Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

Perception and Production of Mandarin Tones by German Speakers

Hongwei Ding (1), Oliver Jokisch (2), Rüdiger Hoffmann (2)

(1) School of Foreign Languages, Tongji University, China
(2) Laboratory of Acoustics and Speech Communication, Dresden University of Technology, Germany

This study investigates the possible errors related to Mandarin tone perception and production by German speakers. In a preliminary test, 23 German listeners should identify the tones of 186 monosyllables. Results show that exposure to Mandarin Chinese can help to discriminate lexical tones as highly expected. In the main experiment, 17 German subjects were asked to take part in a perception and production test. Stimulus of perception involves 48 monosyllables uttered by a standard professional Chinese speaker, acoustic measures were conducted to analyze the production of 72 monosyllables for each subject. Besides common mistakes found in previous literature, German speakers have much smaller f0 range than Chinese native speakers. Findings can provide implications for cross language studies and teaching practices.

Index Terms: Mandarin tones, Mandarin and German

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ding, Hongwei / Jokisch, Oliver / Hoffmann, Rüdiger (2010): "Perception and production of Mandarin tones by German speakers", In SP-2010, paper 153.