A comparative study of rhythmic patterns in non-native Mandarin speech by Russian, Japanese and Vietnamese learners

Yiran Ding, Wang Dai, Kaiqi Fu, Yanlu Xie, Jinsong Zhang


The influence of the first language (L1) on the second language’s (L2) rhythm is intrinsically complicated. It is still questionable to make a declaration about how an L1 makes impacts on an L2’s rhythm. As a trial, this study investigated rhythmic patterns of native and non-native Mandarin speech by Chinese, Russian, Japanese, and Vietnamese speakers. The three L2 mother tongues are regarded to have distinctly different rhythmic patterns, i.e., stress-, mora-, and syllable-timed. Data analyses were carried out using a total of 23,381 Mandarin utterances by 227 speakers in 4 L1s from the BLCU-SAIT Non-native Mandarin speech corpus. Preliminary findings include: 1) all three kinds of L2 Mandarin speech showed, more or less, the pattern of stress-timed rhythm, which is different from the syllable-timed rhythmic pattern of Mandarin; 2) the rhythmic differences between L1 Mandarin and those by three L2s ranged differently with Vietnamese the least, and Russian the most. These findings might suggest that the rhythmic patterns in non-native Mandarin would be possibly conditioned by universal constraints prior to the influence of L1 diversity revealed.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-110

Cite as: Ding, Y., Dai, W., Fu, K., Xie, Y., Zhang, J. (2020) A comparative study of rhythmic patterns in non-native Mandarin speech by Russian, Japanese and Vietnamese learners. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 537-541, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-110.


@inproceedings{Ding2020,
  author={Yiran Ding and Wang Dai and Kaiqi Fu and Yanlu Xie and Jinsong Zhang},
  title={{A comparative study of rhythmic patterns in non-native Mandarin speech by Russian, Japanese and Vietnamese learners}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={537--541},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-110},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-110}
}