Production of English Stops by Mandarin Chinese Learners

Hongwei Ding, Yuqing Zhan, Jiahong Yuan, Sishi Liao

The study compared the oral stops produced by the Chinese learners of English with those of the American native speakers. We employed the original English TIMIT, the global Chinese TIMIT, and the L2 English TIMIT by Chinese speakers to represent the target language, source language and interlanguage. Because of the quantity and diversity of these databases, this study only selected part of the speech in which the texts were read by most American speakers and Chinese speakers for analysis. Regarding the unbalanced occurrences of stop releases, the mixed effects model was used for the statistics of the release duration comparison between the native and L2 speakers. The results showed that the Chinese speakers produced significantly longer aspirated stops than the American speakers did. A further investigation indicated that the Chinese speakers, unlike the American natives, released the final stop consonant and sometimes with an extra vowel at the end. The prolonged word final stops and inserted schwas become distinguished prosodic features of Chinese speakers' English interlanguage. Different features of stops and new allophonic rules in English prove to be difficult for Chinese learners in English acquisition. The findings can present some pedagogical implications in L2 speech learning.

 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-179

Cite as: Ding, H., Zhan, Y., Yuan, J., Liao, S. (2018) Production of English Stops by Mandarin Chinese Learners. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 888-892, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-179.

  author={Hongwei Ding and Yuqing Zhan and Jiahong Yuan and Sishi Liao},
  title={Production of English Stops by Mandarin Chinese Learners},
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},