16th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Dresden, Germany
September 6-10, 2015

Crosslinguistic Comparison on the Perception of Mandarin Attitudinal Speech

Wentao Gu (1), Ping Tang (1), Keikichi Hirose (2), Véronique Aubergé (3)

(1) Nanjing Normal University, China
(2) University of Tokyo, Japan
(3) CNRS, France

This work investigated crosslinguistic perception of Mandarin utterances conveying six classes of attitudes, i.e., dominant/submissive, friendly/hostile, polite/rude, serious/joking, praising/blaming, and sincere/insincere. Five groups of subjects were tested: native Mandarin speakers, Japanese L2 learners of Mandarin, French L2 learners of Mandarin, naïve Japanese without Mandarin ability, and naïve French without Mandarin ability. A set of Mandarin attitudinal utterances elicited in role-play dialogues were used as stimuli. Perceptual experiments showed that native subjects performed the best in identifying attitudes, and L2 learners judged better than naïve foreigners. A complex interaction was found between attitude and the listener's L1/L2 experience which was also closely related to culture. Also, the correlations between perceptual patterns and prosodic features were examined, and the results suggested that the prosodic cues for certain attitudes might be dependent on the listener's language/culture background.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gu, Wentao / Tang, Ping / Hirose, Keikichi / Aubergé, Véronique (2015): "Crosslinguistic comparison on the perception of Mandarin attitudinal speech", In INTERSPEECH-2015, 1334-1338.