The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 22

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 22, No. 0, pp. 1-18
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2022
Received 05 Dec 2021 Revised 18 Jan 2022 Accepted 27 Jan 2022

Effects of Parts of Speech on Implicit Prosodic Prominence by Native English Speakers and Korean Learners of English
Suyeon Im ; Hyunkee Ahn
(1st author) Research Assistant Professor, Hanyang Institute for Phonetics and Cognitive Sciences of Language, Department of English Language and Literature, Hanyang University, Tel: 02) 2220-2507 (
(corresponding author) Professor, Department of English Language Education, Seoul National University, Tel: 02) 880-7673 (

© 2022 KASELL All rights reserved
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.


It has been proposed that content words are more likely to be prosodically prominent than function words. Such a binary distinction in word classes (content words versus function words) has been considered insufficient to predict the occurrence of prosodic prominence in more recent research. This study investigates the effects of (1) word classes and (2) parts of speech on prosodic prominence by native English speakers and Korean learners of English in silent reading of public speech. Results showed that Korean learners of English were more likely than native English speakers to assign prosodic prominence on content words as well as function words. The difference was greatest for verb for content words and determiner for function words. Also, Korean learners of English tended to show coarser mapping between prosodic prominence and parts of speech than native English speakers. In particular, native English speakers favored pronoun, among function words, which may convey co-referential information in discourse context, but this part of speech was treated equally with other function words by Korean learners of English. Based on the results, we propose a hierarchy of (sentence-level) stressability. These results are not identical to those from the previous studies on perception of prosodic prominence, suggesting a weak perception-production link of prosodic prominence. Overall, the present study expands our understanding of (a) the relationship between prosodic prominence and word classes/parts of speech and (b) the perception-production link of the suprasegmental feature in L2.

Keywords: implicit prosody, prosodic prominence, word class, part of speech, stressability, Korean learners of English, perception-production link

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