Aoju Chen

Intonation in second language acquisition

In my work on L2 intonation, I investigate the intonation of L2 learners in both production and comprehension. Regarding production, I am interested in the structural properties of L2 learners' intonation and the use of intonation in everyday communication in L2, such as making references, expressing sarcasm, and turn taking. Regarding comprehension, I am interested in questions like how L2 learners process intonational information in language comprehension at different proficiency levels. I have used both offline (e.g. production and perception experiments) and online methods (e.g. eyetracking) to seek answers to my questions.

More recently, I have developed a strong interest in the effect of training on the production and comprehension of prosody in L2. My students and I have examined the effect of training on the prosodic expression of sarcasm and on the use of intonation in anticipatory processing in L2 English. We have found that explicit training of a short duration can already improve L2 learners’ use of intonation in both production and comprehension.

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PI:

  • Aoju Chen

Researchers of the ‘Sarcasm’ study:

  • Laura Smorenburg, BA
  • Joe Rodd, MA

Student assistants:

  • Saskia Verstegen