The Floor is Yours: On the Perception of Final Lengthening and Pitch Contour as Cues for Turn Taking in British English by Dutch L2 Learners of English
Braak, P.C. van
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The present study investigates the perception of final lengthening and pitch contour as cues in the turn-taking process in British English by Dutch learners of English, and compares it to the perception of these cues by native speakers of English as described in the literature. 11 female and 2 male native speakers of Dutch took part in a perception experiment and completed a self-evaluative questionnaire on turn-taking in conversations. Although participants did not evaluate their overall English turn-taking skills as being notably different from their turn-taking skills in Dutch, they only showed native-like performance in their perception of final lengthening as a cue in the turn-taking process in British English. The participants’ interpretation of the different pitch contours in terms of cues for (dis)continuation was remarkably different from the perception of pitch contour by native speakers of English as described in the literature, and emphasizes the need for further research into the role of pitch contour and the influence of formal instruction on the perception of conversationally relevant prosodic aspects in second language learning in general.