Speeches

A test for non-native comprehension of intonation in English

Description
The paper presents a general test of intonational comprehension of English that can be used by learners of any native language. The test consists of several sentences of English spoken with particular intonation patterns of tonality, tonicity and
Categories
Published
of 17
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Related Documents
Share
Transcript
  ATEST FORNON-NATIVECOMPREHENSIONOFINTONATIONIN ENGLISH1Madalena Cruz-Ferreira Die Autorin dieses Artikelsgeht davonaus,da8 die Lernenden einerFremdsprachezuersteinmal die Bedeutung unterschiedlicherIntonationsmusterverstehenmiissen, bevor sieinder Lage sind, selberSatze mit korrekterIntonationzu produzieren.Zu diesem ZweckwirdeinTest ftir das Erlernendes Intonationsverstindnisses im Englischenvorgestellt,derausSlitzen, die mit unterschiedlicher Intonation gesprochen werden,besteht.FtirjedenSatz wer-den dreiverschiedene Bedeutungsinterpretationenangeboten,von denen der Lernende diefiir denjeweiligenSatz korrekte Interpretation auszuwdhlenhat. Die vorgeschlageneMethodel2iGtsich auch aufandere Sprachen tibertragen.L'auteur de cet article part de l'id6e que les 6tudiants d'une langue 6trangdre doiventd'abordcomprendre et identifier le sensdesmoddles intonatifs avant d'arriver A une maitrisede l'intonation correctedesphrases. C'est A fin der6aliser untelprogramme qu'onproposeuntest envuede l'apprentissage d'une maitrise perceptuelle des faits intonatiJs de l'anglais,lequel est compos6 depropositionsprononc6es avec des typesd'intonationdistinctifs. Pourchaqueproposition, trois interpr6tationss6mantiquesdiff6rentessontpr6sent6esil' € lEvequi,pourchaqueproposition,doit choisir celle des intonationsquicorrespondausens cor-rect. Lam6thode propos6e se laisseappliqueraussi i d'autres langues cibles. Thepaperpresentsa general test ofintonationalcomprehensionofEng-lishwhichmaybeusedbylearnersofany native language.Thetest con-sistsof severalsentences f English spokenwith particular intonation pat-ternsof tonality, tonicity and tone, conveyinggeneralorlocal meaningsinEnglish. Threealternativeinterpretations are providedforeach sen-tence, helearner havingto match each sentencewithonly one of thein-terpretations.t is proposedhat the testmay be enlargedand/ormodi-fiedsoas to be applicablendiagnosingand predicting difficultieswiththentonationof anyL2,as wellasprovidinginsights ntoparticularsanduniversals fintonation.7.ntroductionThis paperpresents a generaltest ofintonationalcomprehensionofEnglishwhich, itisassumed,canbeused bylearnersofEnglish of anyna-tivetongue.Anearlierversionofthis testwasPresentedoPortuguesespeakers,nda Portuguese ersionofit toEnglishsPeakersCruz-Ferrei-ra 1983).Theresults andfindings of thisfirst presentationofthe test en-abledtheconstructionof the versionPresentednthisPaPer,whichis en-  24 IRAL,OL,XXVU/I,EBRUARY989largedand morecomprehensive.This seminently apracticalest,and the-oreticaldiscussions reducedo aminimum. Fordiscussionn the testingofnon-native intonationseeAnderson(1970),McNaught0.97$and Scuf-fir0982).Thereasons orthepresentationof this testare manifold,and can besummarizedinthree main points:a.Intonationisstill thelast"stronghold"of aforeign accentnspeak-ing any Lz, and this is true evenof speakerswho otherwisehaveper-fect or near-peifectcommandof the phonetics ofLz.b.Intonation hasonlyrecently begun to be seriouslyandsystemati-cally takenntoaccountbothin the iterature devoted toforeign lan-guage earningandinteachingtself. ThistestwillhopefullyhelpteachersofEnglishto ascertainandsystematizehemostcommondifficulties, errors andmisinterpretations of thelearners.c.Thetest willnotonlyhelp in detectingthesedifficultiesbut also,through the settingupofa typology of errors,help tocorrectthem.Inamoretheoreticalviewpoint,a comparison oftheintonationsys-tems ofLzand of theLrof thelearnerwill certainly bring tolightfurther insightsonuniversals and particulars ofintonationandtherefore enableheconstruction of testswith a widerrangeand astrongerpredictive component.Onepoint needsspecialemphasis:he viewtaken n this papersthatintonation patterns ofanyL2cannotbe adequatelymasteredby thelearn-er otherwise than by systematicteaching, which a test of the typepresentedhere will hopefully help toimplement. A numberofauthorshavediscussed eachingofintonation, both theoretically and presentingpracticalsuggestions, mong themCurrieandYule(1982),roposingabasicmodel for theteaching ofEnglishintonation, Pritchard(1985),con-trastingFrenchand English intonation and suggestingmethods fortheteachingofLz intonation,andFaber1985),iscussingecentheoriesofspeech-rhythmand stressing heimportanceofrhythm forthepurposeofLzteachig.This paperpresentsa comprehension est.tisassumed hat thefirstdifficultyfacedbynon-nativeswith thentonationofLz lies ncomprehen-sion andnotin production: inthefirststagesoflearning,a faultycom-prehension fintonationwill determinedifficultiesnproduction,andnotvice-versa.There is no point intryingtoelicita"correct"ntonational form  TESTING NON.NATIVEINTONATION25 fromanon-native, byimitationorotherwise,f