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The Intonation of Polar Questions in North American (“Heritage”) Icelandic

  • Nicole Dehé (a1)


Using map task data, this paper investigates the intonation of polar questions in North American (heritage) Icelandic, and compares it to the intonation of polar questions in Icelandic as spoken in Iceland and in North American English as spoken in Manitoba, Canada. The results show that intonational features typical of Icelandic polar questions are present to a considerable extent in heritage Icelandic. Furthermore, intonational features typical of North American English polar questions can frequently be observed in heritage Icelandic, too. In addition, there is a tendency for intonational features typical of Icelandic polar questions to show up in North American English polar questions produced by speakers of heritage Icelandic more often than in North American English polar questions produced by speakers without Icelandic heritage. Focusing on intonation, the present study adds to the evidence for (bidirectional) prosodic interference between a heritage language (here moribund Icelandic) and the dominant language (here North American English).*


Corresponding author

Universität Konstanz, Fachbereich Sprachwissenschaft, Fach 186, 78457 Konstanz, Germany, []


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