Second Language Studies: Acquisition, Learning, Education and Technology

Tokyo, Japan
September 22-24, 2010

Towards a Computer-Aided Pronunciation Training System for German Learners of Mandarin - Prosodic Analysis

Hussein Hussein (1), Hansjörg Mixdorff (1), Hue San Do (1), Si Wei (2), Shu Gong (2), Hongwei Ding (3), Qianyong Gao (2), Guoping Hu (2)

(1) Department of Computer Sciences and Media, Beuth University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Germany
(2) Department of EEIS, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, P.R.China
(3) School of Foreign Languages, Tongji University, Shanghai, China

This paper reports on the continued activities towards the development of a computer-aided language learning system for German learners of Mandarin. In this experiment we used a complex corpus which consists of whole sentences and read from German students from three different years of language education and native speakers of Mandarin. A contrastive analysis of prosodic features (rhythmic and intonational) of the Mandarin tones between native speakers and German learners of Mandarin was performed to identify the differences and similarities. We aimed to study the effect of learning time of Mandarin on the development of learner’s level. Therefore, the rhythmic and intonational features of tones were compared between German learners according to every year of language education. German students tend to exaggerate the F0 contours to discriminate the tones better and learn to adapt these to the tones of native speakers with increasing learning time. The syllable duration depending on the tone by German learner is longer than by native speakers and the changes of F0 parameter of Mandarin tones by German students are greater than by native speakers of Mandarin.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hussein, Hussein / Mixdorff, Hansjörg / Do, Hue San / Wei, Si / Gong, Shu / Ding, Hongwei / Gao, Qianyong / Hu, Guoping (2010): "Towards a computer-aided pronunciation training system for German learners of Mandarin - prosodic analysis", In L2WS-2010, paper P2-2.