Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing
(ICSLP 2000)

Beijing, China
October 16-20, 2000

Acquisition of Second Language Intonation

Sun-Ah Jun (1), Mira Oh (2)

(1) Dept. of Linguistics, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2) Dept. of East Asian Lgs. & Cultures, UCLA and Dept. of English, Yeojoo Institute of Technology, Korea

Foreign accents in second language (L2) production are caused by interference from the phonological system and phonetic realization of the speakerís first language (L1), including both segmental and prosodic features. This paper examines the intonation structure of Seoul Korean and its realization by American English speakers. Four English speakers of Korean, differing in fluency, and two Korean speakers participated in the experiment. Forty sentences were designed to test the realization of intonation patterns by varying the number of syllables within a word and a sentence, and by varying the conditions for the segment-tone interaction. Results show that, as with segmental data, more advanced L2 speakers produce more native-like intonation patterns and prosodic structure than less advanced speakers. However, although advanced L2 speakers are better at grouping words into phrases, they are not better at producing surface tonal realizations of an accentual phrase than less advanced speakers. This suggests that phonological properties of intonation are acquired earlier than phonetic properties of intonation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Jun, Sun-Ah / Oh, Mira (2000): "Acquisition of second language intonation", In ICSLP-2000, vol.4, 73-76.