The priority of temporal aspects in L2-Swedish prosody Studies in perception and production

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : Institutionen för lingvistik

Sammanfattning: Foreign accent can be everything from hardly detectable to rendering the second language speech unintelligible. It is assumed that certain aspects of a specific target language contribute more to making the foreign accented speech intelligible and listener friendly, than others. The present thesis examines a teaching strategy for Swedish pronunciation in second language education. The teaching strategy “Basic prosody” or BP, gives priority to temporal aspects of Swedish prosody, which means the temporal phonological contrasts word stress and quantity, as well as the durational realizations of these contrasts. BP does not prescribe any specific tonal realizations. This standpoint is based on the great regional variety in realization and distribution of Swedish word accents. The teaching strategy consists virtually of three directives:· Stress the proper word in the sentence.· Stress proper syllables in stressed words and make them longer.· Lengthen the proper segment – vowel or subsequent consonant – in the stressed syllable.These directives reflect the view that all phonological length is stress-induced, and that vowel length and consonant length are equally important as learning goals. BP is examined in the light of existing findings in the field of second language pronunciation and with respect to the phonetic correlates of Swedish stress and quantity. Five studies examine the relation between segment durations and the categorization made by native Swedish listeners. The results indicate that the postvocalic consonant duration contributes to quantity categorization as well as giving the proper duration to stressed syllables. Furthermore, native Swedish speakers are shown to apply the complementary /V: C/ - /VC:/ pattern also when speaking English and German, by lengthening postvocalic consonants. The correctness of the priority is not directly addressed but important aspects of BP are supported by earlier findings as well as the results from the present studies.