Focused items in English sentences are usually accompanied by changes in acoustic manifestation. This paper investigates the acoustic characteristics of $H^*$ in English utterances produced by natives speakers of English and Korean learners of English. To obtain more reliable results, the changes of the acoustic feature values (F0, intensity, syllable duration) were normalized by a median value and a whole duration of each utterance. Acoustic values of sentences with no focused words were compared with those of sentences with focused words within each group (Americans vs. Koreans). Sentences with focused words were compared between the two groups, too. In the instances in which a significant Group x Focus Location (initial, middle and final of a sentence) interaction was obtained, further analysis testing the effect of Group on each Focus Location was conducted. The analysis revealed that Korean learners of English produced focused words with lower F0, lower intensity and shorter syllable duration than native speakers of English. However, the effect of intensity change caused by focus was not significant within each group. Further analysis examining the interaction of Group and Focus Location showed that the change in F0 produced by Korean group was significantly lower in the middle and the final positions of sentences than by American group. Implications for the intonation training were also discussed.
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