Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

Intonation Phrasing in Chinese EFL Learners’ Read Speech

Hua Chen

School of Foreign Language Studies, Nantong University, China

Intonation phrasing refers to the system of intonation choices that a speaker has when associating complete intonation patterns with a text. The number of patterns and the boundaries may vary and convey different meanings. This study investigates the intonation phrasing patterns in Chinese EFL learners’ read speech. The recordings of 45 Chinese students and 8 British native speakers were annotated and analyzed on the computer with PRAAT, and then compared in order to find the non-native like aspects in learners’ oral performance. Findings show that learners differ from native speakers in 1) the frequency of boundary markers, and 2) the realization of some tonality constraints. The study has important implications for China’s EFL pedagogy as well as for the improvement of rating rubrics for China’s oral English tests.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Chen, Hua (2006): "Intonation phrasing in Chinese EFL learners² read speech", In SP-2006, paper 095.