Joint Effect of Dialect and Mandarin on English Vowel Production: A Case Study in Changsha EFL Learners

Xinyi Wen, Yuan Jia


Phonetic acquisition of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) for learners in dialectal areas has been increasingly regarded as an important research area in second language acquisition. However, most existing research has been focused on finding out the transfer effect of dialect on English production from a second language acquisition point of view, but ignores the impact of Mandarin. The present research aims to investigate the joint effect of dialect and Mandarin on Changsha EFL learners’ vowel production through acoustic analysis, from both spectral and temporal perspectives. We will further explain the results with the Speech Learning Model (SLM). Three corner vowels, i.e., /a/ /i/ /u/, are studied, and the results show that: English vowels /i/ and /a/ produced by Changsha learners are significantly different from those of American speakers; specifically, /i/ is more affected by Mandarin, and /a/ is more affected by Changsha dialect, which can be explained by SLM. While /u/ produced by Changsha learners is similar to that of American speakers. Besides, Changsha learners produce shorter vowels in duration, due to dialect and Mandarin’s transfer effect, but can still make tense-lax contrasts in /i-ɪ/ and /u-ʊ/ pairs.


DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1022

Cite as

Wen, X., Jia, Y. (2016) Joint Effect of Dialect and Mandarin on English Vowel Production: A Case Study in Changsha EFL Learners. Proc. Interspeech 2016, 185-189.

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Wen+2016,
author={Xinyi Wen and Yuan Jia},
title={Joint Effect of Dialect and Mandarin on English Vowel Production: A Case Study in Changsha EFL Learners},
year=2016,
booktitle={Interspeech 2016},
doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1022},
url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1022},
pages={185--189}
}