Phonetic characteristics of Italian spoken by Romanians in Calabria

Reflections on rhythm and vocalic and consonant length




L2 Italian, L1 Romanian, prosody, rhythmic competence, vowel and consonantal length


The present work aimed to explore some suprasegmental features of L2 Italian of Romanian immigrants residing in Calabria region (southern Italy), compared with L1 Romanian. For the experimental analysis, a model based on two parameters was used, the percentage of vowel portion (%V) and the average value of the interval between two consecutive vowel onsets (VtoV). The analysis focused on the rhythmic-prosodic aspects, with particular attention to the vowel and consonantal length. As for L2 Italian, the results highlight how it has rhythmic characteristics different from both the target language and the mother tongue, thus excluding the possibility of a transfer. Furthermore, the data show how the lack of constant use of the mother tongue also creates changes on the rhythmic-prosodic level in one’s L1.