Effects of the Weight-to-Stress Principle in English Speakers Learning Japanese Prosody Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Powers, Anna
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Linguistics
Abstract
  • This thesis explores the effect of the Weight-to-Stress Principle (WSP) in second language transfer of word-level accent from English stress accent to Japanese pitch accent within the framework of Optimality Theory. A model is proposed that predicts some English speakers will be more likely to insert pitch accents into unaccented Japanese words containing heavy syllables (Heavy words) than ones consisting only of light syllables (Light words), due to the effects of WSP. I performed an elicitation experiment on English-speaking learners of Japanese wherein participants produced unaccented Japanese nonce words of varying prosodic structure in a sentence. At least one participant was more likely to insert a pitch accent into Heavy words than Light words, supporting the proposed model. Two other participants showed a preference for inserting pitch accents on three-mora Light words, indicating that additional factors may be at work.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Moreton, Elliott
  • Smith, Jennifer L.
  • Pertsova, Katya
Degree
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2014
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
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