of papers that deal with Romance linguistics from two broad perspectives: multilingualism and language acquisition. Some of the contributions investigate these phenomena in the light of language contact, language attitudes and code switching in multilingual societies or multilingual families. Others focus on the acquisition of rhythmic patterns, intonation or even emotions in a second language. Many of the contributions present themes related to oral production or speech. The book in itself is multilingual and includes papers written in Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and English.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction (Anna Gudmundson / Laura Álvarez López / Camilla Bardel)
  • Hablar una lengua románica en el África Luso-Hispana: el caso del español ecuatoguineano y del portugués angoleño (Angela Bartens)
  • Atitudes linguísticas em duas localidades bilíngues do estado do Paraná (Brasil) (Clarice Cristina Corbari)
  • L’acquisizione delle emozioni nell’italiano non-nativo: un percorso didattico longitudinale (Anna De Marco / Patrizia Sorianello / Emanuela Paone)
  • Spagnolo e inglese nel discorso bilingue: il caso di Gibilterra (Eugenio Goria)
  • Rhythmic Differences in L2 Italian (Marilisa Vitale / Anna De Meo)
  • Codeswitching by a Trilingual Child During the First Years of Life (Elizaveta Khachaturyan)
  • Chiedere in italiano: le domande polari e lo sviluppo della competenza prosodica in parlanti cinesi di italiano L2 (Marilisa Vitale / Philippe Boula de Mareüil / Anna De Meo)
  • LIPS: Creating a Learner Corpus (Francesca Gallina)

Anna Gudmundson / Laura Álvarez López /
Camilla Bardel (eds.)

Romance Languages

Multilingualism and Language Acquisition

About the editors

Anna Gudmundson is a researcher and teacher at Stockholm University. Her research concerns second language acquisition and Italian linguistics, with a special interest in morphology, vocabulary learning and the mental lexicon.

Laura Álvarez López is professor of Portuguese at Stockholm University. As a sociolinguist, her research interests encompass language contact, variation and change at all levels of linguistic analysis.

Camilla Bardel is professor of language education at Stockholm University. Her research interests lie within second and third language learning, vocabulary, syntax and pragmatics.

About the book

This volume contains a collection of papers that deal with Romance linguistics from two broad perspectives: multilingualism and language acquisition. Some of the contributions investigate these phenomena in the light of language contact, language attitudes and code switching in multilingual societies or multilingual families. Others focus on the acquisition of rhythmic patterns, intonation or even emotions in a second language. Many of the contributions present themes related to oral production or speech. The book in itself is multilingual and includes papers written in Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and English.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

Anna Gudmundson, Laura Álvarez López, Camilla Bardel

anna.gudmundson@su.se, laura.alvarez@su.se,
camilla.bardel@isd.su.se

Introduction

From the 9th to the 12th of April, 2014, the Ninth GSCP (Gruppo di studi sulla comunicazione parlata) International Conference took place in Sweden, at the universities of Stockholm and Uppsala. As organizers, we were happy to see around one hundred colleagues from different parts of the world coming to Sweden to participate in a few days’ work on the theme of conference: Parler les langues romanes/Parlare le lingue romanze/Hablar las lenguas romances/Falando línguas românicas. The conference focused on spoken varieties of Romance languages, and papers in French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and English on various topics related to oral language were presented. This volume presents a number of selected papers from the conference that are all related multilingualism and language acquisition.

In the first chapter, Hablar una lengua romanica, Angela Bartens compares morphosyntactic structures shared by two emergent Iberoromance varieties used in Africa, of which there are relatively few studies: Spanish in Equatorial Guinea and Portuguese in Angola. The study deals with structures related to agreement patterns, the use of pronouns, definite articles, verb forms, negations, interrogative structures and comparisons of adjectives that do not occur in Standard Peninsular Spanish and Portuguese. The initial hypothesis is that the observed peculiarities are a result of contact with Bantu languages. The results show, however, that mechanisms of second language acquistion appear as another strong candidate for explaining these structures. This is a plausible explanation, given the fact that, due to the relatively recent effective colonization of Equatorial Guinea and Angola, Spanish and Portuguese are second language (L2) varieties for most speakers here.

In the following chapter, Attitudes linguísticas em duas localidades bilíngues do estado do Paraná (Brasil), Clarice Cristina Corbari deals with language attitudes in two communities in Southern Brazil: one that expanded with European migration during the 20th century and one that is situated in the border with neighboring Spanish speaking Argentina. The aim is to study whether the language contact situations in these communities resulted in different language attitudes considering their particular socio-historical and geographical realities.←7 | 8→ Interviews with 18 members from each community are analyzed. Participants were selected according to sex, age group and level of education. Results show positive attitudes towards the heritage languages present in both communities as well as to their speakers. There are, however, manifestations of prejudice by a small portion of the participants, based on culturally constructed stereotypes or mediated by identity issues. Differences between the communities, albeit minor, were contingent on geographical and socio-historical factors related to their formation.