hedoesnot perceive t assui-generis nd specific o theforeign language.Thetestis proposedboth as diagnosticnd aspredictiae.Diagnostic inthe sensehatitenables he teachero ascertainna straightforwardwaythe difficuties ofthelearners-what theseare and where they are.Foramoreaccurateevaluation of theresults, heformatofthe testissuch thatstatisticalreatmentof therepliesof theearnerssquite easy.Thetestsalsomeantto bepredictive, inthesense hat eachsentencepresentedstypicalofa rangeof other sentenceswhere the samecorrespondencento-nationpattern-meaningpplies.Onepointneedsexplicit clarification:donotbelieve hatntonation works, thatis, meansndependentlyof thelexico-grammatical entencestoccurswithor rather,nteractswith.Idonotthereforebelieve thatintonationcan beprofitablylearnedor taughtindependentlyoflexico-grammaticalstructures.This istherealsensenwhich Imean he word"predictive":ifficultiesn interpretingasentencesuchasshewon'tdrink"anycot'feesmeaningshedrinksonly someypesofcoffee"predictsdifficultiesn interpreting hemeaningof anysentencewith thestructurenot.. .any" and afalling-risingntonationpattern onthe quantifier"any".2. BackgroundThe intonationaldevicesby which thedifferentmeaningsare conveyedare takento correspond o three typesofintonational choiceseeHalliday7967):onality, hedivision ofanutterancento intonation groupsj tonicity,the placement ofthenucleus,or mainaccent,neachntonationgroup;andtone, hemelodicshapeof thenucleus,orexampleisingorfalling.Thetoneticstressmarks usedto graphicallyrepresent ntonation in thetestsentencesreas nO'ConnorandArnold(797il.Basically,denotesafalling tone,'aisingtone,vafall-riseand^a rise-fall.High variantsareplacedat thetop of the text andlow variantsat the bottom.Thesymbol/indicatesntonation groupboundary.Foreachof the three choices, onality,tonicityand tone, here can beusesofintonationwhich aregeneral, hatis,conveyingdifferences ofmeaning occurringin other languagesoo, or local, hatis,conveyingdif-ferencesofmeaning whichare specificto English, broughtabout by theinteractionof certainntonationpatternswith certainlexico-grammaticalstructures.Examplesare(theull setoftestsentencess given asAppen-dix):  25IRAL, OL.XXV[/I,FEBRUARY989(i)Tonalitygeneralthe differencebetween(20)thechildrenwho were playing lookeduhhappyand(20'therchildrenwhowererplayinglookeduihappyasa restrictiveversusnon-restrictive nterpretationof a relativeclausealsoexistsforexample inPortugu"re,.onu"yedby thesameintonationalmeans.Iocal-the differencebetween(5)shedressed/andedthe\babyand(5')she dressedandfedthe\babyas theinterpretationof dress s an intransitive or transitive verb is due tothespecificambiguityof this verbin English.(ii)Tonicitygeneral thedifferencebetween(3)healso ranslated he bookand\(3')he alsoransrlatedhe bookasmodifyingthe scopeofalso s a featureof otheranguagesoo.Iocalthe differencebetween(19)hemight haveutold meand(19')tre'mignt have,told measreferringo an unfulfilledduty on thepartof"he"or to a possibility, sdue to the ambiguityof mightn English.(iii)Tonegeneralthe differencebetween(21')|ohnpassedhisOxamsand(21')Johnpassed isbxams  TESTINGNON-NATIVEINTONATION27 asindicatinga surprisedversusa neutralstatementalsoexistsforexamplen Portuguese,onveyedby thesame ntonationalmeans.Iocalthedifferencebetween(15)shewon'tdrinkvanvcoffeeand(15')shewon'tdrink)nycoffeeas estrictingorgeneralizinghescopeof the negator"onlysomeypesofcoffee"versus"nocoffeeat all") isspecifico the nteractionofnegatorandquantifier ntheseypesof sentencenEnglish.3.Layoutof theestThetest,whichisgivenasAppendixI, presents 4sentences,achwithaparticulartypical intonationofEnglish.Thesentencesre colloquialnstyle and the vocabularyused ischoseno be assimple aspossible,oavoidthe possibilityof Iexico-semanticactorsaffectinghe nterpretationand to avoidstraininghe learnersna"word-interpretive"askwhich isnotat all requiredof them.Ineach sentence,he intonationpatternpresenteds theone whichgivesthe sentencesheeastprobable nterpretation,fonlythestrict lexi-co-grammaticalmeaningofthe sentencestakenntoaccount.The exico-grammaticalstructureshaveastrong"firstinterpretation"or, to useBer-kovits'term,a"high-bias"nterpretation.Berkovits1981:3)quantifiesthe notionof high-biason thebasisf"theproportionof subjectswhoper-ceivea particularmeaningirst",nthe readingof potentiallyambiguoussentences.erkovitsdefineshe notionof high-biasnsilent readingofwrittensentences,hat is,nsentencesith no intonation.Suchhigh-biasinterpretationsfsentenceseem o bemadealson listening:nthe pres-entationof this testo the Portuguesepeakers,ostof thesentencesere(wrongly)interpretedasfthey were,so to say,spokenwith no intona-tion. Thetestsentencesresent,herefore,henterpretationwhichis far-thestemovedromahigh-biasnterpretation.The nterpretationof thesentences s presentednthe teststhuspre-dictedto presenthe highestdegreeofdifficulty fortheearners.Butitisalsoclearhat this willdependo a largeextentonthenteractionsofin-tonation andlexico-grammaticalstructurewhichoccur inthe nativetongueof the earner.Knowledgeof these nteractionsn Lrwilltherefore
Search
Tags
Related Search
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks