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Auteur: Yoon Mi OH

Co-Auteur(s): Christophe COUPÉ, Laboratoire Dynamique Du Langage, Université de Lyon, France François PELLEGRINO, Laboratoire Dynamique Du Langage, Université de Lyon, France

Effect of Bilingualism on Speech Rate: the Case of Catalan and Basque Bilinguals in Spain

Abstract/Résumé: The present study examines whether bilingual speakers' acquisition of a second language (L2) phonologically distant from their first language (L1) influences their speech rate. Basque, Catalan and Spanish are languages which have phonological repertories with different phonemes and syllable structures, not to mention prosodic differences. We compared the SR of Spanish uttered by 8 Spanish monolinguals (SM), 10 Catalan-Spanish bilinguals (CSB) and 10 Basque-Spanish bilinguals (BSB). 5 male and 5 female bilingual speakers were recorded respectively in Catalan and Basque. Our participants were asked to read aloud 20 short texts, each one consisting of 3-5 sentences, at normal speech rate. The texts were translated from British English into Basque, Catalan and Spanish with some modifications when necessary in order to make sentences sound more natural in each language. According to the results, the average SR of Spanish of BSBs and that of CSBs are significantly lower than that of SMs (SRBSB= 7.43, SRCSB=7.69, SRSM=7.79). When looking at the individual differences between SR of Spanish and that of Basque and Catalan: i) in the case of Catalan, 4 Spanish-dominant CSBs show a bigger difference between SRs of Spanish and Catalan compared to the other 6 Catalan-dominant CSBs. ii) as for the case of Basque, 8 speakers are Basque-dominant and the other 2 speakers are equally fluent bilinguals. In this case, the degree of difference between SRs of Spanish and Basque is not significant whether the speaker is Basque-dominant or not, which means that there is no difference between the result of Basque-dominant and that of equally fluent BSBs. Our result demonstrates that the SR of Spanish (whether it is L1 or L2 of bilingual speakers) is influenced by bilingualism. This result of SR is closely connected to the daily language practice of the participants according to their social and economic needs at work, at home, etc. For further research on bilingualism, we plan to compare the SR of Chinese-Korean or Chinese-Japanese bilinguals with that of Chinese, Japanese or Korean monolinguals in order to prove and confirm our result.