International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages
With Emphasis on Tone Languages

Beijing, China
March 28-31, 2004

Prosodic Properties of Intonation in Two Major Varieties of Mandarin Chinese: Mainland China vs. Taiwan

Chin-Chin Tseng

Institute of Chinese as a Second Language, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan

Prosodic properties of intonation in Putonghua (Mandarin spoken in China) and Guoyu (Mandarin spoken in Taiwan) were investigated in this study. The major findings are: (1) Guoyu has a slower tempo than Putonghua. (2) Putonghua demonstrated a general higher register than Guoyu. (3) The neutral tone and the preceding accented syllable in Putonghua form a great FO change, while the neutral tone in Guoyu is more independent from the preceding syllable, for it tends to be pronounced with a low entering tone regardless the tone of the preceding syllable. (4) The final particle "a" of the Wh- question in j518 has a distinctive rising intonation in Putonghua. (5) The downdrift phenomenon is more prominent for announcers from Taiwan. (6) Putonghua demonstrates more syntagmatic contrasts in the prosodic properties of intonation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tseng, Chin-Chin (2004): "Prosodic properties of intonation in two major varieties of Mandarin Chinese: mainland China vs. Taiwan", In TAL-2004, 189-192.