Tonal Adaptation of Disyllabic Letter-Character Pattern in Mandarin Alphabetical Words

Hongwei Ding, Yiling Li


Mandarin Alphabetical Words (MAWs), which are Chinese words written partly or fully in roman letters, have been gradually included in the authoritative dictionary of Standard Chinese. However, no transcriptions for these loaned letters have been provided because it is not clear whether and how they should be adapted to the Mandarin phonological system. This study aims to investigate the tonal adaptation of the letter in the disyllabic hybrid word that consists of an English letter followed by a Chinese character, which is likely to be adapted to the Mandarin phonological system. We recruited 45 Chinese speakers aged 20 to 25 from areas of North and South China (Shanghai and Guangdong), who participated in an experiment with three tasks involving reading, listening and speaking. The results showed that Tone 4 and Tone 1 were most preferred by northern and southern speakers respectively, and Tone 2 and Tone 4 were ranked the second for speakers from Shanghai and Guangdong respectively. It has been found that tonal adaption of the English letters in such hybrid words varies significantly across different letters and dialectal areas, and it also depends moderately on the tonal category of the following syllable and speakers' familiarity with the MAW.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-101

Cite as: Ding, H., Li, Y. (2020) Tonal Adaptation of Disyllabic Letter-Character Pattern in Mandarin Alphabetical Words. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 494-498, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-101.


@inproceedings{Ding2020,
  author={Hongwei Ding and Yiling Li},
  title={{Tonal Adaptation of Disyllabic Letter-Character Pattern in Mandarin Alphabetical Words}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={494--498},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-101},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-101}
}