LINGUIST List 19.3221|
Thu Oct 23 2008
Support: English & General Ling: PhD Student, University of East Anglia
Editor for this issue: Luiza Newlin Lukowicz
To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at
English & General Linguistics: PhD Student, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
Message 1: English & General Linguistics: PhD Student, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
From: Gillian Potter <foh.pgruea.ac.uk>
Subject: English & General Linguistics: PhD Student, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
E-mail this message to a friend
Institution/Organization: University of East Anglia
Department: Faculty of Health
Web Address: http://www1.uea.ac.uk/cm/Home
Job Rank: PhD
Specialty Areas: General Linguistics
Required Language(s): English (eng)
The influence of L1 prosody on L2 intelligibility in health communication
Much money and energy is currently being expended on improving the communication
skills of trainee medics and other health professionals. However, the number of
complaints in which communication features prominently continues to remain high
(Fitzpatrick 2005: 725). A number of these complaints relate to the perceived
unintelligibility of NHS staff for whom English is not their first language.
Although a non-native accent can sometimes interfere with intelligibility, most
second language research indicates that this does not necessarily act as a
communication barrier. Evidence suggest that prosodic errors affect
intelligibility far more than phonetic errors, i.e. errors in segmental
production (Munro et al.,1999; Raschka, Butterfint and Song, 2008).
The prosodic features of speech, such as stress placement and pitch variation
are used differently in different languages. For example, in English pitch
variation, in the form of intonation, is used to signal grammatical,
conversational, attitudinal, emotional, and relational information. In tonal
languages pitch variation is used to signal lexical contrasts, i.e. changes in
word meaning. Investigations of learners' second language productions with
comparable control data in the target language (English in this context), as
well as, a comparison of different learner language varieties are infrequent in
Speech samples from both non-native speakers' first and second languages, plus
comparable target language data, will be analysed to examine prosodic variation.
The proposed research will examine (1) the extent to which prosodic features of
a first language influence interactions in a second language, and (2) the extent
to which this impacts on intelligibility.
This research will provide guidance for those teaching communication skills to
non-native speakers of English and will utilize standard methodologies from
acoustic phonetics and social sciences.
Candidates should have an interest in intercultural health communication,
knowledge of acoustic phonetics and should have experience in using Praat.
Fitzpatrick, M. (2005) Communication skills. British Journal of General
Practice, September, p 275.
Munro, M.J. and Derwing, T.M. (1999) Foreign accent, comprehensibility, and
intelligibility in the speech of second language learners. Language Learning,
Raschka, C., Butterfint, Z., and Song, L. (2008) Intonation and Prosody as
markers of intercultural identity. Paper presented at 41st BAAL Symposium,
University of Swansea.
Rasier, L. and Hiligsmann, P. (2007) Prosodic transfer from L1 to L2.
Theoretical and methodological issues. Nouveaux Cahiers de Linguistique
Française, 28, 41-66.
Students are expected to register in January 2009 for a three year* full-time
Funding includes UK/EU tuition fees, maintenance expenses of £12,940 and some
appropriate training costs. (*the MRC studentship is four years). Overseas
students will be expected to pay the difference between UK/EU and Overseas
Applicants should hold a 2:1 degree or above or a master's degree in science,
social science or health related subject or equivalent.
Those applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate evidence
of appropriate English language proficiency, normally defined as a minimum IELTS
score of 7.5 (Overall Band Score) with 7.5 in all elements or equivalent.
Applications Deadline: 14-Nov-2008
Web Address for Applications: http://www1.uea.ac.uk/cm/home/schools/foh/PGR
Dr Christina Raschka
Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue
Please report any bad links or misclassified data
LINGUIST Homepage | Read
LINGUIST | Contact us
While the LINGUIST List makes every effort to ensure the linguistic relevance of sites listed
on its pages, it cannot vouch for their contents.