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Yu, Hye Jeong. 2019. Second language acquisition of English intonation: Nuclear peak Alignment. Studies in Phonetics, Phonology and Morphology 25.3. 479-500.


The purpose of this study was to examine the acquisition of English prosody by Korean learners. The present study tested the accuracy of assigning stress on words and the alignment implementation of nuclear accent in English produced by Korean learners of English. The alignment produced by Korean groups was compared by the following acoustic characteristics with those of native English speakers: (1) accented syllable duration; (2) timing of peak H* from the syllable onset; (3) timing of peak H* to the syllable offset; and (4) H alignment as a proportion of accented syllable duration. Ten Korean learners of English and three native English speakers produced initial stressed words and final stressed words in a narrow focus. The results of the study showed that the accuracy in assigning stress was correlated with English proficiency, and the Korean learners exhibited different peak alignment and duration patterns. The Korean learners tended to produce more falling (H*) or rising (L+H* or L*+H) tones depending on the voicing of the onset of the stressed syllable, and their H peak was delayed compared to that of the native English speakers. (Dankook University, Part-Time Lecturer)


Keywords: peak alignment, nuclear accent, second language, L2 proficiency

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