15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

An Optimality-Theoretic Approach to Word Stress: Evidence from Chinese-English Interlanguage

Shu-chen Ou

University of Edinburgh, UK

This study presents an Optimality-theoretic account of word stress in Chinese-English interlanguage. The OT-L2 model states that L2 acquisition is a re-ranking process from L1 state towards L2 state. There are three constraints concerned in this study: Parse-syllable, WSP and Nonfinality. The L1 ranking is Parse-syllable » WSP, Nonfinality and the L2 ranking is Nonfinality, WSP » Parse-syllable. Three interim stages predicted in Chinese-English interlanguage are tested in a perception experiment of pseudo-words. The results support the patterns and order of interim stages that is predicted by one of the re-ranking scenarios. On the other hand, the pattern predicted in the ranking of WSP » Nonfinality, Parse-syllable is not attested in the data. This indicates that the actual pattern of development is more restricted than predicted by the OT model.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ou, Shu-chen (2003): "An optimality-theoretic approach to word stress: evidence from Chinese-English interlanguage", In ICPhS-15, 1541-1544.