Linguistic correlates of comprehensibility in second language Japanese speech
This study examined phonological, temporal, lexical and grammatical correlates of native speakers’ perception of second language (L2) comprehensibility (i.e., ease of understanding). L2 learners of Japanese with various proficiency levels engaged in oral picture description tasks which were judged by native speaking raters for comprehensibility, and then submitted to pronunciation, fluency, and lexicogrammar analyses. According to correlation analyses and linear mixed-models, the native speaking judges’ comprehensibility ratings were significantly linked not only with actual usage of words in context (lexical appropriateness) but also with the surface details of words (pitch accent, speech rate, lexical variation). Similar to previous L2 English studies (e.g., Isaacs & Trofimovich, 2012), the influence of segmental and morphological errors in the comprehensibility of L2 Japanese speech appeared to be minor.
Keywords: comprehensibility, second language speech, Japanese, pronunciation, fluency, vocabulary, grammar
- 1.1Second language comprehensibility
- 1.2Rater backgrounds
- 2.Motivation for current study
- 3.2Speech materials
- 3.3Global analyses
- 3.4Linguistic analyses of L2 Japanese
- 3.4.2Pitch accent
- 4.1Inter-rater reliability
- 4.2Experts vs. novices
- 4.3Linguistic correlates of comprehensibility
- 4.4Linear mixed-effects model analyses
Published online: 04 December 2017
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