Chinese learners’ acquisition of English word stress and factors affecting stress assignment

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Abstract

This study explores Chinese ESL learners’ acquisition of English word stress and compares the factors affecting their stress assignment with Guion et al.’s (2003) findings of three factors (syllable structure, lexical class, and phonologically similar words) affecting English speakers’ stress placement. Twenty Hong Kong advanced learners produced and perceived 40 real words and 40 pseudowords of varying syllable structures in noun and verb sentence frames. They also indicated words they considered to be phonologically similar to the pseudoword. The results show that the participants performed well in the tasks with real words, but there were asymmetrical abilities in the tasks involving pseudowords. Regarding the factors affecting the stress assignment, different from the findings by Guion et al., stress assignment was not significantly influenced by syllable structure or the stress patterns of phonologically similar real words. Only lexical class had an effect on main stress assignment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-555
JournalLinguistics and Education
Volume24
Issue number4
Early online dateSep 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

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Hong Kong
ability
Assignment
Word Stress
Chinese Learners
English Words
Pseudowords
Syllable Structure
Lexical Class
Nouns
Asymmetrical
Verbs
Placement
Stress Patterns
English Speakers

Citation

Chen, H. C. (2013). Chinese learners’ acquisition of English word stress and factors affecting stress assignment. Linguistics and Education, 24(4), 545–555.

Keywords

  • Lexical class
  • Word stress
  • Syllable structure
  • Perception and production