The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics
[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 22, No. 0, pp.153-168
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2022
Received 10 Jan 2022 Revised 21 Feb 2022 Accepted 27 Feb 2022

Influence of Acoustic Cues on the Perception of Lexical Stress by Korean Learners of English and English Listeners

Eunkyung Sung
Professor, Department of English, Cyber Hankuk University of Foreign Studies 107 Imun-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea, Tel: 02) 2173-8761

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This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of the present study was to examine how listeners’ native language affected the use of four different acoustic cues (duration, F0, intensity, and vowel quality) in identifying lexical stress in English. Native Korean and English listeners judged lexical stress placement in nonce words in which the first or the second syllable was varied systematically regarding the four acoustic cues. The results of proportions of trochaic responses and statistical analyses showed that all four cues were important predictors of the listeners’ stress perception. However, the two listener groups performed differently when considering response patterns for four acoustic cues separately. Specifically, the Korean listeners were significantly more sensitive to F0 and intensity cues than the English listeners. There were no statistically significant differences between the two listener groups in terms of duration and vowel quality cues. Also, there were significant effects of interaction between acoustic cues and listener groups for duration and F0 cues. The Korean listeners relied more on F0 and less on duration than the English listeners. These findings imply that L2 listeners’ perception of lexical stress is not entirely predicted by L1 prosody. Furthermore, for both groups of listeners the cue shift from iambic to noncontrastive stress patterns induced less changes in trochaic stress responses than that from noncontrastive to trochaic stress patterns. This preference for trochaic stress perception over iambic stress needs to be further investigated in the future study.


acoustic cues, duration, F0, intensity, vowel quality, lexical stress, perception, Ko rean listeners, English listeners


This work was supported by the Cyber Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Research Fund of 2021.


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