9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

Do English Speakers Assimilate Mandarin Tones to English Prosodic Categories?

Connie K. So, Catherine T. Best

University of Western Sydney, Australia

This study examined whether native English (NE) speakers perceive non-native tones of Mandarin in terms of their English intonational categories (Flat pitch, Question, Uncertainty, and Statement). The results indicated that NE listeners assimilated non-native tones to their native intonational categories, which share phonetic similarities with those of Mandarin tones. Thus, the assumption that assimilations of non-native prosodic categories (e.g., tones) to native prosodic categories - an extension from the Perceptual Assimilation Model (PAM) - is supported.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  So, Connie K. / Best, Catherine T. (2008): "Do English speakers assimilate Mandarin tones to English prosodic categories?", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 1120.