Studies on Cross-linguistic Transfer Patterning and Prosodic Typology
Cantonese, Japanese, English
Esther Yuk Wah Lai
University of Hong Kong
The present book is a collection of studies on prosody and universal transfer patterning in distinct prosodic types. The languages of reference are Cantonese, Japanese and English.
The first paper: “Cantonese Stress: its Forms and Functions” investigates the stress phenomenon in the under-researched tonal language of Cantonese (a Chinese dialect belonging to the Yue dialect group). An original Cantonese Durational Stress/Accent Hypothesis is motivated to explain prosodic operations that are hitherto overlooked on the basis of stress behaviour in other tonal dialects of Chinese as well as languages of distinct typologies.
The second paper: “Predictability and Universality of Transfer Patterning in Distinct Prosodic Types” adopts the contrastive approach to examine cross-linguistic transfer patterning, proposing a Contrastive Transfer Hierarchy to predict, or explain, transfer prominence and degrees of difficulties in SLA with L1 and L2 from distinct prosodic typological backgrounds.
The third paper: “A Cantonese Accent: Transfer of Cantonese Prosodic Traits in the Acquisition of Japanese as a Second Language” and the forth one: “Which is more Difficult for the Japanese Native Speaker to Master, Cantonese or English Prosody?” present rather straight-forward accounts of learning difficulties in the particular group of first language speakers regarding the prosody of the specified second languages on the basis of the assumptions laid down previously in the first papers.
ISBN 9783895867019. Languages of the World 28.100pp. 2003.