10th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brighton, United Kingdom
September 6-10, 2009

Annotation and Features of Non-Native Mandarin Tone Quality

Mitchell Peabody, Stephanie Seneff


Native speakers of non-tonal languages, such as American English, frequently have difficulty accurately producing the tones of Mandarin Chinese. This paper describes a corpus of Mandarin Chinese spoken by non-native speakers and annotated for tone quality using a simple good/bad system. We examine inter-rater correlation of the annotations and highlight the differences in feature distribution between native, good non-native, and bad non-native tone productions. We find that the features of tones judged by a simple majority to be bad are significantly different from features from tones judged to be good, and tones produced by native speakers.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Peabody, Mitchell / Seneff, Stephanie (2009): "Annotation and features of non-native Mandarin tone quality", In INTERSPEECH-2009, 460-463.