The Prosodic Expression of Sarcasm vs. Sincerity by Heritage Speakers of Spanish
Motivated by existing research gaps exploring heritage Spanish, the current study analyzes the prosodic manifestation of sarcasm versus sincerity in 19 English-dominant, English-Spanish bilinguals residing in the Midwest region of the USA. In order to explore cross-generational effects and source input varieties, a subset of participants from within the same family was analyzed, including their Spanish-dominant, adult immigrant parents, but only for Spanish. Participants produced sarcastic and sincere utterances in response to contextualized stimuli in both English and Spanish. Data were analyzed for f0 mean, f0 range, and speech rate using Praat. A linear mixed-effects analysis examined the main and interactive effects of language, language dominance, gender, bilingual type, place of birth, and age on sarcasm and sincerity. Results show that sincere speech is faster than sarcastic speech and that speakers have a higher speech rate when speaking English as compared to Spanish. Results show that sincere speech is faster than sarcastic speech and that speakers have a higher speech rate when speaking English compared to Spanish. Results also indicate that the effect of attitude on speech rate can be modified by age, and that the effect of language on speech rate can be modified by age, gender, and dominance, as well as a two-way interactive effect of attitude and language on speech rate. Speaking in Spanish yields a higher f0 mean and range. Results also indicate two-way interactive effects of attitude and bilingual type, and language and dominance on f0 mean and range, as well as a three-way interactive effect of attitude, language, and age on f0 mean. In terms of intrafamilial findings, parents and their adult children pattern the same way in Spanish with respect to speech rate and f0, highlighting the role of source input variety. These results expand our knowledge of how different language experiences and sociolinguistic variables influence prosodic outcomes in heritage speakers of Spanish in the USA.
Rao, R., Ye, T., & Butera, B. (2022). The Prosodic Expression of Sarcasm vs. Sincerity by Heritage Speakers of Spanish. Languages, 7 (1) https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7010017