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Title: A study on the acquisition of English stress patterns by Mexican Spanish native speakers
Author: Villafaña Rojas, Verónica del Carmen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 2205
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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This dissertation investigates the acquisition of certain stress patterns in English by Mexican Spanish native speakers. Three tasks were designed to test the participants' ability to assign and perceive stress accurately: a production, an identification and a repetition task. Several word categories are used each contains real and unreal words. This research attempts to shed light on the process of stress acquisition, hence the English proficiency of the participants ranges from beginners to advanced learners and a control group of English native speakers. The results indicate that while the participants treat real and nonce words equally, stress is not equally easy/difficult to assign or perceive in all word categories. Namely, in the categories where stress falls further than the third syllable from the right-edge of the word, the L2 learners are less accurate at perceiving and assigning stress, possibly due to the fact that stress assignment in Spanish is restricted to the three syllables on the right-edge of the word. What is more, as the L2 learners' English proficiency increases, their ability to assign and perceive stress correctly improves. This ability however does not remain unchanged: the results show regression in the most advanced L2 learners which could indicate attrition of their ability to assign stress in the L2. The scores from the repetition task show that the L2 learners are able to perceive L2 stress accurately from an early stage of the learning process; hence the errors made in the identification task (identifying the syllable that bears stress) should not be interpreted as the result of their inability to perceive stress but rather as the result of the cognitive complexity of the task.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available