18.1383, Sum: L2 Acquisition of Suprasegmentals

Mon May 7 21:30:21 UTC 2007

LINGUIST List: Vol-18-1383. Mon May 07 2007. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 18.1383, Sum: L2 Acquisition of Suprasegmentals

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Date: 04-May-2007
From: Tanja Angelovska M.A. < tanja.angelovska at anglistik,uni-muenchen.de >
Subject: L2 Acquisition of Suprasegmentals


-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Mon, 07 May 2007 17:28:47
From: Tanja Angelovska M.A. < tanja.angelovska at anglistik,uni-muenchen.de >
Subject: L2 Acquisition of Suprasegmentals 

Query for this summary posted in LINGUIST Issue: 18.400                        

Summary: L2 Acquisition of Suprasegmentals (Intonation) from 04-Feb-2007

Dear colleagues, 

Finally, here is my expected summary! I am so sorry it's taken so long, but
I hope you will find it worth the wait since I gave my best to make it as
detailed as possible!

Thanks to the many people who responded to my query as to the acquisition
of suprasegmentals (intonation). As so many of you responded, it's
impossible for me to list everybody's message, so I'll sum up the main
points instead:

Antonie Auchlin from France suggested downloading the Praat tutorial
http://latlcui.unige.ch/phonetique/ issued by Jean-Philippe Goldman. 

I found the chapter about prosody in SLA by Aoyama Katsura, Assistant
Professor in the Department of Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences at
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, very useful. She also
suggested contacting Mary Beckman, Janet Pierrehumbert, Esther Grabe
regarding the use of the grounded theory approach. 

To quote Bryan Jenner:
"Providing you use Windows (and I don't!) a very good and user-friendly
program is WASP (a scaled down version of the Speech Filing System, or SFS)
available free from the webpage of University College London:
www.phon.ucl.ac.uk Then follow 'resources' and then 'software'.(I agree
about PRAAT: it is very intricate.."

Caren Brinckmann from Manheim gave me lots of valuable information. She
suggested the following books:

and the following link for an introduction to (G)ToBI
http://www.uni-koeln.de/phil-fak/phonetik/gtobi/index.html and online
training material (in German):

Many thanks to Daniel Hirst from France for sending me some of his

I am also glad that I personally got to know to Dr. Danijela Trenkic ,
Lecturer at the Department of Educational Studies at the University of
York, UK, who among many other useful information  gave me the hint to
contact Aoju Chen http://www.mpi.nl/Members/AojuChen.

Daniel Storbeck suggested consulting the books by Ulrike Gut, who had the
project "LeaP" and investigated the learning of the prosody of a foreign
language. The second person he held for the most suitable to give
information about transcription and who developed an annotator
TASX-annotator is Jan-Torsten Milde from Fulda. According to Daniel, Dafydd
Gibbon is the one who can help about prosody. Olessia Panzyga also
suggested Ulrike Gut's book. 

I was glad to find out that Elisa Steinberg completed her PhD dissertation
 about 'Intonation in Yiddish' and she searched for that intonation
transferred to English by people here, and to Spanish by Jews in Uruguay.
Many thanks to Elisa for her helpful comments and ideas! I enjoyed the
discussions with her and she enabled me to come up with new ideas about my
Thanks to Holly Nibert for sending me his articles. 

Jeremy W. King, Asst. Prof. of Spanish Linguistics at the Dept. of Foreign
Languages and Literatures Louisiana State University who suggested
contacting Dr. Dorothy Chun at the University of California, Santa Barbara
and reading her book ''Discourse Intonation in L2: From Theory and Research
to Practice'' published in 2002.

I especially like the very much detailed and extremely helpful email by
Madalena Cruz- Ferreira who is an expert in the field of multilingual
phonology and intonation. She even sent me some chapters of her doctoral
dissertation. Her thesis dealt with Portuguese learners' acquisition of
English intonation and the other way around and she checked comprehension
experimentally among advanced learners. The reference is:

Cruz-Ferreira, M. (1983). Non-native comprehension of intonation patterns
in Portuguese and in English. PhD thesis, University of Manchester. An
abstract is at

Some of the bibliography she suggested:

Cruz-Ferreira, M. (1983). Perception and interpretation of non-native
intonation patterns. Paper presented to the Tenth International Congress of
Phonetic Sciences, Utrecht, Netherlands.
Cruz-Ferreira, M. (1989). ''A test for non-native comprehension of
intonation in English.'' International Review of Applied Linguistics in
Language Teaching 27(1): 23-39.

Cruz-Ferreira, M. (2002/2003). ''Portuguese and English intonation in
contrast.'' Languages in Contrast 4(2): 213-232.

Chun, D.M. (2002). Discourse intonation in L2. From theory and research to
practice. New York, John Benjamins.

