The Perception of Intonation in Japanese Sentence Types by Swedish Speakers : Wh-Questions, Yes/No-Questions and Declaratives

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Japanska

Sammanfattning: This study is concerned with the topic of sentence-final intonation in wh-questions, yes/no- questions and declaratives. The aim of the study is to investigate whether native speakers of Swedish can recognize these sentence types in standard Japanese by listening to the intonation alone. In addition, whether exposure to the language affects the ability to distinguish these sentence types is investigated. Therefore, two quantitative online surveys were created for native speakers of Japanese and Swedish for further comparison. The Swedish participants were initially asked to choose between four categories corresponding to their exposure to and proficiency in Japanese: little to no exposure, regular exposure, 1-year students at university, and 2-year students or higher at university. The participants were then asked to listen to Japanese sentences and choose the most suitable answer. The results from the Japanese speakers showed high recognition rate in all three sentence types. Similar results were produced by students of Japanese, except in declaratives. The answers indicate that declaratives were perceived as interrogative sentences instead.

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