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The Ohio State University

1. 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 experiment. Advisors/Committee Members: Nakayama, Mineharu (Advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Linguistics; prosody; reading comprehension; JFL learners

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

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. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1250603347.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Goss, Seth Joshua. “Prosody and Reading Comprehension in L2 Japanese.” 2009. Web. 20 Oct 2019.

Vancouver:

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

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