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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Learning Second Language Suprasegmentals: Effect of L2 experience on prosody and fluency characteristics of L2 speech
Author: Pavel Trofimovich
Institution: Concordia University
Wendy Baker
Institution: Brigham Young University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonology
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This study examines effects of short, medium, and extended second language (L2) experience (3 months, 3 years, and 10 years of United States residence, respectively) on the production of five suprasegmentals (stress timing, peak alignment, speech rate, pause frequency, and pause duration) in six English declarative sentences by 30 adult Korean learners of English and 10 adult native English speakers. Acoustic analyses and listener judgments were used to determine how accurately the suprasegmentals were produced and to what extent they contributed to foreign accent. Results revealed that amount of experience influenced the production of one suprasegmental (stress timing), whereas adult learners' age at the time of first extensive exposure to the L2 (indexed as age of arrival in the United States) influenced the production of others (speech rate, pause frequency, pause duration). Moreover, it was found that suprasegmentals contributed to foreign accent at all levels of experience and that some suprasegmentals (pause duration, speech rate) were more likely to do so than others (stress timing, peak alignment). Overall, results revealed similarities between L2 segmental and suprasegmental learning.


This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 28, Issue 1.

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