Mary Baltazani (University of Oxford)
Olga Maxwell (University of Melbourne)
Elinor Payne (University of Oxford)
Workshop website: https://provar2021.com/
Summary description/ Workshop motivation
Our motivation for co-organising this workshop stems from our on-going research into different aspects of prosody in multilingual settings from a synchronic and diachronic perspective and our desire to bring together researchers working on different aspects of this field to exchange research findings and discuss broader, cross-cutting questions and ideas. It builds on a flourishing interest in this area of research, as evidenced by the success of special sessions on closely-related topics, namely “Prosody in Language Contact” (Speech Prosody 2012) and “Prosody of New Englishes” (ICPhS 2019). We anticipate high interest in participating in/attending the workshop.
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.
● Lend focus to an exciting emerging area in speech prosody, enabling discussion of cross-cutting themes and theoretical and methodological challenges.
● Help establish a research community with a common frame of reference for this area, by bringing together established, early career and postgraduate researchers working on different aspects of prosody in multilingual settings.
● Generate general theoretical interest with respect to the phenomenon of contact prosody, both synchronically and diachronically, and contribute to our understanding of prosodic typology more generally (Jun, 2014; Gussenhoven, 2014).
● Advance our understanding of prosody in multilingual environments, and the dynamics of speech in complex and evolving communities.
Professor Carlos Gussenhoven, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands and National Chiao Tung University (Hsinchu), Taiwan