LINGUIST List 20.2433|
Wed Jul 08 2009
Diss: Phonetics: Ploquin: 'Phonological Issues in the Production of...'
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Phonological Issues in the Production of Prosody by Francophone and Sinophone Learners of English as a Second Language
Message 1: Phonological Issues in the Production of Prosody by Francophone and Sinophone Learners of English as a Second Language
From: Marie Ploquin <ploquin.marieuqam.ca>
Subject: Phonological Issues in the Production of Prosody by Francophone and Sinophone Learners of English as a Second Language
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Institution: Université du Québec à Montréal
Program: Ph.D. in Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2009
Author: Marie Ploquin
Dissertation Title: Phonological Issues in the Production of Prosody by Francophone and Sinophone Learners of English as a Second Language
Subject Language(s): English (eng)
Accented non-native speech can lead to a lack of comprehension or to the
perception of various degrees of foreignness. Prosody, which is now
recognized as an important element of accented speech, has been relatively
unexplored in second language studies. This contrasts with the growing
interest of research on first language prosody.
In this thesis, phonological research is evaluated for its significance to
research in second language prosody. Two aspects of phonological theory are
investigated: typology and phonological organization. This choice was
driven by the belief that prosodic foreignness is due to one of two
factors: a difference of typological class of L1 and L2 and a transfer of
L1 prosodic features.
The review of research on phonological typology led to the conclusion that,
at this stage, no prosodic classification model can be applied to L2
acquisition. More specifically, the investigation shows that some
typologies, particularly Pike's stress-time and syllable-time theory,
should be dismissed as they hinder progress in research in second language
acquisition of prosody.
The second aspect of phonological theory investigated in this thesis is
phonological organization. The premise is that differences at the
underlying prosodic organization level rather than at the surface feature
level are transferred from L1 to L2. The thorough analyses of North
American English, French and Standard Chinese yield important
organizational differences between North American English and the other two
languages. Some of these differences are tested with four experiments.
English prosody by native speakers of French is analyzed in rhythmically
simple sentences and in rhythmically more complex sentences. The results
show that lexical stress is less of an issue than supra-lexical prosodic
stress. Specifically, early and late AP (accentual phrase) rises are shown
to be erroneously transferred from French to English prosody. However, the
study also shows that, while this error is noticed by native speakers of
English, it does not affect their perception of stress placement.
English prosody, as produced by native speakers of Chinese, is analyzed in
terms of tone transfer and peak alignment. The results provide strong
evidence that speakers of Chinese use Chinese tones when producing English
pitch accents; in particular, for the vast majority of subjects, tone 2
(the rising tone) is implemented when producing English rising pitch
accents. The final experiment reveals that Chinese speakers tend to be
stricter in the alignment of pitch accents with the corresponding stressed
syllables than North American English speakers.
The results of this thesis provide insights into L2 prosodic competence
progression and native speakers' perception of L2 prosody. The findings
have implications in pedagogical content and format of pronunciation training.
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