Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

Perception of English Prominence by Native Mandarin Chinese Speakers

Andrew Rosenberg (1), Julia Hirschberg (2), Kim Manis (3)

(1 )Computer Science Department, Queens College CUNY, New York, USA
(2) Computer Science Department, Columbia University, New York, USA
(3) Microsoft, Washington, USA

Native-like perception of intonational prominence is important for spoken language competency. Non-native speakers may have trouble interpreting prosodic variation in a second language like English, where intonational variation can critically influence utterance semantics. By identifying types of prosody non-native learners find difficult to perceive, we can improve our ability to teach L2 speakers a language. In this paper we present results of a perception study in which Mandarin speakers with knowledge of English were tested on their ability to identify prosodic prominence in English in a variety of contexts. Through this analysis we identify particular contexts which make it difficult forMandarin speakers to recognize pitch accent in English.

Index Terms: prosody, pitch accent, intonational prominence, perception, non-native speech

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Rosenberg, Andrew / Hirschberg, Julia / Manis, Kim (2010): "Perception of English prominence by native Mandarin Chinese speakers", In SP-2010, paper 982.