Culture and Language Research Paper by Nicky

A review of the research on cultural differences in stress and intonation patterns as they relate to overall language processing and acquisition.
# 149704 | 3,202 words | 11 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Dec 28, 2011 in Psychology (General) , Linguistics (General) , Language (General)

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The paper discusses how word stress and intonation patterns are unique to every language, and even to every culture or subculture's use of a given language. The paper reveals that these patterns correlate to subtle differences in the brain's development and processing of language, even in pre-linguistic infants. The paper examines studies concerning specific intercultural linguistic differences and intracultural idiosyncrasies and explains the findings of this research. In the conclusion, the paper considers the implications of these studies and highlights the need for further studies on this area of study.

Literature Review

From the Paper:

"Studies concerning specific intercultural linguistic differences and intracultural idiosyncrasies are widely varied, and it can be difficult to draw broad conclusions from a synthesis of so much disparate information. There are enough common strands in many of these studies to begin to draw a tenuous link between the cultural and cognitive aspects of language acquisition and differentiation. In a study of word and syllable stress in the final words of spoken syntactical units in American English, Turk & Shattuck-Hufnagel (2007) found that final word stress is closely related to the main-stress syllable. Their most significant finding was the inconsistent differentiation medial stresses in words falling between the main stress syllable and final word/syllables which suggested that the automatic cognitive processes influencing word stress and pattern recognition is more complex than current models account for, necessitating reevaluation of language development (Turk & Shattuck-Hufnagel 2007).
"A cross-cultural study conducted by Zhang et al (2008) found similar issues at work in native Mandarin speakers and their ability to both recognize and reproduce stress patterns in spoken English. The researchers noted that the basic elements used to distinguish stressed and unstressed syllables were the same for both native Mandarin and native English speakers, but that the levels of emphasis and attention placed individually on these elements was different among the two culture (Zhang et al 2008)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Arciuli, J. & Slowiaczek, L. (2007). "The where and when of linguistic word-level prosody." Neuropsychologia 45(11), pp. 2638-42.
  • Bonvillain, N. (2007). Language, culture and communication: the meaning of messages, fifth edition. New York: Prentice Hall.
  • Chapman, M. (2007). "Theory and practice of teaching discourse intonation." ELT journal 61(3), pp. 3-11.
  • Friederici, A.; Fredirich, M.; Christophe, A. (2007). "Brain responses in 4-month-old infants are already language specific." Current biology 17(14), pp. 1208-11.
  • Gutierrez-Palma, N.; Raya-Garcia, M. & Palma-Reyes, A. (2009). "Detecting stress patterns is related to children's performance on reading tasks." Applied psycholinguistics, 30(1), pp. 1-21.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Culture and Language (2011, December 28) Retrieved June 03, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Culture and Language" 28 December 2011. Web. 03 June. 2023. <>