[ p. 448 ]Making use of cues to sentence length in L1 and L2 German
The current study examines whether German native speakers and immersed and non-immersed L2 learners of German use prosodic cues to identify the length of a sentence in perception as a means to investigate the interaction between prosody and syntactic structure among L2 learners. In a perceptual gating experiment, all three groups successfully differentiated short from medium and long sentences, although the native speakers used cues to identify sentence length earlier than the L2 learners. Among the L2 participants, those immersed in the L2 and those with higher L2 proficiency were better able to distinguish sentence length in the gating task. Importantly, immersed participants were more likely to differentiate short from non-short sentences than those who were not immersed, and those who were more proficient were less indeterminate and more confident in their responses than were those with lower L2 proficiency.
Keywords: perception, acoustic cues, second language, immersion, proficiency, sentence length, prosody
Published online: 11 October 2013
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