Chapter published in:Lost in Transmission: The role of attrition and input in heritage language development
Edited by Bernhard Brehmer and Jeanine Treffers-Daller
[Studies in Bilingualism 59] 2020
► pp. 230–253
The Frequency Code and gendered attrition and acquisition in the German-English heritage language community in Vancouver, Canada
The paper investigates pitch level and span in a group of German L1-English L2 late bilinguals in comparison to two monolingual control groups. The late bilinguals had moved to Vancouver, Canada in adulthood, and had been living in Vancouver for an average of 40 years. The results indicate that the bilingual males increased their pitch in both English and German, and widened their pitch span, therefore indexing non-aggressive, friendly behaviour, but deviating from both monolingual pitch norms. Thus, the results offer evidence that pitch changes are at least in part dependent on the social and political environment in which they are embedded, as a low pitch level is associated with dominance and aggression which would boost the negative image of the Vancouver German community due to their ethnic origin after WWII.
Keywords: German, L1 attrition, prosody, pitch, Frequency Code, social significance
Published online: 29 May 2020
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