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