The next chapter is L’acquisizione delle emozioni nell’italiano non-nativo: un percorso didattico longitudinale by Anna De Marco, Patrizia Sorianello and Emanuela Paone. The chapter presents the results from a study on the perception and the expression of emotions in Italian L2, drawn from a small sample of speakers of Russian and Persian. The aim of the study was to verify whether the decoding and expressing of emotions can be problematic for learners of Italian L2, who have a linguistic and cultural background distant from the target. The two groups were given two tests, one recognition test and one production test, of association of utterances to one of several emotions (anger, sadness, happiness, fear, disgust and surprise) or neutrality. Results show that after a pedagogical intervention the two learner groups approached native competence regarding the production and perception of some of the emotions tested. Slight differences were found between the two groups, showing that the Russian group was to some extent advantaged compared to the Persian speakers.

The following chapter is Eugenio Goria’s Spagnolo e inglese nel discorso bilingue: Il caso di Gibilterra. This paper deals with code-switching phenomena in Gibraltarian, focusing on an in-group mixed code, called llanito. The study is based on a corpus that the author has collected and is part of a PhD-thesis to be. The corpus consists in 20 hours of recorded speech, elicited from interviews and different tasks. A clear tendency to use Spanish for discourse-regulating elements (e.g., discourse markers, coordinating conjunctions, topical elements) and English for the core-utterances has been identified. Also insertions of English nouns and periphrastic verbs into Spanish clauses are identified and discussed.

In the next chapter, Rhythmic differences in Italian L2, Marilisa Vitale and Anna De Meo investigate the effect of the rhythmic typology of a first language on the production of the rhythmic pattern of a second language in advanced second language learners. The languages under study represent three different rhythmic types: Italian and Spanish which are syllable-timed, English, which is stress-timed and Japanese which is mora-timed. By calculating the interval←8 | 9→ between two subsequent Vowel Onset Points, the authors hypothesize that native speakers of syllable- and stressed-timed languages adapt to the rhythmic pattern of a second language more easily compared to native speakers of mora-timed languages, and that native speakers of a language with a balanced ratio between vocalic and consonantal components have more difficulties to adjust to a rhythmic pattern that is different from that of their first language. The results are discussed in terms of the Speech Learning Model.

Elizaveta Khachaturyan, in her chapter Codeswitching by a trilingual child during the first years of life, investigates codeswitching in the simultaneous language acquisition of a trilingual child living in Norway. The child was exposed to Italian and Russian from birth (her father being a native speaker of Italian and her mother a native speaker of Russian), and, from age 11 months, also to Norwegian in daycare. The data consist of audio recordings conducted in the child’s home when communicating with her mother who only speaks Russian to her child. The analysis is focused on the age 2 years, 6 months. The results indicate that most verb forms used by the child are in Italian, while pronouns and deictic elements appear mainly in Norwegian. These findings are discussed in light of language specific properties, input frequency and the communicative situation.

In the following chapter, Chiedere in italiano: Le domande polari e lo sviluppo della competenza prosodica in parlanti cinesi di italiano L2, Marilisa Vitale, Philippe Boula de Mareüil and Anna De Meo document a study of the production and the perception of assertions and questions in Italian as L1 and in Italian as L2 of speakers of Chinese. The aim here is to analyse the prosody of Chinese learners at different levels of proficiency. Results show that prosodic competence augments with time, both in the approximation to the target and in the capacity to transmit communicative content. The study also shows that prosody, rather than the articulation of single phonetic segments play a role in native speakers’ perception of foreign accent.

Finally, Francesca Gallina presents and discusses the creation of the oral corpus LIPS (Lexicon of Spoken Italian by Foreigners) in the chapter LIPS: Creating a learner corpus. The LIPS corpus is based on proficiency exams in Italian as an L2 taken at the University for Foreigners of Siena (Università per Stranieri di Siena), and created mainly to enable studies on L2 Italian vocabulary acquisition. The corpus is also organized in a way that facilitates comparisons with equivalent native speaker corpora. Methodological choices related to transcription norms, lemmatization and part-of-speech tagging are discussed and motivated.←9 | 10→

The editors wish to thank all the colleagues who have contributed to this volume, first of all those who have sent in their papers. We also thank those colleagues who kindly accepted to serve as reviewers of the different papers. The reviewers are:

Cecilia Andorno

Petra Bernardini

Biographical notes

Anna Gudmundson (Volume editor) Laura Álvarez López (Volume editor) Camilla Bardel (Volume editor)

Anna Gudmundson is a researcher and teacher at Stockholm University. Her research concerns second language acquisition and Italian linguistics, with a special interest in morphology, vocabulary learning and the mental lexicon. Laura Álvarez López is professor of Portuguese at Stockholm University. As a sociolinguist, her research interests encompass language contact, variation and change at all levels of linguistic analysis. Camilla Bardel is professor of language education at Stockholm University. Her research interests lie within second and third language learning, vocabulary, syntax and pragmatics.

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Title: Romance Languages