First Language Attrition on Prosody in a Foreign Language Environment

A Speech Production Study on Anaphora Resolution


  • Chiara Gargiulo Lund University
  • Mechtild Tronnier Lund University



L1 attrition, prosody, speech production, pronominal anaphora resolution


In this study, we explore whether first language (L1) attrition affects the use of prosodic cues in anaphora resolution. 18 late Italian–Swedish bilinguals completed a speech production task in L1 Italian, wherein we measured the inter-clausal pause duration and the pronoun’s degree of prosodic prominence. They also completed a control interpretation task, wherein we analysed response preferences, to test the status of L1 attrition on anaphora resolution when sentences are not vocalized. Prominence patterns and pause features exhibited by the late bilinguals were compared to those shown by Italian and Swedish monolinguals investigated in a previous study in 2019. The results suggest L1 attrition to affect the use of prosodic cues in anaphora resolution. The attrition rate was influenced by length of residence (LoR): the longer the residence in the foreign language (FL) environment, the higher the probability of adaptation to the FL prominence patterns, for most of the prosodic cues.

Author Biographies

Chiara Gargiulo, Lund University

First Author

PhD candidate

Department of Italian Studies, Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University (Sweden).

Mechtild Tronnier, Lund University

Second Author


Department of Phonetics, Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University (Sweden).


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How to Cite

Gargiulo, Chiara, and Mechtild Tronnier. 2020. “First Language Attrition on Prosody in a Foreign Language Environment: A Speech Production Study on Anaphora Resolution”. Journal of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 2 (2):219–244.