Prosodic and phonetic aspects of paralinguistic utterances with the German modal particle schon in L1 and L2

Miki Ikoma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In this study, prosodic aspects of the German modal particle schon are investigated, expressing three kinds of paralinguistic information, “conviction,” “reservation,” and “rebuttal.” To clarify if there are common vs. language-dependent prosodic aspects of utterances with MP schon conveying paralinguistic meaning in L1 and L2, both production and perception experiments for L1 native speakers and L2 Japanese learners of German at the A1 level were conducted. Japanese nonlearners of German (NL) also attended the perception experiment, to compare the results with L1 speakers and L2 learners of German. The results in production show common prosodic properties in L1 and L2 on the one hand, such as longer duration of utterance, larger pitch range, and higher F1 in the accented vowel in the “rebuttal” utterance; but we also found language-dependent properties, such as lower pitch and higher intensity in the whole utterance in “rebuttal” by L1 speakers, while higher mean pitch and lower intensity in “rebuttal” utterances by L2 speakers were observed. In perception, the results show common tendencies in L1 and L2, such as perceptual confusion between “conviction” and “rebuttal,” although the overall percentage of correct answers by L1 speakers was significantly higher than by L2 speakers and Japanese nonlearners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-669
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020 - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 2020 May 252020 May 28


  • German speech
  • Modal particles
  • Paralinguistic information
  • Production and perception of prosody
  • Vowel quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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