Perception and interpretation of intonational prominence in varieties of South African English
Through its intonation an utterance conveys semantic and pragmatic meaning, as e.g. in prosodic focus marking. Languages differ in the use and realization of intonation. Many studies have investigated the production of intonation in learner and contact varieties. The study reports on three experiments that investigate the perception and interpretation of prosodic differences and prominence in contact varieties of South African English. The results show that dominant language background is a significant factor in the perception of intonation and that the interpretation of focus marking through prosodic means is difficult for all multilingual speakers.