Speaker: Jeffrey Klassen
When: Wednesday 10/31 from 12:35 to 1:25
Title: Acquisition of focus prosody in English: evidence from native speakers of Spanish
Abstract: Adult learners of a second language (L2) show difficulties in learning pragmatic aspects of their L2. This fact has lead to a proposal within the field of generative language acquisition which states that grammatical structures at the external interfaces (e.g. syntax-discourse) pose considerably more problems for learners than the internal interfaces (e.g. syntax-phonology). This proposal is known as the Interface Hypothesis (IH) (Sorace 2011). My study tests the IH with respect to the prosodic marking of focus in English, looking at how it is perceived and produced by intermediate L2 learners whose first language (L1) is Spanish. I report on a perception study which provides evidence that the grammar of native Spanish speakers is not convergent with L1 English grammar with respect to focus marking, thereby offering support to the IH.
Schedule for the rest of the semester*:
November 7: Matthew Masapollo (McGill), Infants’ processing of vowels with infant vocal tract parameters
November 14: Robert Henderson & Jessica Coon (McGill), Agent focus in Mayan
November 21: Omer Preminger (Syracuse U), Topic TBA
November 28: Tanya Slavin (McGill), Topic TBA
*Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to present next semester.