Prosody transfer and suppression: Stages of tone acquisition

Chilin Shih, Hsin Yi Dora Lu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This study investigates how native English speakers acquire Mandarin lexical tones, and whether they can express declarative and question intonation in a tone language. Production errors suggest three stages of tone learning. The first stage is characterized by a high error rate resulting from prosody transfer. The second stage shows moderate success in the suppression of L1 prosody especially in the utterance-initial positions. In the third stage, the error rate is low and the error patterns suggest that it is difficult to maintain tonal contrast in unstressed positions and with question intonation. Both male and female learners in general succeeded in suppressing declarative intonation but all female learners in the study failed to suppress question intonation. No learners in this study succeeded in using native-like declination for statements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication5th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2010
PublisherInternational Speech Communications Association
ISBN (Electronic)9780000000002
StatePublished - 2010
Event5th International Conference on Speech Prosody: Every Language, Every Style, SP 2010 - Chicago, United States
Duration: May 10 2010May 14 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody
ISSN (Print)2333-2042

Conference

Conference5th International Conference on Speech Prosody: Every Language, Every Style, SP 2010
CountryUnited States
CityChicago
Period5/10/105/14/10

Keywords

  • L1 prosody suppression
  • Prosody transfer
  • Tone acquisition
  • Tone error pattern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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