Studies in L2 acquisition have indicated that musically trained individuals are apt to demonstrate better L2 pronunciation skills. As for music, it was recently clarified that some amusiacs demonstrate selective impairment in L1 prosody discrimination. The purpose of this study was to investigate a relationship between amusical L2 learners and their perception and production of L2 prosody. To investigate this, 24 native-Japanese learners of English either in EFL (n=22) or ESL context (n=2) were examined in terms of their musical ability and L2 intonation perception and production. The musical test indicated that there was one amusiac and 10 low-level musical sufferers in the EFL group. Based on a contrastive analysis between amusical and non-amusical participants, as well as between participant groups with and without musical difficulty, it was found that any level of musical difficulty was correlated with lower auditory processing ability in L2 intonation for these English-language learners. However, the contrastive analysis pertaining to the productive skill indicated that musical difficulty was not associated with their production of accurate L2 intonation patterns. According to these findings, the present study concluded that musical difficulty is only related to these learners' L2 intonation processing. Conversely, the present research found that the ESL learners' learning context appeared to be less associated with their aural performance than with their intonation production. In addition, it was found that the level of previous musical training was related to both better L2 intonation perception and production.


Karen Lybeck

Committee Member

Glen Poupore

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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