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postgraduate thesis: Acquisition of English speech rhythm by Hong Kong Cantonese learners

TitleAcquisition of English speech rhythm by Hong Kong Cantonese learners
Authors
Issue Date2016
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Tsoi, W. T. [蔡偉泉]. (2016). Acquisition of English speech rhythm by Hong Kong Cantonese learners. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractPrevious research has demonstrated a distinction between syllable-timed languages and stress-timed languages. Because English is stress-timed language and Cantonese a syllable-timed language, Cantonese learners of English are faced with a problem of having to acquire a speech rhythm that is different from the one in their first language. While numerous other studies have shown that language transfer happens in second language acquisition and a lot of research has been done on the speech rhythm of first language speakers and mature second language learners, not much has been done on second language learners in their relatively earlier stages of language acquisition. The present study investigates the development in speech rhythm by teenage second language learners using quantitative, acoustic methods. It is commonly expected that second language learners’ speech rhythm should get closer to stress-timing with time and more exposure to the target language. Experimental data appear to be in support of such a tendency. However, due to a relatively small sample size and therefore large margins of error, the results are only indicative and not statistically conclusive. In addition, contrary to previous research, intervocalic intervals and unnormalized acoustic metrics have been found to be unstable and unreliable in characterizing the speech rhythm of younger second language learners due to their variations in speech rate as well as unfamiliarity with different words.
DegreeMaster of Arts
SubjectSecond language acquisition - China - Hong Kong
English language - Rhythm
English language - Spoken English - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramLinguistics
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/227890

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTsoi, Wai-chuen, Thomas-
dc.contributor.author蔡偉泉-
dc.date.accessioned2016-07-22T23:18:02Z-
dc.date.available2016-07-22T23:18:02Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationTsoi, W. T. [蔡偉泉]. (2016). Acquisition of English speech rhythm by Hong Kong Cantonese learners. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/227890-
dc.description.abstractPrevious research has demonstrated a distinction between syllable-timed languages and stress-timed languages. Because English is stress-timed language and Cantonese a syllable-timed language, Cantonese learners of English are faced with a problem of having to acquire a speech rhythm that is different from the one in their first language. While numerous other studies have shown that language transfer happens in second language acquisition and a lot of research has been done on the speech rhythm of first language speakers and mature second language learners, not much has been done on second language learners in their relatively earlier stages of language acquisition. The present study investigates the development in speech rhythm by teenage second language learners using quantitative, acoustic methods. It is commonly expected that second language learners’ speech rhythm should get closer to stress-timing with time and more exposure to the target language. Experimental data appear to be in support of such a tendency. However, due to a relatively small sample size and therefore large margins of error, the results are only indicative and not statistically conclusive. In addition, contrary to previous research, intervocalic intervals and unnormalized acoustic metrics have been found to be unstable and unreliable in characterizing the speech rhythm of younger second language learners due to their variations in speech rate as well as unfamiliarity with different words.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshSecond language acquisition - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Rhythm-
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Spoken English - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleAcquisition of English speech rhythm by Hong Kong Cantonese learners-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5772750-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Arts-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineLinguistics-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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