Phonological and Phonetic Realization of Narrow Focus in Declarative Sentences by Jinan L2 English Learners

Aijun Li, Xinyuan Wan, Chenyang Zhao, Lin Zhu


The present paper investigates the different prosodic cues Jinan L2 learners and native speakers use in the focus production of English declarative sentences. Learners L1, Jinan dialect, and their L2 English are phonologically similar in focus realization, by which we assume that this L1-L2 similarity would account for their good acquisition. To prove the assumption, learners and native speakers’ phonetic and phonological features are contrasted from the aspects of pitch pattern, pitch range in different sentence positions, duration and HNR. Results show that learners realize the sentence-initial and sentence-medial focus by applying pattern L+H* and H*, similar to the native speakers’, but for sentence-final focus, learners’ pitch pattern L+H* is different from their native counterparts, with more accents and breaks produced. Phonetically, ANVOA analysis is employed to compare duration, on-focus and post-focus F0 variation, and HNR elicited from the two speaker groups. By these analyses we know that native speakers apply different prosodic cues to realize focus in different sentence positions. While learners almost use the same prosodic cues to realize sentence-initial and sentence-medial focus, besides, and a pitch enlargement is observed in their sentence-final focus. Learners on-focus pitch and PFC is lower and less than the native speakers’ respectively.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-179

Cite as: Li, A., Wan, X., Zhao, C., Zhu, L. (2020) Phonological and Phonetic Realization of Narrow Focus in Declarative Sentences by Jinan L2 English Learners. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 876-880, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-179.


@inproceedings{Li2020,
  author={Aijun Li and Xinyuan Wan and Chenyang Zhao and Lin Zhu},
  title={{Phonological and Phonetic Realization of Narrow Focus in Declarative Sentences by Jinan L2 English Learners}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={876--880},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-179},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-179}
}