File Download
  Links for fulltext
     (May Require Subscription)
Supplementary

postgraduate thesis: Prosodic parameters in multilingual acquisition of English

TitleProsodic parameters in multilingual acquisition of English
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Dimitrova, V. D.. (2012). Prosodic parameters in multilingual acquisition of English. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5053370
AbstractBilingual and multilingual research has mainly focused on segmental phonology, vocabulary and syntactic structures. The acquisition of native-like prosodic patterns has often been taken for granted. A study of prosodic features is particularly relevant since many children born into families of non-native speakers acquire English as a first or second language alongside the family or local language. Previous research has mainly identified general trends and found that children as a group are mainly accurate in their comprehension or production, but few studies have tried to go into detail and examine prosodic features in individual children. This thesis investigates the acquisition of prosodic parameters in two multilingual children, aged 10;5 and 9;5, learning English alongside Standard Chinese and Cantonese. Their data are compared with data from monolingual native-speakers and Cantonese speakers of English (L2 learners). Controlled experiments using minimal pairs and testing both comprehension and production of prosodic phrasing (“chocolate biscuits and milk” vs. “chocolate, biscuits and milk”) and compound vs phrasal stress (“hot dog” vs. “hot dog”) were conducted with each respondent. Praat phonetic analyses of the output and acoustic measurements were combined with auditory observations and listeners’ disambiguation. Comprehension was tested in identification tasks drawing on prosodic cues only. Results indicated that the multilingual children were less successful in using pitch movements to signal prosodic boundaries and convey compound and phrasal rhythmic patterns that the monolingual children. In terms of segmental and pause durations, and final-syllable lengthening, both multilingual children showed more consistency in their production. This supports previous monolingual research (Peeppé et al., 2000; Danbovicová et al., 2004) that temporal cues are more systematically used and more reliable disambiguating factors, which many contribute to their earlier acquisition (Vihman, 1996). In addition, the ability to accurately produce rhythmic patterns of compounds and phrases may develop at an even later stage in multilingual that in monolingual acquisition (Atkinson-King, 1973; Vogel & Raimy, 2002). Compared to L2 learners, the multilingual children have a well-differentiated English phonology with subtle evidence for language transfer (e.g., strengthening of unstressed vowels and tone on unstressed syllables) and deceleration (e.g., less stable or consistent production of single-stressed compounds). The L2 learners, although sensitive to contrasts in pitch, duration and lengthening, many never fully develop the ability to manipulate prosodic cues in a native-like way. Comprehension tests reveal that the relationship between perception and production of the same feature is no straightforward. Good perception does not mean accurate and unambiguous production while unsuccessful perception does not imply inaccurate and ambiguous production while unsuccessful perception does not imply inaccurate and ambiguous output. This thesis examines children’s perception and production of prosody, and contributes some detailed insights into prosodic development of monolingual, multilingual, and L2 learners. The results not only have implications for theoretical conceptualizations of language acquisition, but also provide relevant information for language instructors and testing specialists who develop assessment materials for children.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectEnglish language - Study and teaching - Foreign speakers
English language - Versification
Bilingualism in children
Dept/ProgramLinguistics
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/198801

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorDimitrova, Vesela Dimitrova-
dc.date.accessioned2014-07-10T04:10:16Z-
dc.date.available2014-07-10T04:10:16Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationDimitrova, V. D.. (2012). Prosodic parameters in multilingual acquisition of English. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5053370-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/198801-
dc.description.abstractBilingual and multilingual research has mainly focused on segmental phonology, vocabulary and syntactic structures. The acquisition of native-like prosodic patterns has often been taken for granted. A study of prosodic features is particularly relevant since many children born into families of non-native speakers acquire English as a first or second language alongside the family or local language. Previous research has mainly identified general trends and found that children as a group are mainly accurate in their comprehension or production, but few studies have tried to go into detail and examine prosodic features in individual children. This thesis investigates the acquisition of prosodic parameters in two multilingual children, aged 10;5 and 9;5, learning English alongside Standard Chinese and Cantonese. Their data are compared with data from monolingual native-speakers and Cantonese speakers of English (L2 learners). Controlled experiments using minimal pairs and testing both comprehension and production of prosodic phrasing (“chocolate biscuits and milk” vs. “chocolate, biscuits and milk”) and compound vs phrasal stress (“hot dog” vs. “hot dog”) were conducted with each respondent. Praat phonetic analyses of the output and acoustic measurements were combined with auditory observations and listeners’ disambiguation. Comprehension was tested in identification tasks drawing on prosodic cues only. Results indicated that the multilingual children were less successful in using pitch movements to signal prosodic boundaries and convey compound and phrasal rhythmic patterns that the monolingual children. In terms of segmental and pause durations, and final-syllable lengthening, both multilingual children showed more consistency in their production. This supports previous monolingual research (Peeppé et al., 2000; Danbovicová et al., 2004) that temporal cues are more systematically used and more reliable disambiguating factors, which many contribute to their earlier acquisition (Vihman, 1996). In addition, the ability to accurately produce rhythmic patterns of compounds and phrases may develop at an even later stage in multilingual that in monolingual acquisition (Atkinson-King, 1973; Vogel & Raimy, 2002). Compared to L2 learners, the multilingual children have a well-differentiated English phonology with subtle evidence for language transfer (e.g., strengthening of unstressed vowels and tone on unstressed syllables) and deceleration (e.g., less stable or consistent production of single-stressed compounds). The L2 learners, although sensitive to contrasts in pitch, duration and lengthening, many never fully develop the ability to manipulate prosodic cues in a native-like way. Comprehension tests reveal that the relationship between perception and production of the same feature is no straightforward. Good perception does not mean accurate and unambiguous production while unsuccessful perception does not imply inaccurate and ambiguous production while unsuccessful perception does not imply inaccurate and ambiguous output. This thesis examines children’s perception and production of prosody, and contributes some detailed insights into prosodic development of monolingual, multilingual, and L2 learners. The results not only have implications for theoretical conceptualizations of language acquisition, but also provide relevant information for language instructors and testing specialists who develop assessment materials for children.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Study and teaching - Foreign speakers-
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Versification-
dc.subject.lcshBilingualism in children-
dc.titleProsodic parameters in multilingual acquisition of English-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5053370-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineLinguistics-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5053370-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

Export via OAI-PMH Interface in XML Formats


OR


Export to Other Non-XML Formats