Effect of language on fundamental frequency: Comparison between Korean and English produced by L2 speakers and bilingual speakers

  • Lim, Soo Bin ;
  • Lee, Goun ;
  • Rhee, Seok-Chae
  • Received : 2016.10.24
  • Accepted : 2016.12.24
  • Published : 2016.12.31


This study aims to examine whether the fundamental frequency (F0) varies depending on languages or distinguishes between L1 (first language) and L2 (second language) speech and whether the type of materials which vary in control of consonant voicing affects the use of F0-especially, mean F0. For this purpose, we compared productions of two languages produced by Korean L2 learners of English to those of Korean-English bilingual speakers. Twelve Korean L2 speakers of English and twelve Korean-English bilingual speakers participated in this study. The subjects read aloud 22 declarative sentences-balanced and unbalanced-once in English and once in Korean. Mean F0 of Korean was higher than that of English for both speaker groups, and the difference in the value of mean F0 between the Korean and English sentences was different depending on the type of materials that the participants read. With regard to F0 range, the L2 speakers had a larger F0 range in English than in Korean; however, the effect of language on F0 range was not statistically significant for the bilingual speakers. These results indicate that language-specific properties may affect the use of F0, in particular, mean F0.


mean F0;F0 range;L2 speakers;bilingual speakers;L2 effect;language-specific features;consonant voicing


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Grant : BK21플러스

Supported by : 연세대학교