Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

5-8-2024 9:00 AM

End Date

5-8-2024 11:00 AM

Subjects

Applied Linguistics, Phonology and phonetics, Korean Language

Advisor

John Hellermann

Student Level

Masters

Abstract

Wh-indeterminate questions, particularly wh-questions and yes-no questions, in Korean are ambiguous due to the limited morpho-syntactic markers in the sentence. The absence of these markers leaves two questions syntactically identical, leading to lexical ambiguity. The disambiguation of these two questions relies primarily on prosodic cues. Drawing from previous studies in the L1 Korean context, this study examines the intonation patterns of English learners of Korean in producing and perceiving wh-questions and yes-no questions and explores if there is any sign of L1 influence from English. Five English learners of Korean, who received formal instruction in Korean at a U.S. university, completed a production and perception test that consisted of 10 dialogues featuring ambiguous wh-indeterminate questions. Their speech was analyzed for prosodic features, such as pitch range, boundary tone, and accentual phrasing. The findings revealed that there was a significant variability in prosodic elements, with language proficiency markedly affecting pitch range. However, no consistent relationship was found among learners regarding accentual phrasing. The results of the study suggest that there is a complex interplay between proficiency and target-like prosody in second language acquisition.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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May 8th, 9:00 AM May 8th, 11:00 AM

Prosodic Analysis of Wh-indeterminate Questions in L2 Korean

Wh-indeterminate questions, particularly wh-questions and yes-no questions, in Korean are ambiguous due to the limited morpho-syntactic markers in the sentence. The absence of these markers leaves two questions syntactically identical, leading to lexical ambiguity. The disambiguation of these two questions relies primarily on prosodic cues. Drawing from previous studies in the L1 Korean context, this study examines the intonation patterns of English learners of Korean in producing and perceiving wh-questions and yes-no questions and explores if there is any sign of L1 influence from English. Five English learners of Korean, who received formal instruction in Korean at a U.S. university, completed a production and perception test that consisted of 10 dialogues featuring ambiguous wh-indeterminate questions. Their speech was analyzed for prosodic features, such as pitch range, boundary tone, and accentual phrasing. The findings revealed that there was a significant variability in prosodic elements, with language proficiency markedly affecting pitch range. However, no consistent relationship was found among learners regarding accentual phrasing. The results of the study suggest that there is a complex interplay between proficiency and target-like prosody in second language acquisition.