Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

The Effect of Min Proficiency on the Realization of Mandarin Tones in Mandarin-Min Bilinguals

E-Chin Wu, Janice Fon

Graduate Institute of Linguistics, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

This study investigated how Min proficiency influenced the realization of Mandarin tones in Mandarin-Min bilinguals. Forty subjects recruited were divided into the high and the low Min proficiency groups. Isolated Mandarin syllables carrying one of the four Mandarin tones were recorded. Results showed that Min proficiency was roughly in negative correlation with pitch height for high tonal targets. Gender differences were also observed. Specifically, while the high Min proficiency males made a parallel shift downwards in register, the high Min proficiency females made used of a narrower tonal range. These indicated that Min proficiency did contribute to dialectal differences found in pitch height use in Mandarin tones though the nuance differences in how the effect of Min applied was determined by factors not identifiable at the present stage.

Index Terms: Mandarin tones, Mandarin-Min bilinguals, language proficiency

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Wu, E-Chin / Fon, Janice (2010): "The effect of Min proficiency on the realization of Mandarin tones in Mandarin-min bilinguals", In SP-2010, paper 420.