8th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Geneva, Switzerland
September 1-4, 2003


A Contrastive Investigation of Standard Mandarin and Accented Mandarin

Aijun Li (1), Xia Wang (2)

(1) Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
(2) Nokia Research Center, China

Segmental and supra-segmental acoustic features between standard and Shanghai-accented Mandarin were analyzed in the paper. The Shanghai Accented Mandarin was first classified into three categories as light, middle and heavy, by statistical method and dialectologist with subjective criteria. Investigation to initials, finals and tones were then carried out. The results show that Shanghainese always mispronounce or modify some sorts of phonemes of initials and finials. The heavier the accent is, the more frequently the mispronunciation occurs. Initials present more modifications than finals. Nine vowels are also compared phonetically for 10 Standard Chinese speakers and 10 Shanghai speakers with middle-class accent. Additionally, retroflexed finals occur more than 10 times in Standard Chinese. No significant difference exists on durations of initials and finals for these 20 speakers. And no phonological difference is found on four lexical tones. It seems that the prosodic difference is mainly on rhythmic or stress pattern.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Li, Aijun / Wang, Xia (2003): "A contrastive investigation of standard Mandarin and accented Mandarin", In EUROSPEECH-2003, 2345-2348.