Data of The acquisition of consonant clusters and word stress by early second language learners of German: Evidence for cross-linguistic influence?
10 Modern Languages
104-04 Applied Linguistics, Experimental Linguistics, Computational Linguistics
20 October 2023
Type(s) of data
This study compared word-prosodic abilities of early second language learners (eL2) and monolingual learners of German. We examined the production of word-initial and word-final clusters and the placement of stress and analyzed potential effects of cross-linguistic influence (CLI). Monolingual German-speaking children (n = 38) and eL2-learners of German (n = 26; Age of onset to German 24 to 41 months) aged between 53 and 60 months completed a pseudoword repetition task following the metrical and phonotactic constraints of German. We collected background information via parental questionnaires. The eL2-learners acquired 12 different L1s. To explore the effects of CLI, we grouped the heritage languages by the number of consonants permitted in word-initial and word-final position, the segmental make-up of clusters, and stress patterns. The production accuracy of word-initial clusters and word stress was very high, indicating a high degree of maturation and showing no effects of CLI. In contrast, the production accuracy of word-final clusters was lower and effects of CLI were found, presumably related to smaller sonority distances compared to word-initial clusters. The study contributes empirically to the under-investigated area of eL2 word-prosodic development.
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