How Pitch Moves: Production of Cantonese Tones by Speakers with Different Tonal Experiences

Mengyue Wu, Brett Baker, Janet Fletcher, Rikke Bundgaard-Nielsen


´╗┐This study investigates how native prosodic systems as well as L2 learning experience shape non-native tone production in terms of tone movement, a primary cue to tone identity. In an imitation task, the six Cantonese tones were produced by four speaker groups: native Mandarin speakers (tonal), native English speakers (non-tonal), native English speakers with Mandarin learning experience (L2 tonal) and native Cantonese speakers (control group). The results indicate that native prosodic systems influence non-native tone production: Mandarin speakers are more accurate on pitch contour than pitch height while English speakers perform better on level tones than contour ones. Furthermore, L2 tonal experience assists L3 tone production, as English-speaking Mandarin learners produce Cantonese tones in the most native-like shape, outperforming both Mandarin and English speakers.


DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2016-29

Cite as

Wu, M., Baker, B., Fletcher, J., Bundgaard-Nielsen, R. (2016) How Pitch Moves: Production of Cantonese Tones by Speakers with Different Tonal Experiences. Proc. Tonal Aspects of Languages 2016, 133-137.

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Wu+2016,
author={Mengyue Wu and Brett Baker and Janet Fletcher and Rikke Bundgaard-Nielsen},
title={How Pitch Moves: Production of Cantonese Tones by Speakers with Different Tonal Experiences},
year=2016,
booktitle={Tonal Aspects of Languages 2016},
doi={10.21437/TAL.2016-29},
url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/TAL.2016-29},
pages={133--137}
}