Second Language
Online ISSN : 2187-0047
Print ISSN : 1347-278X
ISSN-L : 1347-278X
L2 Intonation: A study of L1 transfer in Japanese intonation by English-speaking learners
Chiharu Tsurutani
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2011 Volume 10 Pages 79-102


This study investigated intonation of Japanese sentences spoken by Australian English speakers and the influence of their first language (L1) prosody. The second language (L2) intonation is a complicated product of the L1 transfer at two levels of prosodic hierarchy, at word level and at phrase levels. For each level, the typical error patterns were listed and described in terms of L2 acquisition in the first part. In the second part, intonation contours were acoustically measured and compared with native speakers' model. The result shows that it is not a necessary assessment criterion for L2 pronunciation to have an identical intonation contour to the native model, but indicates that correct lexical pitch patterns make a significant impact on the pitch contour of a sentence in Japanese and is worthy to instruct learners carefully.

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© 2011 The Japan Second Language Association
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