Levis, J. and L. Pickering (2004). Teaching intonation in discourse using
speech visualization technology. System 32(4): 505-524.
TESOL Quarterly 39(3) from 2005, edited by John Levis, which is a special
issue on pronunciation.

Marcus Callies from the English Department at the University of Marburg,
Germany suggested consulting the recent monograph by Dorothy Chun:

Mary Grantham O'Brien also a prominent researcher in this field offered her
assistance.  I would be very grateful if she kept this contact and offered
her ideas! Thanks a lot!

Great thanks to Mayr Robert for his starting hint about Praat. To quote
him: "Load any wave file into the analyser (not the object bit), go to
edit, this will give you a spectrogram, then select pitch contour. This
will show you the fundamental frequency pattern/ intonation contour."

Maria Dolores Ramirez, a great expert in L2 phonological acquisition who
won the Educational Prize from Spain sent me her publications and I find
them really helpful! I am definitely sure I am going to quote her in my PhD
and I am willing to receive further helpful ideas about my project. I am
especially grateful to her willingness to even co-supervise my PhD

Regarding the PRAAT programme Olle Kjellin suggested the following link:
http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/resource/software.html He suggested contacting
the Praat author Paul Boersma. 

Pia Sunqvist used the software program Transana http://www.transana.org/ 

Pugah Jana also a PhD student at CUNY suggested the following literature on
L2 intonation:

Berkovits, R. 1980. Perception of intonation in native and non-native
speakers of English. Language and Speech 23:271-280.

Goad, H., White, L., and Steele, J. 2003. Missing surface inflection in L2
acquisition: A prosodic account. B. Beachley, A. Brown & F. Conlin (eds.),
Proceedings of the 27th Boston University conference on language
development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.:264-275.

Goad, H., and White, L. 2004. Ultimate attainment of L2 inflection. EUROSLA
Yearbook 4:119.

Harley, B., Howard, J., and Hart, D. 1995. Second Language Processing at
Different Ages: Do Younger Learners Pay More Attention to Prosodic Cues to
Sentence Structure? Language Learning 45:43-71.

Harley, B. 2000. Listening Strategies in ESL: Do Age and L1 Make a
Difference? TESOL Quarterly 34:769-777.

Pennington, Martha C., and Ellis, Nick C. 2000. Cantonese Speakers' Memory
for English Sentences with Prosodic Cues. Modern Language Journal 84:372.

Robin Barr who works at American University (Washington, D.C.) in the TESOL
program and his colleagues have developed a teacher-training course on
''Teaching Pronunciation''. He promised to give me some of the TESOL
references on use of intonation to improve intelligibility. 

Sean Armstrong wrote some interesting thoughts on the importance of the
suprasegmentals in foreign language learning. 

Special thanks to Susann Lingel for her useful comments and info about ToBI
as well as for her willingness to help me further. 

Tessa Bent suggested more information about ToBI here:
A book with lots of information about analyzing the intonation of different
languages and she found useful is: "Prosodic Typology" edited by Jun.
Thanks to Tessa for sending me her very interesting dissertation where she
studied the perception of Mandarin tone by native English listeners. 

My warmest thanks go to the most helpful colleague Walcir Cordoso whose
emails really supported and encouraged me. Thank you Walcir for sending me
the articles from Derwing, Field etc. as well as for the praat manual. I
found the discussion with him interesting and I am glad he is willing to
keep the contact. 

Yi Xu was also very much willing to help me and here is a link where you
can download her publications:

Yuwen Lai, who works Producation and and Perception of Mandarin learners of
English, gave me a useful link about ToBI
http://www.ling.ohio-state.edu/~tobi/. She also informed me about the PRAAT
user group on yahoo.com:http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/praat-users/

Other persons who responded: Rikka Ullakonoja who is currently doing my PhD
thesis on Acquisition of Russian intonation by Finnish university students
here in Jyväskylä, Finland; Laura Sicola wrote me some nice emails, Anton
Rytting, Corey Telfer, Teresa Soto, Yahya Abdal-Aziz  and Knight Rachael
offered to help and contact me again. 

I'd like to thank all those who responded. I think this list is complete,
but if not, I apologize to anyone that I inadvertently left out. Well,
thanks again to all of you who responded - maybe I'll quote some of you in
my PhD dissertation.  

Thanks to my supervisor, Prof. Dr. Hahn her motivating comments, useful
suggestions and ideas, my Dissertation has undergone some changes. I
decided to concentrate more on the factors affecting foreign accent among
advanced L2 learners and on the influential variables for the acquisition
of L2 pronunciation instead of concentrating on the technical and acoustic
analysis of the suprasegmentals.

I would be more than happy and grateful to continue these interesting
discussions and exchange ideas with all of you about my dissertation. 

Kind regards

Tanja Angelovska M.A. 

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

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