Processing of Prosody and Semantics in Sepedi and L2 English - HAL-SHS - Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Psycholinguistic Research Year : 2021

Processing of Prosody and Semantics in Sepedi and L2 English


A phoneme-detection task shows that listeners of Sepedi use semantic information in processing but not prosody (Experiment 1). Sepedi is a language with no grammaticalised prosodic expression of focus. Sepedi listeners detected phoneme targets faster when the phoneme-bearing words were focussed (as opposed to unfocussed) but not when occurring in a context conducive to prosodic emphasis (as opposed to non-conducive). Experiment 2 tested the role of semantic focus and prosody in processing by Sepedi L1/English L2 listeners (English being a language with systematic focus-to-accent mapping). Non-native listeners detected phoneme-bearing words faster in focussed condition (as opposed to unfocussed) and in accented condition (as opposed to deaccented). The results suggest that the L2 prosodic structure is exploited by Black South African English listeners even if this feature is not present in their L1. Our experiments replicate the pattern of results found in Akker and Cutler's (Biling Lang Cogn 6:81-96, 2003) experiment for Dutch L1/ English L2 listeners, even with listeners whose L1 does not use prosody the way English does.
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halshs-03082244 , version 1 (12-12-2023)



Giuseppina Turco, Sabine Zerbian. Processing of Prosody and Semantics in Sepedi and L2 English. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 2021, 50 (3), pp.681-706. ⟨10.1007/s10936-020-09746-z⟩. ⟨halshs-03082244⟩
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