Chapter published in:Hispanic Linguistics: Current issues and new directions
Edited by Alfonso Morales-Front, Michael J. Ferreira, Ronald P. Leow and Cristina Sanz
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 26] 2020
► pp. 12–31
The development of intonation in L2 Spanish
A perceptual study
This study explores the perceptual development of intonation in questions and statements in L2 Spanish. It presents cross-sectional data from 189 L2 learners from five different proficiency levels and 10 Spanish native controls. Participants performed an intonation matching task consisting of deciding whether sentences presented aurally and visually matched. Perception accuracy and reaction time results are consistent with the gradual acquisition of intonational cues, particularly for statements and yes-no questions. Statements are identified faster and more accurately than yes-no questions, suggesting that the latter are harder to process and acquire. Consistent with Trimble (2013) and Nibert (2005, 2006), our findings suggest that intermediate II learners are beginning to acquire the intonational cues that distinguish statements from yes-no questions in Spanish.
Keywords: intonation, perception, cross-sectional study, acquisition of L2 Spanish, statements, yes-no questions, L1 transfer, processing
Published online: 13 May 2020
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