The perception of Mandarin focus intonation by native English speakers

Yi Liu, Jinghong Ning


Based on cue theory and PAM-S, this paper examines how acoustic cues in Mandarin focus sentences are perceived by native English speakers. Acoustic analysis of the stimuli spoken by a native speaker reveals that in perceptual tests, temporal and intensity cues had an effect in determining focus prominence produced by non-native learners, whereas the influence of these phonetic cues was not detected in the perception of native speakers. In contrast, pitch variation is the cue that facilitates native listeners’ perception of focus prosody in Mandarin. Moreover, pitch direction such as the interplay of tone and intonation, and emphasis locations in Mandarin are also factors affecting the focus perception of native English speakers.


 DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-47

Cite as: Liu, Y., Ning, J. (2018) The perception of Mandarin focus intonation by native English speakers. Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages, 232-236, DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-47.


@inproceedings{Liu2018,
  author={ Yi Liu and Jinghong Ning},
  title={ The perception of Mandarin focus intonation by native English speakers},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages},
  pages={232--236},
  doi={10.21437/TAL.2018-47},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/TAL.2018-47}
}