Task effect on L2 rhythm production by Cantonese learners of Portuguese

Yuqi Sun, Cong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines L2 Portuguese speech produced by eight native Cantonese speakers from Macao, China. The aims of this study are to investigate (1) whether the speech rhythm in L2 Portuguese is more source-like (more similar to Cantonese) or more target-like (more similar to Portuguese), and (2) whether L2 speech rhythm differs across three different tasks: a reading task, a retelling task, and an interpreting task. Seven rhythm metrics, i.e., %V, ΔC, ΔV, VarcoC, VarcoV, rPVI_C, and nPVI_V, were adopted for comparison and investigation. The results showed that L2 Portuguese rhythm produced by Cantonese speakers differed from L1 Portuguese speakers’ rhythm. R-deletion and vowel epenthesis were the reasons for the variabilities and instabilities of L2 Portuguese production by Cantonese learners, as they affect the duration and the number of vowel intervals and consonantal intervals. Moreover, in Cantonese learners’ L2 Portuguese production, the semi-spontaneous tasks (retelling and interpreting) presented a significant difference from the reading task.

Original languageEnglish
Article number202258943
JournalDELTA Documentacao de Estudos em Linguistica Teorica e Aplicada
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Cantonese
  • Cognitive load
  • L2 rhythm
  • Portuguese
  • Task effect


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