Lexical Stress Assignment to Base, Inflected and Derived Words in English by Japanese and Seoul Korean Learners of English

Mariko Sugahara


We investigated whether or not the acquisition of English lexical stress in base, inflected and derived words by Japanese learners of English (JLE) and Seoul Korean leaners of English (SKLE) was affected by their native prosodic systems. JLE and SKLE were presented with written English words, either base forms (e.g., educate, parent) or inflected/derived forms with a suffix (e.g., educating, parental), and were asked to write down a stress mark where they considered primarily stressed. For the base words, although both of the language groups most frequently preferred the correct word-initial stress (e.g., éducate, párent), the JLE performed better than the SKLE in some cases. For the suffixed words, the JLE preferred stress shifted near to morpheme boundaries (e.g., educáting, paréntal) more often than the SKLE regardless of whether the suffixes were ‘stress-neutral’ (e.g., -ing) or ‘stress-shifting’ (e.g., -al). Whereas Seoul Korean lacks lexical stress/accent, Japanese is a lexical accent language, which we consider the reason for the JLE’s better performance in the simple word tasks. Furthermore, the Japanese accent tends to fall near morpheme boundaries, which is likely to be the reason for the JLE’s strong bias to stress-shift in English suffixed words.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-185

Cite as: Sugahara, M. (2020) Lexical Stress Assignment to Base, Inflected and Derived Words in English by Japanese and Seoul Korean Learners of English. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 905-909, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-185.


@inproceedings{Sugahara2020,
  author={Mariko Sugahara},
  title={{Lexical Stress Assignment to Base, Inflected and Derived Words in English by Japanese and Seoul Korean Learners of English}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={905--909},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-185},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-185}
}