Vowel Quality and Duration as a Cue to Word Stress for Non-native Listeners: Polish Listeners’ Perception of Stress in English

  • Arkadiusz Rojczyk
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


The paper reports results from a study on the perception of vowel quality and duration as a stress cue in English by Polish learners of English. The word record was synthesised in which F0 was held constant and vowel quality and duration were manipulated to obtain three different types of interaction. The two parameters could remain neutral as to the stress location, contribute jointly to stress location, or provide conflicting cues. Thirty-two Polish advanced learners of English participated in an identification task in which they were required to choose a noun form ‘record stressed on the first syllable or a verb form re’cord stressed on the second syllable. The results revealed that in the absence of f0 cues, the listeners were able to make use of both vowel quality and duration to judge the stress location. It is hypothesized that, in the absence of the cue which is primary in their native language, the listeners were able to resort to cues which are secondary in their native language when listening to L2 speech.


Stressed Syllable Vowel Duration Lexical Stress Vowel Quality Initial Syllable 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was partly supported by a grant from Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (0576/B/H03/2010/38).


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SilesiaKatowicePoland

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