15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

September 14-18, 2014

Learning L2 Prosody is More Difficult Than You Realize — F0 Characteristics and Chunking Size of L1 English, TW L2 English and TW L1 Mandarin

Chiu-yu Tseng, Chao-yu Su

Academia Sinica, Taiwan

We compare the F0 output and chunking size of speech units of L1 English, TW L2 English and L1 Mandarin to see what some of the major intrinsic prosodic difference could be, what prosodic features could account for TW L2 English and in what way prosodic transfer occurs. Results show that the fundamental prosodic difference of the two languages is how in the pitch domain English requires sharper high/low contrast by higher-level prosodic units but less such contrast in accentuating lower-level prosodic units whereas Mandarin patterns are the exact opposite. Explanations are provided regarding how TW L2 English differs from L1, why prosodic transfer merits detailed analysis, and why mastering English prosody is especially difficult.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tseng, Chiu-yu / Su, Chao-yu (2014): "Learning L2 prosody is more difficult than you realize — F0 characteristics and chunking size of L1 English, TW L2 English and TW L1 Mandarin", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 1806-1810.