14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Contrastive Prosody In SLA – An Empirical Study With Adult Italian Learners Of German

Federica Missaglia

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy

This paper presents a pronunciation training method specifically addressed to Italian learners of German. This method is centred on prosody, treated within a contrastive German-Italian framework. Correct prosodic perception is attained by correct identification of L2-suprasegmentals, achieved by monitoring L1-suprasegmentals. This effect percolates through to other levels resulting in correct German prosody and segmentals. Once learners acquire a rudimental prosodic competence, many phonological interferences disappear, suggesting that accentuation and intonation have a controlling function over syllables and segments.
   Empirical data illustrate the positive effects of a prosodycentred training on L2-German pronunciation. Results obtained with a pre- and post-test-designed analysis comparing segmentcentred with prosody-centred pronunciation training are investigated in view both of specific prosodic and segmental aspects and of motivational implications. Statistically significant different improvement rates in the two procedures give evidence of the priority of prosody in pronunciation training and thus in teaching practice in SLA and in L2 phonetic acquisition

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Missaglia, Federica (1999): "Contrastive prosody in SLA – an empirical study with adult Italian learners of German", In ICPhS-14, 551-554.