Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

Perception and Production of Mandarin Disyllabic Tones by German Learners

Hongwei Ding

School of Foreign Languages, Tongji University, China

This study investigates the possible deviations related to Mandarin disyllabic tone perception and production by German speakers. Nine German subjects are involved in both perception and production tests. The stimuli of tone perception consist of 40 disyllabic words uttered by a standard professional Chinese speaker. These words are also employed as reading material in the production experiment. Statistical analysis and acoustic measures have been carried out to find out the tonal performance of the German learners. Results show that their perception performance is best with the falling tone and worst with the rising tone, although there are some differences between the first and the second syllables. However the production performance exhibits different patterns, each subject has his or her preferred tonal combination. often independent of the target tones. It is further observed that these German subjects are reluctant to produce the second syllable of a disyllabic word in a falling tone. Findings can provide some implications for cross linguistic study and second language acquisition.

Index Terms: Mandarin disyllabic words, German learners, learning Chinese tones

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ding, Hongwei (2012): "Perception and production of Mandarin disyllabic tones by German learners", In SP-2012, 378-381.