ISCA Archive Interspeech 2021
ISCA Archive Interspeech 2021

F0 Patterns of L2 English Speech by Mandarin Chinese Learners

Hongwei Ding, Binghuai Lin, Liyuan Wang

Prosodic speech characteristics are important in the evaluation of both intelligibility and naturalness of oral proficiency for learners of English as a Second Language (ESL). Different f0 movement patterns between native and Mandarin Chinese learners have been an important research topic for second-language (L2) English speech learning. However, previous studies have seldom examined f0 movement patterns between lower-level and higher-level Mandarin ESL learners. The current study compared f0 change patterns extracted from the same 20 English sentences read by 20 lower- and 20 higher- level Mandarin ESL learners, and 20 native English speakers from a speech database. Appropriate procedures were applied to ensure a more accurate estimation of f0 values and to catch characteristic deviation in f0 movement patterns of ESL learners. The results showed that lower-level Mandarin speakers displayed more frequent f0 fluctuations and smaller standard deviation of intervals between f0 peaks than both native speakers and higher-level learners. The special characteristic of many smaller “ripples” on pitch contours of lower-level L2 English speech resembles Mandarin Chinese f0 movements, which suggests a negative transfer from the first language (L1) Mandarin. The findings can shed light on the assessment and learning of L2 English prosody by Mandarin ESL learners.

doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2021-581

Cite as: Ding, H., Lin, B., Wang, L. (2021) F0 Patterns of L2 English Speech by Mandarin Chinese Learners. Proc. Interspeech 2021, 3934-3938, doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2021-581

  author={Hongwei Ding and Binghuai Lin and Liyuan Wang},
  title={{F0 Patterns of L2 English Speech by Mandarin Chinese Learners}},
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2021},