A Cross-linguistic Comparison Between Spanish and English Intonation of Interrogatives

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Son, Young A

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서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
영학논집, Vol.32, pp. 169-187
intonational patterninterrogativesphrase boundariesL1 transfer
The following research paper is a preliminary study of the different intonational
patterns of English and Spanish Yes or No Questions and WHQuestions.
It examines the various elements that might influence the English
intonation of interrogative sentences by Spanish native speakers (SNS). It intends
to answer: what are differences in the patterns of English and Spanish
Questions? Does the L1 (Spanish) influence the intonation of English YNQs?
Does the L1 influence the intonation of English WHQs? The results of the
analysis of the data are tantamount to that of the results in previous studies.
It was demonstrated that there is indeed transfer from L1 – Spanish to L2 –
English. To counter-argue the possibility of the results being just a representation
of the unmarkedness of the rising pattern in interrogatives, the SNSs
intonation was examined more closely. It was found that there is a distinctive
pattern in the way the SNS intonates interrogatives according to where the
focus or the emphatic word is located in the sentence. When the focus is at
the end of the interrogative, there is a steady continuance with no change in
pitch in the phrase boundary. This pattern seems characteristic in both types
of interrogatives uttered by the SNS and there appears to be a transfer of this
form of intonation in the English interrogatives.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)영학논집(English Studies)영학논집(English Studies) No.32 (2012)
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