Revisiting focus production in Mandarin Chinese: Some preliminary findings

Yike Yang, Si Chen


Prosodic focus has been well documented in many languages, and various acoustic cues have been identified in focus production. However, the issue of focus domain has not been thoroughly studied. This study investigated the production of prosodic focus in Mandarin declarative sentences, and designed stimuli with complex sentence subjects and with different focus widths. Eleven native speakers of Mandarin participated in the recording experiment. Production data with various focus conditions were elicited with precursor questions and then analysed with linear mixed-effects modelling. Our data revealed focus-induced change of F0, duration and intensity values in pre-focus, on focus and post-focus regions. The results suggest that focus size may not interfere with focus realisation in Mandarin. Concerning the role of F0 range in Mandarin focus marking, we provided conflicting results compared with previous studies. Moreover, it is suggested that focus realisation in non-sentence-final positions and within complex nominal phrases should be considered for a better understanding of focus domain.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-53

Cite as: Yang, Y., Chen, S. (2020) Revisiting focus production in Mandarin Chinese: Some preliminary findings. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 260-264, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-53.


@inproceedings{Yang2020,
  author={Yike Yang and Si Chen},
  title={{Revisiting focus production in Mandarin Chinese: Some preliminary findings}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={260--264},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-53},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-53}
}