Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa


  • Sahyang Kim (a1), Mirjam Broersma (a2) and Taehong Cho (a3)

The artificial language learning paradigm was used to investigate to what extent the use of prosodic features is universally applicable or specifically language driven in learning an unfamiliar language, and how nonnative prosodic patterns can be learned. Listeners of unrelated languages—Dutch (n = 100) and Korean (n = 100)—participated. The words to be learned varied with prosodic cues: no prosody, fundamental frequency (F0) rise in initial and final position, final lengthening, and final lengthening plus F0 rise. Both listener groups performed well above chance level with the final lengthening cue, confirming its crosslinguistic use. As for final F0 rise, however, Dutch listeners did not use it until the second exposure session, whereas Korean listeners used it at initial exposure. Neither group used initial F0 rise. On the basis of these results, F0 and durational cues appear to be universal in the sense that they are used across languages for their universally applicable auditory-perceptual saliency, but how they are used is language specific and constrains the use of available prosodic cues in processing a nonnative language. A discussion on how these findings bear on theories of second language (L2) speech perception and learning is provided.

Corresponding author
*Address correspondence to: Taehong Cho, Hanyang Phonetics and Psycholinguistics Lab, Department of English Language and Literature, Hanyang University, Haengdang-dong 17, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (133-791), Korea; e-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

K. Aoyama , J. Flege , S. Guion , R. Akahane-Yamada , & T. Yamada (2004). Perceived phonetic dissimilarity and L2 speech learning: The case of Japanese /r/ and English /l/ and /r/. Journal of Phonetics, 32, 233250.

A. Arvaniti , D. R. Ladd , & I. Mennen (1998). Stability of tonal alignment: The case of Greek prenuclear accents. Journal of Phonetics, 26, 325.

M. E Beckman . (1996). The parsing of prosody. Language and Cognitive Processes, 11, 1767.

C. T. Best , G. W. McRoberts , & E. Goodell (2001). Discrimination of non-native consonant contrasts varying in perceptual assimilation to the listener’s native phonological system. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 109, 775794.

O. S. Bohn , & M. J Munro . (Eds.). (2007). Language experience in second language speech learning: In honor of James Emile Flege. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

M. Broersma (2005). Perception of familiar contrasts in unfamiliar positions. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 117, 38903901.

M. Broersma (2010). Perception of final fricative voicing: Native and nonnative listeners’ use of vowel duration. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 127, 16361644.

T. Cho (2004). Prosodically conditioned strengthening and vowel-to-vowel coarticulation in English. Journal of Phonetics, 32, 141176.

T. Cho , & P. A Keating . (2001). Articulatory and acoustic studies on domain-initial strengthening in Korean. Journal of Phonetics, 29, 155190.

T. Cho , & P. A Keating . (2009). Effects of initial position versus prominence in English. Journal of Phonetics, 37, 466485.

T. Cho , & P. Ladefoged (1999). Variation and universals in VOT: Evidence from 18 languages. Journal of Phonetics, 27, 207229.

T. Cho , & J. M McQueen . (2005). Prosodic influences on consonant production in Dutch: Effects of prosodic boundaries, phrasal accent and lexical stress. Journal of Phonetics, 33, 121157.

T. Cho , & J. M McQueen . (2006). Phonological versus phonetic cues in native and non-native listening: Korean and Dutch listeners’ perception of Dutch and English consonants. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 119, 30853096.

T. Cho , J. M. McQueen , & E. Cox (2007). Prosodically driven phonetic detail in speech processing: The case of domain-initial strengthening in English. Journal of Phonetics, 35, 210243.

A. Christophe , S. Peperkamp , C. Pallier , E. Block , & J. Mehler (2004). Phonological phrase boundaries constrain lexical access I. Adult data. Journal of Memory and Language, 51, 523547.

A. Cutler (1994). Segmentation problems, rhythmic solutions. Lingua, 92, 81104.

A. Cutler , & T. Otake (1994). Mora or phoneme: Further evidence for language-specific listening. Journal of Memory and Language, 33, 824844.

K. de Jong (1995). The supraglottal articulation of prominence in English: Linguistic stress as localized hyperarticulation. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 97, 491504.

