Phonetic variation of f0 f range in L1 and L2

A comparison between Italian, English and Spanish native and non-native speakers


  • Violetta Cataldo Università degli Studi di Salerno
  • Riccardo Orrico Università degli Studi di Salerno
  • Renata Savy Università degli Studi di Salerno



pitch range, L2 prosody, foreign language learning, transfer, topic


This work was carried out with the purpose of investigating the use of language-specific features of pitch span and level in L2. Different languages were investigated: on the one hand, we analysed productions in L2 Spanish and English, uttered by Italian learners with different proficiency levels; on the other hand, we analysed productions in L2 Italian uttered by Spanish and English speakers. The results show a very heterogeneous situation: to some extent, learners seem to be sensitive to f0 f excursion and modulation of the L2 input they receive; however, these intonational features of Target Language speech: i) are out of non-native speaker’s control, ii) do not affect all the aspects of L2 productions, and iii) present a high degree of inter-speaker variability.




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