Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

The Effect of Min Proficiency on Production and Perception of Tones in Taiwan Mandarin

Yi-Hsuan Huang, E-Chin Wu, Janice Fon

Graduate Institute of Linguistics, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

This paper aimed to investigate how Min proficiency affects tonal production and perception in Taiwan Mandarin. Experiment 1 recruited two groups of Mandarin-Min bilinguals, with Min proficiency varied. Results showed that high Min proficiency speakers produced a lower tonal register and a narrower tonal range in Mandarin compared to low Min proficiency speakers. The tonal variations also interacted with tonal target types. Experiment 2 further investigated whether different levels of pitch heights led to any difference in listeners' interpretation of talkers' language backgrounds. Results showed that the lower the tonal register was, the more likely the listeners regarded the talker as a “Min-speaking” person, mirroring the results on tonal production.

Index Terms: tonal variation, Taiwan Mandarin, Southern Min, indexical properties, bilingualism

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Huang, Yi-Hsuan / Wu, E-Chin / Fon, Janice (2012): "The effect of Min proficiency on production and perception of tones in taiwan Mandarin", In SP-2012, 637-640.