Möking, Eduardo (2021). The intonation of feedback signals in the first and second language. Bachelor thesis, Universität zu Köln.

[img] PDF

Download (5MB)


This explorative study is concerned with the intonation of minimal utterances, such as backchannels and short answers, in learners of a second language (L2). Backchannels are lexical and non-lexical utterances (‘mm-hm’, ‘yes’) signalling the speaker’s comprehension and acknowledgement of what his interlocutor is saying. In this study, the performance of Italian learners of German and native German (L1) speakers was analysed and compared to identify differences and similarities regarding both group’s minimal utterance production. Participants were recorded during a collaborative goal-oriented task. In the analysis, two sub-classes of minimal utterances were distinguished: backchannels and short answers to yes-no- and tag questions (response tokens). In addition, backchannels were further separated into acknowledgment tokens marking passive recipiency (PR) and acknowledgement tokens marking incipient speakership (IS). The minimal utterance production of both groups was analysed to determine the overall rate of backchannels and response tokens and their intonation patterns in relation to different pragmatic functions. The backchanneling behaviour of the L1 and L2 groups was compared to assess to what extent learners approach the target language across two proficiency levels (beginners and advanced). The more significant differences between the two groups were found with regard to the choice of tokens, while intonation patterns across different pragmatic functions were mostly similar. Proficiency did not have a noticeable effect on token choice or minimal utterance intonation. Results suggest that individual variability is a more significant factor.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Möking, Eduardoemoeking@smail.uni-koeln.deUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-722875
Series Name at the University of Cologne: Papers on Prominence
Volume: 13
Date: 2021
Language: English
Faculty: Collaborative Research Centers
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 1: Kunstgeschichte, Musikwissenschaft, Medienkultur und Theater, Linguistik, IDH > Institut für Linguistik > Phonetik
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 3: Deutsche Sprache und Literatur > Institut für Deutsche Sprache und Literatur I
Collaborative Research Centers > CRC 1252: Prominence in Language
Collaborative Research Centers > CRC 1252: Prominence in Language > TP A02
Subjects: Language, Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords:
backchannels, intonation, second-language acquisition, prosody, feedback, task-oriented dialogueEnglish
Date of oral exam: 2021
NameAcademic Title
Grice, MartineProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/72287


Downloads per month over past year


Actions (login required)

View Item View Item