Recent studies of paralinguistic intonational meaning show that languages differ systematically in how pitch range is used to signal meaning differences, contra previous claims. This poses an additional challenge to second language learners, who generally receive little tutoring on intonation. This study investigates learners' competence and strategies in the perception of paralinguistic intonational meaning by examining the perception of “emphatic” and “surprised” as signaled by pitch range and related variables in two learner groups (L1-Dutch/L2-English, L1-English/L2-Dutch). Results show that transfer plays a considerably larger role in L2 English learners than in L2 Dutch learners. Both learner groups also operate on their knowledge of L2 intonation but in different form-meaning relations. These differences are explained by differences in L2 proficiency, the nature of L2 input, and the salience of form-meaning relations in L2.