The 4th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages

Nijmegen, The Netherlands
May 13-16, 2014

Swedish Word Accent Production by L2-Speakers with Different Tonal L1S

Mechtild Tronnier (1), Elisabeth Zetterholm (2)

(1) Department of Linguistics, Lund University, Sweden
(2) Department of Swedish, Linnaeus University, Sweden

This study addresses the question of whether L1-speakers of Vietnamese – a tone language – and L1-speakers of Somali – a language with tonal accents – differ in degree of accuracy when producing words that carry either of the two tonal accents in L2-Swedish. Some previous studies suggest that it is an advantage when discriminating between different tones in another tone language, if a speaker’s L1 is also a tone language; while others show that this may not necessarily be the case. Accuracy was studied with the help of identification tests, and the results for the L2-speakers were matched with the results for L1-speakers. It is revealed that no adequate distinction is made between the tone accents by either of the two groups of L2-speakers. The two tonal patterns are equally often obscured by L1-speakers of Somali, whereas speakers of L1-Vietamese produced patterns that were more frequently identified as one of the Swedish word accents, but not the other one.

Index Terms: tone accent production in L2, tone accent identification, L1-Vietnamese, L1-Somali, tonal perception, foreign accent, L2-Swedish

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tronnier, Mechtild / Zetterholm, Elisabeth (2014): "Swedish word accent production by L2-speakers with different tonal L1S", In TAL-2014, 59-62.