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Modal Particles in Dutch as a Second Language. Evidence from a Perception Experiment

Johanneke Caspers/Ton van der Wouden (Leiden)


 

Abstract

The perception of modal particles in Dutch was studied, contrasting native and speakers of Dutch as a second language (DSL). According to expectations, non-native subjects turned out to have more significant problems with selecting the best fitting stimulus in the contexts designed to evoke a modal use of the target word. Contrary to expectation, however, the non-native subjects had problems with non-modal contexts as well. Work on spontaneous speech elicited from DSL-speakers with Spanish as L1 revealed an unexpected but clear hierarchy in the acquisition of modal particles. The results are taken as an indication that Dutch particles, as well as their interaction with prosody, merit more attention in didactic materials aimed at DSL-speakers.


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