The Development of Prosodic Focus-marking and Declarative Question Intonation in Thai Learners’ Mandarin

Zenghui Liu, Shufen Liang, Lei Zeng


This study investigates the development of prosodic focus-marking and declarative question intonation in Thai learners’ Mandarin. Mandarin SVO statements and declarative questions with varying information structure were elicited through two picture-mediated tasks. The speakers were native speakers of Thai who were intermediate and advanced learners of Mandarin. Our data shows that Thai learners of Mandarin vary duration, pitch span, pitch maximum for differentiating statements from declarative question, similar to native speakers of Mandarin. However, their use of prosodic cues to encode focus in different sentence types varies. Further, no difference was found between intermediate and advanced learners. The present study thus provides evidence that Thai learners of Mandarin master the use of prosody for encoding focus in statements earlier than in declarative question in their L2, while they are not native-like yet.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-174

Cite as: Liu, Z., Liang, S., Zeng, L. (2020) The Development of Prosodic Focus-marking and Declarative Question Intonation in Thai Learners’ Mandarin. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 853-856, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-174.


@inproceedings{Liu2020,
  author={Zenghui Liu and Shufen Liang and Lei Zeng},
  title={{The Development of Prosodic Focus-marking and Declarative Question Intonation in Thai Learners’ Mandarin}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={853--856},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-174},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-174}
}