13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Portland, OR, USA
September 9-13, 2012

Phonetic Foreignization of Mandarin for Dubbing in Imported Western Movies

Laying Hon (1,2), Yuan Jia (1), Aijun Li (1)

(1) Institute of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China
(2) Institute of Linguistic Studies, Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, China

Through a multi-discipline approach, the present study conducts a pioneering exploration of an artistic Mandarin, namely, the Mandarin for Dubbing in imported western movies. Two hypotheses were made based on explicit phonetic cues: (1) Mandarin for dubbing has developed as a particular variety of Mandarin. (2) The main distinctive features come from the original language of imported movies. A perceptual experiment was first carried out to establish the "variety" status of the Mandarin for Dubbing. Then the supra-segmental acoustic features were compared among Mandarin for dubbing, Standard Mandarin and English. In this session, a case study to a matched set and comparisons in F0 and rhythm were carried out. The results reveal: (1) A high percentage in which that native Chinese speakers distinguish the Mandarin for Dubbing from standard mandarin. (2) An overall tendency of the parameters representing pitch and rhythm of Mandarin for dubbing towards the source language. All the results support the two hypotheses. On the basis of these results, a genetic, historical explanation was given in the perspective of language contact and language transfer.

Index Terms: artistic speech, foreignization, F0, rhythm, variety, language transfer

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hon, Laying / Jia, Yuan / Li, Aijun (2012): "Phonetic foreignization of Mandarin for dubbing in imported western movies", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 1957-1960.