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Ėto oranzhevye rozy? Tonala avvikelser vid fokusering hos svenska inlärare av ryska


  • Anna Olsson

Summary, in English

This paper empirically examines which tonal variations Swedish learners of Russian produce and the influence of first language in second language intonation. In Russian intonation is used to signal sentence type, e.g. to distinguish between declaratives and yes/no questions. In Swedish however, word order is mainly used for this purpose. There also exsists important phonetic diffrences between Russian and Swedish intonation, especially concerning the tonal gesture signalling focus in declaratives. Somewhat simplified, in Russian a falling accent is used to convey focus, while in Swedish a rising accent (a peak) is normally used. A rising accent signalls a yes/no question in Russian. A transferred Swedish focal accent, could therefore lead to misunderstandings in semantic terms. In this study 16 Swedish learners of Russian produce four Russian utterances, two statements and two yes/no questions. Next, I examine what common tonal patterns they produce, including their common deviations from the Russian pattern. My research shows that the deviations mainly occure at points where the languages’ intonation differ. The influence from Swedish is manifested in a rising focal pattern and the notion not to distinguish the scentence types using the focal accent. The most usual tonal gesture in the Swedish learners’ declaratives is a peak (a rise-fall instead of a fall) on the stressed syllable, which resembles the Swedish focal gesture and at the same time the tonal gesture in Russian yes/no-questions, which the learners have produced more sucessfully. The influence of the first language may interact with other factors such as an overgeneralization of the Russian question intonation.

Other findings are an absence of deaccenting and a rising utterance-final tone instead of a falling tone in especially yes/no questions.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • ryska
  • intonation
  • transfer
  • interferens
  • fokus
  • fokusering
  • focus
  • andraspråksinlärning
  • främmandespråksinlärning
  • second language acquisition
  • kontrastiv analys


  • Anastasia Karlsson (researcher)