Information Status and Prosodic Prominence as Perceived by Korean Learners of English

Suyeon Im 1 ,
Author Information & Copyright
1The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
*Corresponding Author : Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies The Hong Kong Polytechnic University AG 522, Core A, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, E-mail:

ⓒ Copyright 2019 Language Education Institute, Seoul National University. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Jun 29, 2019 ; Revised: Aug 14, 2019 ; Accepted: Aug 18, 2019

Published Online: Aug 31, 2019


This study investigates the relationship between information status and prosodic prominence perceived by Korean learners of the English language, compared to English native speakers, in a complete public speech. Both groups of speakers were asked to mark words that they perceived as being prominent, while listening to a speech in real time. The information status of a word was annotated as a function of referential and lexical information, as well as focus. The results show that Korean native speakers perceive prosodic prominence in a similar manner to that of English native speakers. Both groups are more likely to perceive prominence for new or focused words than for given or non-focused words. The two groups, however, differ in that Korean native speakers tend to more frequently perceive prominence for words carrying lexical information than English native speakers. This bias seems to be influenced by parts-of-speech, in alignment with the findings of previous studies.

Keywords: prosodic prominence; information status; Rapid Prosody Transcription; The RefLex Scheme; Korean learners of English



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