Error patterns of Mandarin disyllabic tones by Japanese learners

Jung Yueh Tu, Yuwen Hsiung, Min Da Wu, Yao-Ting Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous studies on Mandarin tone production indicate that there is no agreement on which tones are most difficult for L2 learners. Much of previous research on L2 learning of Mandarin tones has focused on monosyllables. In modern Mandarin, however, it is disyllabic words that dominate the vocabulary. This research investigates the production of Mandarin disyllabic tones by Japanese learners. In the current study, 25 Japanese learners of Mandarin were requested to produce 80 Mandarin disyllabic words with all tonal combinations (except for the neutral tone). The overall results showed a hierarchy of difficulty: Tone 3 Tone 2 Tone 1 = Tone 4. Most errors in the first syllable were found for Tone 2 and Tone 3 when followed by Tone 1 or Tone 4 (both start with a high pitch). In the second syllable, most errors were found for Tone 3 (misproduced as Tone 2). The findings are discussed in terms of the phonetic nature of Mandarin lexical tones and the interference from Japanese phonology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2558-2562
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1
Event15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association: Celebrating the Diversity of Spoken Languages, INTERSPEECH 2014 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 2014 Sep 142014 Sep 18

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Keywords

  • Disyllabic words
  • Mandarin tones
  • Tonal production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Signal Processing
  • Software
  • Modelling and Simulation

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