14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Stress and Length in Learning Latvian

Dace Markus (1), Z. S. Bond (2)

(1) University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia; (2) Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA

Russians learning Latvian have to replace their native stress system with a simpler one, and they have to acquire a new phonological feature, contrastive vowel duration. In this study, the productions of Russians learning Latvian were analyzed both from transcription and from spectrograms. The simple Latvian stress pattern did not pose major problems for Russian learners. When they were pronouncing native Latvian words, Russian learners correctly assigned stress to the initial syllable. When pronouncing words which exist in both languages, Russians tended to preserve their native stress pattern even when speaking Latvian. Russian learners experience great difficulty producing contrastively long and short vowels. Their use of vowel duration interacted with stress assignment.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Markus, Dace / Bond, Z. S. (1999): "Stress and length in learning Latvian", In ICPhS-14, 563-566.