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Title: Second language acquisition of intonation : the case of Dutch near-native speakers of Greek
Author: Mennen, Ineke
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis focuses on the second language (L2) acquisition of intonation by Dutch near-native speakers of (Modern) Greek. Five experiments were carried out which can be divided into two main areas: one which was concerned with peak alignment (i.e. the timing of the intonational peaks with respect to the syllables), and another which focused on nucleus placement (the placement of the most prominent word in the utterance). The first three experiments were concerned with peak alignment in Greek prenuclear accents. A first experiment showed that there are cross-linguistic differences in the alignment of the peak in Greek and Dutch. In Greek prenuclear accents the peak is aligned just after the onset of the first postaccentual vowel. In Dutch, however, the peak is aligned earlier, and is influenced by the phonological length of the accented vowel of the word bearing the prenuclear accent. (Specifically, the peak is at the end of the accented vowel when that vowel is long, but at the end of the following consonant when it is short). The next experiment showed that most non-native (Dutch) speakers of Greek failed to exhibit native-like peak alignment in the L2. The speakers aligned the peak in their Greek data as early as they would in Dutch when the test word has a long vowel in the accented syllable. It was also shown that speakers did not develop a 'merged' system, with values half-way between the monolingual norms for Dutch and Greek. Experiment 3 examined the effect of L2 learning on the peak alignment in prenuclear accents in the first language (L1). It was shown that even though most speakers did not master the alignment values in the L2, the alignment pattern in their L1 was nevertheless affected. The last two experiments were concerned with another aspect of intonation, namely the realisation of nucleus placement in Greek yes/no questions. The yes/no questions were of two types: (i) nucleus-final (NF), in which the nucleus or main stress was located on the utterance-final word, and (ii) nucleus-non-final (NNF), in which the main stress was on an earlier word in the utterance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available