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ERIC Number: EJ938343
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 77
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8309
The Effect of Age on the Acquisition of Second Language Prosody
Huang, Becky H.; Jun, Sun-Ah
Language and Speech, v54 n3 p387-414 Sep 2011
This study reports an exploratory analysis of the age of arrival (AoA) effect on the production of second language (L2) prosody. Three groups of Mandarin-speaking immigrants (N = 10 in each group) with varying AoA in the United States and ten native speakers of English as controls participated in the study. All participants read a paragraph of English, and their speech samples were subjected to three prosodic analyses: speech and articulation rates, native speakers' judgment of the prosody based on segment-filtered speech, and analyses of tones and prosodic groupings using the Mainstream American English Tones and Break Indices (MAE_ToBI) transcription conventions. The L2 groups also filled out a survey providing information about their demographic background, English input, and socio-psychological aspects of language learning. The results revealed that the AoA factor impacted different aspects of prosody to varying degrees. Group differences were statistically significant for speech rate, degree of foreign prosody, the frequency of pitch accents, and the frequency of high boundary tones (H-H%). However, group differences were not significant for articulation rate, prosodic groupings, and the rest of the ToBI-labeled phonological categories. Multiple regression analyses further confirmed the AoA effect on degree of foreign prosody, the frequency of pitch accents, and high boundary tones (H-H%); AoA remained a significant predictor controlling for the effects of other variables. However, speech rate was predicted by English media exposure and motivation variable but not by AoA. (Contains 7 figures, 10 tables and 12 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States