Title

Making Use Of Prosodic Resources in a New Language: Self-repetition In Wh-Questions in Talk-In-Interaction

Date

11-8-2021 10:15 AM

Abstract

There is a growing body of research being conducted on L2 prosodic acquisition, production, and variation. The 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 using spoken language elicited in highly controlled experimental settings that make use of readaloud tasks designed to elicit a particular response, which weakens the ecological validity of the studies. In contrast, this study collected naturalistic language data of an L1 Mandarin speaker of English and analyzed it using principles from interactional linguistics to account for the interactional context of the language in the analysis. Specifically, it asked: 1) how does a novice language user make use of prosodic resources in wh-questions for interactional work? and 2) do those prosodic resources change over time as the language proficiency changes? In total, 40 wh-questions were collected including 24 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 others. Further, the repeat questions in these distinct interactional contexts were accompanied by consistent prosodic and semiotic modifications and the employment of such modifications changed as her proficiency increased. 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.

Biographies

Phoebe Cordova, Applied Linguistics, Minor: Spanish

Phoebe Cordova is majoring in Applied Linguistics with a minor in Spanish, and, as a lover of language, she is also learning Russian. Currently she is a McNair scholar and a tutor in the Applied Linguistics department. Her research interests include the prosody-pragmatic interface and the intonation production of multilingual speakers. Her utilization and examination of naturalistic data facilitates the opportunity to investigate how L2 prosodic structures arise from actual language use. Further, she believes that in the future this approach and area of research could help reduce the discrimination and negative social attitudes that multilingual speakers experience based on their speech production patterns. Phoebe will graduate from Portland State University in the summer of 2021 and hopes to commence a doctoral program in the fall of 2022 to continue her exploration of L2 prosodic phenomena.

Dr. John Hellermann, Faculty Mentor, Department of Applied Linguistics

John Hellermann received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 2002 and has worked in the Department of Applied Linguistics at Portland State since 2003. During that time, he has conducted research on language in social interaction in classrooms and among small groups navigating city streets with a mobile phone. At Portland State, he has been affiliated with the Literacy, Language, and Technology Research group, the 503 Design Collective, and Language around Metropolitan Portland and is currently getting back to his research focus in graduate school: the role of prosody (intonation and rhythm) in organizing language use. He has published over 40 journal articles, chapters, or books, is a former editor of Applied Linguistics, and has been a mentor for three McNair scholars.

Disciplines

Linguistics

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/36185

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Aug 11th, 10:15 AM

Making Use Of Prosodic Resources in a New Language: Self-repetition In Wh-Questions in Talk-In-Interaction

There is a growing body of research being conducted on L2 prosodic acquisition, production, and variation. The 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 using spoken language elicited in highly controlled experimental settings that make use of readaloud tasks designed to elicit a particular response, which weakens the ecological validity of the studies. In contrast, this study collected naturalistic language data of an L1 Mandarin speaker of English and analyzed it using principles from interactional linguistics to account for the interactional context of the language in the analysis. Specifically, it asked: 1) how does a novice language user make use of prosodic resources in wh-questions for interactional work? and 2) do those prosodic resources change over time as the language proficiency changes? In total, 40 wh-questions were collected including 24 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 others. Further, the repeat questions in these distinct interactional contexts were accompanied by consistent prosodic and semiotic modifications and the employment of such modifications changed as her proficiency increased. 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.