Previous studies on L2 stress perception have mainly focused on words in isolation or in single intonational contexts. This paper reports on a study exploring the influence of different intonation contours, falling (declarative) and rising (yes/no question), on nonnative speakers' stress identification. The study compared the perception of stress position in English words by native speakers of Mandarin, a tone language, and English, a stress language. The results showed that Mandarin speakers exhibited misperception of stress position when high tones did not coincide with the stressed syllable. As a control condition, native English speakers also displayed misperception of stress, but to a lesser extent in the condition of initial stress. Tonal transfer and asymmetrical cue usage are believed to be responsible for the perceptual differences.
"The influence of pitch contour on Mandarin speakers' perception of English stress,"
University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics: Vol. 25
, Article 20.
Available at: https://repository.upenn.edu/pwpl/vol25/iss1/20