Prosodic transfer in Vietnamese acquisition of English contrastive stress patterns

Nguyen, T. Anh-Thu, Ingram, John C. L. and Pensalfini, Rob J. (2008) Prosodic transfer in Vietnamese acquisition of English contrastive stress patterns. Journal of Phonetics, 36 1: 158-190. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2007.09.001

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Author Nguyen, T. Anh-Thu
Ingram, John C. L.
Pensalfini, Rob J.
Title Prosodic transfer in Vietnamese acquisition of English contrastive stress patterns
Journal name Journal of Phonetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0095-4470
Publication date 2008-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.wocn.2007.09.001
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 36
Issue 1
Start page 158
End page 190
Total pages 33
Editor Stefan A. Frisch
Place of publication London, England
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Subject C1
200408 Linguistic Structures (incl. Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)
200322 Comparative Language Studies
200404 Laboratory Phonetics and Speech Science
Abstract This paper reports a study of prosodic transfer effects in the production and perception of three English stress patterns (broad-focus noun phrase, narrow-focus noun phrase and compound) at the level of word and phrase prosody by Vietnamese learners of English. The experiments examined the acoustic features and the perceptual strategies that native Australian English speakers and different groups of non-native speakers (Vietnamese beginning learners and advanced speakers of English) use to distinguish the three stress patterns. The results showed that native speakers and non-native speakers differ in their use of acoustic patterns which are optimally suited to their respective first language phonologies for realizing the three English stress patterns. Native speakers of English employed a combination of syntagmatic f0 (and correlated intensity) contrasts and duration in distinguishing the three stress patterns. Vietnamese speakers had no problem in manipulating contrastive levels of f0 and intensity on accent-bearing syllables but failed to realize the timing contrast between compound words and phrases and the syntagmatic contrast of accent in larger units such as polysyllabic words or phrases, as evidenced by their failure to deaccent the second element of the compound and narrow-focus patterns. Nevertheless, the advanced speakers’ ability to compress the constituents of the compounds and to deaccent the final nouns shows the effect of language learning/experience on prosodic acquisition. Possible mechanisms that underlie the transfer effects involved in three stress patterns are also discussed.
Keyword Prosodic transfer effects
English stress patterns
Word and phrase prosody
Vietnamese learners
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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