The Ohio State University
Goss, Seth Joshua.
Prosody and Reading Comprehension in L2 Japanese.
Degree: MA, East Asian Languages and Literatures, 2009, The Ohio State University
Foreign language learners (L2 learners) have
often been observed to lack a natural “rhythm” when reading aloud.
This rhythm of speech, referred to as prosody, has been shown to
reflect syntax in certain grammatical structures. Learner’s
prosodic errors in oral reading may be due to a lack of
comprehension of these syntactic structures. As little research on
prosody in L2 oral reading exists, the current study attempted to
describe the relationship between prosody and comprehension in
Japanese as a Foreign Language (JFL) learners by posing the
research questions: 1) How do JFL learners apply prosody when
reading aloud? and 2) Does this prosodic phrasing match their
interpretation of the sentences? The experiment
conducted in this thesis presented subjects with a series of
sentences each followed by a comprehension question. Two groups
participated in the experiment, JFL learners (experimental group)
and native speakers (NS) of Japanese (control group). Test
sentences contained both unambiguous and ambiguous branching
modifiers, and the location of prosodic breaks in oral reading were
the prosodic feature under analysis. Results indicated that
prosodic preferences differed between the JFL learner and NS groups
when reading unambiguous sentences aloud. These preferences
corresponded to attachment patterns in the L1 of each group,
suggesting the possibility of L1 transfer in the application of
prosody in oral reading. Overall, both groups performed well on the
comprehension questions, indicating little difficulty in
understanding the branching modifiers contained in the test
sentences. However, we found that the match between prosody in oral
reading—as evidenced by the location of a prosodic break—and the
answers to the comprehension questions were low. This indicated
that although the JFL learners were able to understand the target
syntactic structures, their ability to produce the correct prosody
has not fully developed. Therefore, we concluded that production
errors were not necessarily due to the inability to comprehend the
syntactic structures in the test sentence types used in this
Advisors/Committee Members: Nakayama, Mineharu (Advisor).
Subjects/Keywords: Linguistics; prosody; reading comprehension; JFL learners
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Goss, S. J. (2009). Prosody and Reading Comprehension in L2 Japanese. (Masters Thesis). The Ohio State University. Retrieved from http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1250603347
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Goss, Seth Joshua. “Prosody and Reading Comprehension in L2 Japanese.” 2009. Masters Thesis, The Ohio State University. Accessed October 20, 2019.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Goss, Seth Joshua. “Prosody and Reading Comprehension in L2 Japanese.” 2009. Web. 20 Oct 2019.
Goss SJ. Prosody and Reading Comprehension in L2 Japanese. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. The Ohio State University; 2009. [cited 2019 Oct 20].
Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1250603347.
Council of Science Editors:
Goss SJ. Prosody and Reading Comprehension in L2 Japanese. [Masters Thesis]. The Ohio State University; 2009. Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1250603347