Second European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Genova, Italy
September 24-26, 1991


Influence of Vietnamese Tone and Prosody on the Acquisition of English Stress Patterns

J. Pittam, J. Ingram

The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia

This paper is taken from a longitudinal study of accent change in Vietnamese refugees learning Australian English. The speech of four subjects was examined across a two year period starting from shortly after arrival in Australia. Samples of spontaneous conversations with the investigators were analysed prosodically using a custom-designed acoustic editor and accompanying data base and annotation programs. The subjects' L2 prosody was examined acoustically and auditorally to find evidence of interference from the Vietnamese tonal and stress systems. Results are discussed in two ways: (a) possible influences on both L2 word and sentence stress from the Vietnamese prosodic systems, and in particular, (b) the influence of the 'sac' tone. In both cases, the changes that were observed in subjects' speech across the two year period, and the particular environments affected are also examined. Keywords: Vietnamese-Australians; Prosody; Acquisition of English; Tonal Influence; Stress Patterns; Syllable Structure.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Pittam, J. / Ingram, J. (1991): "Influence of vietnamese tone and prosody on the acquisition of English stress patterns", In EUROSPEECH-1991, 139-142.