Suprasegmental features of Chinese-accented English

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2453-2453
Journal / PublicationJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2011


This study compares read speech by Cantonese and Mandarin learners of Englishwith those by native speakers of English. The utterances produced by learnersof English are all rated as accented. We aim to identify measurable prosodicdifferences leading to such perceptual judgment. The prosodic correlates weexamine include both syllable duration and pitch values. Our preliminary resultsreveal in generally mean syllable durations of Cantonese and Mandarins learnersare very similar, and much longer than that of the native speakers of English.It is also found that all learners’ production exhibits much greatervariations in duration than native speakers. Examination on duration of stressedand unstressed syllables reveals more differences across L1 groups. With regardto pitch correlates, a much wider pitch range is found in the production ofnative speakers of English than in those of both Mandarin and Cantonese learnersof English. Of the Chinese learners, Mandarin group employ a wider pitch rangethan Cantonese. Moreover, Cantonese learners’ speech is found dominatedby a rather “flat” overall pitch contour. We propose that theprosodic deviations in Chinese learners’ English from a native speakercan be accounted for from the perspective of rhythmic and tone system in Chinese.

Research Area(s)

  • prosody, suprasegment, Chinese learners of English, world Englishes, accent

Citation Format(s)

Suprasegmental features of Chinese-accented English. / LI, Bin; SHUAI, Lan.

In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 129, No. 4, 23.05.2011, p. 2453-2453.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal