Acoustic features of English sentence production for English and Chinese native speakers: Intonational and temporal patterns

Ashley Woodall, Brenna Thomas, Katherine Reistroffer, Chang Liu

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Intonation is utilized by languages in order to convey meaning in different ways. Here, we define intonation as pitch contour and absolute duration. Chinese, a tonal language, assigns F0 formant frequencies to lexically important tokens within words, whereas English, a stress language, changes F0 patterns according to the speaker's intended meaning or emotion. As Chinese speakers produce other languages, especially a non-tonal language such as English, it is uncertain whether they produce English with the same intonation as a native English speaker. The purpose of this study is to compare intonation across Chinese and English speakers An acoustical analysis was completed on 16 English (8 female and 8 male) and 30 Chinese (16 female and 14 male) speakers producing list 1 of the Hearing In Noise Test (HINT) sentences. Intonation features of the sentence production such as, temporal gap, word duration, and absolute duration were compared. Findings will show the effect of L1 tonal language on producing a stress language, such as English. Preliminary results show that Chinese speakers produce sentences with longer absolute duration than English speakers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number060234
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Publication statusPublished - Jun 19 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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