L. Dilley , & J. D McAuley . (2008). Distal prosodic context affects word segmentation and lexical processing. Journal of Memory and Language, 59, 294311.

J. Flege (1991). Perception and production: The relevance of phonetic input to L2 phonological learning. In T. Heubner & C. W. Ferguson (Eds.), Crosscurrents in second language acquisition and linguistic theory (pp. 249289). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

J. Flege , & I. MacKay (2004). Perceiving vowels in a second language. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 26, 134.

H. Goto (1971). Auditory perception by normal Japanese adults of the sounds “l” and “r.” Neuropsychologia, 9, 317323.

E. K. Johnson , & P. W Jusczyk . (2001). Word segmentation by 8-month-olds: When speech cues count more than statistics. Journal of Memory and Language, 44, 548567.

S.-A. Jun (1998). The accentual phrase in the Korean prosodic hierarchy. Phonology, 15, 189226.

S. Kim , & T. Cho (2009). The use of phrase-level prosodic information in lexical segmentation: Evidence from word-spotting experiments in Korean. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 125, 33733386.

J. Kingston , & R. L Diehl . (1994). Phonetic knowledge. Language, 70, 419454.

D. R. Ladd , A. Schepman , L. White , L. M. Quarmby , & R. Stackhouse (2009). Structural and dialectal effects on pitch peak alignment in two varieties of British English. Journal of Phonetics, 37, 145161.

S. E. Lively , J. S. Logan , & D. B Pisoni . (1993). Training Japanese listeners to identify English /r/ and /l/. II: The role of phonetic environment and talker variability in learning new perceptual categories. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 94, 12421255.

J. S. Logan , S. E. Lively , & D. B Pisoni . (1991). Training Japanese listeners to identify English /r/ and /l/: A first report. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 89, 874886.

J. M McQueen . (1998). Segmentation of continuous speech using phonotactics. Journal of Memory and Language, 39, 2146.

L. Polka (1991). Cross-language speech-perception in adults: Phonemic, phonetic, and acoustic contributions. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 89, 29612977.

H. Quené (1993). Segment durations and accent as cues to word segmentation in Dutch. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 94, 20272035.

J. R. Saffran , E. L. Newport , & R. N Aslin . (1996). Word segmentation: The role of distributional cues. Journal of Memory and Language, 35, 606621.

A. P. Salverda , D. Dahan , & J. M McQueen . (2003). The role of prosodic boundaries in the resolution of lexical embedding in speech comprehension. Cognition, 90, 5189.

S. Shattuck-Hufnagel , & A. E Turk . (1996). A prosody tutorial for investigators of auditory sentence processing. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 25, 193247.

K. B. Shatzman , & J. M McQueen . (2006). Prosodic knowledge affects the recognition of newly acquired words. Psychological Science, 17, 372377.

S. M. Spitzer , J. M. Liss , & S. L Mattys . (2007). Acoustic cues to lexical segmentation: A study of resynthesized speech. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 122, 36783687.

M. D. Tyler , & A. Cutler (2009). Cross-language differences in cue use for speech segmentation. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 126, 367376.

J. Vroomen , J. Tuomainen , & B. de Gelder (1998). The roles of word stress and vowel harmony in speech segmentation. Journal of Memory and Language, 38, 133149.

N. Warner , T. Otake , & T. Arai (2010). Intonational structure as a word boundary cue in Japanese. Language and Speech, 53, 107131.

P. Welby (2007). The role of early fundamental frequency rises and elbows in French word segmentation. Speech Communication, 49, 2848.

C. W. Wightman , S. Shattuck-Hufnagel , M. Ostendorf , & P. J Price . (1992). Segmental durations in the vicinity of prosodic phrase boundaries. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 91, 17071717.

S. Kim , T. Cho , & J. M. McQueen (2012). Phonetic richness can outweigh prosodically-driven phonological knowledge when learning words is an artificial language. Journal of Phonetics, 40, 443452.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Studies in Second Language Acquisition
  • ISSN: 0272-2631
  • EISSN: 1470-1545
  • URL: /core/journals/studies-in-second-language-acquisition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 61 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 133 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th August 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.