Discourse Intonation in L2

From theory and research to practice

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Intonation, rhythm, and general “melody” of language are among the first aspects of speech that infants attend to and produce themselves. Yet, these same features are among the last to be mastered by adult L2 learners. Why is this, and how can L2 learners be helped? This book first presents the latest linguistic theories of intonation, in particular, how intonation functions in discourse not only to signal sentence types and attitudinal meanings but also to provide turn-taking and other conversational cues. The second part of the book examines the research in applied linguistics on the acquisition of L2 phonology and intonation. The third section offers practical applications of how to incorporate the teaching of intonation into L2 instruction, with a focus on using new speech technologies. The accompanying CD-ROM makes a unique addition in allowing for simultaneous audio playback and visual display of the pitch contours of utterances contained in the book. Users can start or stop the playback at any point in the utterance and can observe first-hand how such visual and audio representations could be useful for L2 learners.

Subjects: Language acquisition; Language teaching

  • Affiliations: 1: University of California, Santa Barbara

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