prosody, interaction, conversation analysis, intonational phonology, interactional linguistics, language learner
There is a growing body of research being conducted on L2 prosodic acquisition, production, and variation. Studies have analyzed data from a variety of L1s and have primarily focused on the impact of age of acquisition and proficiency level on L2 prosody. Additionally, almost all of these studies have investigated this area from a phonological approach, using spoken language elicited in highly controlled experimental settings with weak ecological validity. In contrast, this study collected naturalistic language data of an L1 Mandarin speaker of English and incorporated both a phonological and interactional approach to gain a more complete understanding of L2 prosody. The aim was to investigate how a novice language user makes use of prosodic resources in wh-questions for interactional work and how those prosodic resources change over time as the language proficiency changes. In total, 40 wh-questions were collected including 26 self-repeated questions which were then analyzed for prosodic and sequential structure using methods from acoustic phonetics, phonology, and interactional linguistics. It was found that, interactionally, the repeated questions fell into two categories: repetition for Self and repetition for Other. The repeat questions in these distinct interactional contexts were accompanied by consistent prosodic and deictic modifications and the employment of such modifications changed as her proficiency increased. Further, these conclusions could not have been made if the interactional context had not been considered. This not only offers additional insight into the ways that L2 speakers make use of prosody, at a particular proficiency level and across time, but provides support for an interactional prosody framework because the prosodic contributions to the utterance meaning cannot be separated from the sequential features of the talk.
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"Making Use of Prosodic Resources in a New Language: Self-Repetition in Wh-Questions in Talk-in-Interaction,"
PSU McNair Scholars Online Journal:
1, Article 7.