Over the past three decades, extensive attention has been given to the prosody of a wide range of languages and language varieties, for monolingual contexts, e.g. English (Grabe, Kochanski & Coleman, 2005; Fletcher, Grabe & Warren, 2005), French (Welby, 2006; D’Imperio & Michelas, 2014), Arabic (Chahal & Hellmuth, 2014). The scope of these studies has been very wide-ranging, exploring diverse prosodic phenomena, including tonal inventories, tunes, and alignment, rhythm and timing, information structure and focus, and beyond (e.g. Jun & Furgeron, 2002; Dilley, 2010). Considerable attention has also been given to prosodic variation arising from simultaneous contact of two or more languages, in individuals, e.g. in bilinguals and in L2 acquisition (e.g. Mennen, 2004; Queen, 2012; O’Rourke, 2012; Romera & Elordieta, 2013; Rijswijk & Muntendam, 2014; Simonet, 2010; Lai & Gooden, 2018). However, contact phenomena also occur at the collective level of interaction, i.e. within multilingual speech communities. Given these are arguably more numerous, globally, than monolingual communities, the impact of multilingualism on prosodic variation is of high theoretical importance, and is ripe for thematic consideration by scholars.
Firstly, variation arising from language contact poses questions regarding theoretical approaches to the study of ‘a particular language’, and the suitability of traditionally applied categories. For example, recent studies have shown that post-colonial varieties of English and French have developed their own prosodic systems as a result of contact with typologically distinct languages (Gut, 2005; Zerbian, 2015; Payne & Maxwell 2018). Varieties may cross into a new typological category, for instance, with Singapore (Lim, 2009), Cantonese and Nigerian English (Gussenhoven, 2014), and Central African French (Bordal, 2013) described as containing tonal systems. Where cross-linguistic influences are multiple, as e.g. with Indian English, there may be substantial forces engendering heterogeneity, but also socially-driven factors promoting convergence (Maxwell & Payne, forthcoming). This complex interplay of influences raises questions about methodological approaches to the study of prosody in these varieties.
Secondly, from the perspective of diachrony, it is unclear (a) how prosodic effects of contact evolve and (b) whether and how fast these are attrited due to the dominant language influence once the contact situation has ended. For example, prosodic characteristics that have survived in the recipient language for decades, even centuries, after the end of contact, have been reported in: Buenos Aires Spanish, influenced by contact with Italian in the 1850s (Colantoni & Gurlekian, 2004); Asia Minor Greek after the end of contact with Turkish in 1923 (Baltazani, Przedlacka & Coleman, 2019a, b); Frenchville, Pennsylvania English after the end of contact with French in the 1830s (Bullock, 2009). Often the contact-induced prosodic patterns co-occur with corresponding patterns from the dominant language (Bullock 2009), but with distinct pragmatic uses. The theoretical interest of the diachrony of intonation is self-evident not only on its own merit, but also as a means of accounting for prosodic cross-dialectal variation and the typology of intonation more generally.
Baltazani, M., Przedlacka, J., & Coleman, J. (2019a). Greek in contact: A historical-acoustic investigation of Asia Minor Greek intonational patterns. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Modern Greek Dialects and Linguistic Theory.
Baltazani, M., Przedlacka, J., & Coleman, J. (2019b). Intonation in contact: Asia Minor Greek and Turkish. In S. Calhoun, P. Escudero, M. Tabain & P. Warren (Eds.) Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia 2019 (pp. 2841-2845). Canberra, Australia: Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.
Bordal, G. (2013). Traces of the lexical tone system of Sango in Central African French. In E. Delais-Roussarie, M. Avanzi & S. Herment (Eds.) Prosody and Language in Contact (pp. 29-50). Berlin: Springer.
Bullock, B. E. (2009). Prosody in contact in French: A case study from a heritage variety in the USA. International Journal of Bilingualism, 13(2), 165–194. https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006909339817.
Chahal, D., & Hellmuth, S. (2014). Comparing the intonational phonology of Lebanese and Egyptian Arabic. In S.-A. Jun (Ed.) Prosodic typology 2: The phonology of intonation and phrasing (pp. 365-404). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Colantoni, L., & Gurlekian, J. (2004). Convergence and intonation: Historical evidence from Buenos Aires Spanish. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 7(2), 107-119.
Dilley, L. C. (2010). Pitch range variation in English tonal contrasts: Continuous or categorical? Phonetica, 67(1-2), 63-81.
D’Imperio, M., & Michelas, A. (2014). Pitch scaling and the internal structuring of the Intonation Phrase in French. Phonology, 31(1), 95-122.
Grabe, E., Kochanski, G., & Coleman, J. (2005). The intonation of native accent varieties in the British Isles: Potential for miscommunication? In K. Dziubalska-Kolaczyk & J. Przedlacka (Eds.), English pronunciation models: A changing scene (pp. 311-337). Bern: Peter Lang.
Gussenhoven, C. (2014). On the intonation of tonal varieties of English. In M. Filppula, J. Klemola & D. Sharma (Eds). The Oxford Handbook of World Englishes online. Online Publication. Date: Dec 2014.
Gut, U. (2005). Nigerian English prosody. English World-Wide: A Journal of Varieties of English, 26(2), 153–177.
Fletcher, J., Grabe, E., & Warren, P. (2005). Intonational variation in four dialects of English: The high rising tone. In S.-A. Jun (Ed.) Prosodic typology: The phonology of intonation and phrasing (pp. 390-409). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Jun, S.-A., & Fougeron, C. (2002). Realisations of accentual phrase in French intonation. Probus, 14(1), 147-172.
Jun, S.-A. (2014). Prosodic typology: by prominence type, word prosody and macrorhythm. In S.-A. Jun (Ed.) Prosodic typology 2: The phonology of intonation and phrasing (pp. 520-539). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Lai, L.-F., & Gooden, S. (2018). Intonation in Contact: Mandarin Influence in Yami. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody, 952-956.
Lim, L. (2009). Revisiting English prosody: (Some) New Englishes as tone languages? In L. Lim & N. Gisborne (Eds.) The Typology of Asian Englishes Special Issue, English World-Wide 30(2), 218-239.
Lim, L., & Ansaldo, U. (2015). Languages in Contact (Key Topics in Sociolinguistics). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781139019743.
Maxwell, O., & Payne, E. (forthcoming). Investigating (rhythm) variation in Indian English: An integrated approach. In R. Fuchs (Ed.) Speech rhythm in L1, L2 and Learner Varieties of English. Berlin: Springer.
Mennen, I. (2004). Bi-directional interference in the intonation of Dutch speakers of Greek. J. Phon., 32, 543–563.
O’Rourke, E. (2012). The realization of contrastive focus in Peruvian Spanish intonation. Lingua, 122(5), 494–510.
Payne, E., & Maxwell, O. (2018). Durational variability as a marker of prosodic structure in Indian English(es). Speech Prosody 2018, 13-16 June, Poznan, Poland.
Queen, R. (2012). Turkish-German bilinguals and their intonation: Triangulating evidence about contact induced language change. Language 88(4), 791-816.
Rijswijk, R., & Muntendam, A. (2014). The prosody of focus in the Spanish of Quechua-Spanish bilinguals: A case study on noun phrases. International Journal of Bilingualism, 18, 614-632.
Romera, M., & Elordieta, G. (2013). Prosodic accommodation in language contact: Spanish intonation in Majorca. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 221, 127-151.
Simonet, M. (2010). A contrastive study of Catalan and Spanish declarative intonation: Focus on Majorcan dialects. Probus 22, 117-148.
Image: “barcelona” by kygp is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0