Title

English Consonant Production among Native Chinese Speakers

Presenter Information

Brian Greene

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 202

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

This study examines the English final obstruent consonants, final consonant clusters, and interdental fricatives produced by native Chinese speakers through an analysis of the spoken English of Mandarin speakers from China, Mandarin speakers from Taiwan, and Cantonese speakers from Hong Kong. The phonological data analyzed in the study comes from The Speech Accent Archive, an online database of sound files and corresponding transcripts featuring NS and NNS readings of a single English text, which elicits a variety of phonetic and phonological features. Sound files and transcripts of two Mandarin speakers from China, two Mandarin speakers from Taiwan, two Cantonese speakers from Hong Kong, and two native English speakers are compared and contrasted to elucidate the particular issues native Chinese speakers have in producing English final obstruent consonants and interdental fricatives. Moreover, three suprasegmental environments are examined to provide insight into how NNS learners approach linking in natural speech vis-à-vis native speakers. The analysis confirms that Chinese learners of English demonstrate instances of obstruent deletion, obstruent devoicing, and interdental substitution in their production of English consonants. The results also show incongruent assimilation strategies between the NNS and NS data sets, which should be of pedagogical value not only to EFL/ESL instructors working with Chinese native speakers but also to Chinese native speaking EFL/ESL learners from the three major Chinese-speaking contexts.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Charles Li

Additional Mentoring Department

English

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English Consonant Production among Native Chinese Speakers

SURC 202

This study examines the English final obstruent consonants, final consonant clusters, and interdental fricatives produced by native Chinese speakers through an analysis of the spoken English of Mandarin speakers from China, Mandarin speakers from Taiwan, and Cantonese speakers from Hong Kong. The phonological data analyzed in the study comes from The Speech Accent Archive, an online database of sound files and corresponding transcripts featuring NS and NNS readings of a single English text, which elicits a variety of phonetic and phonological features. Sound files and transcripts of two Mandarin speakers from China, two Mandarin speakers from Taiwan, two Cantonese speakers from Hong Kong, and two native English speakers are compared and contrasted to elucidate the particular issues native Chinese speakers have in producing English final obstruent consonants and interdental fricatives. Moreover, three suprasegmental environments are examined to provide insight into how NNS learners approach linking in natural speech vis-à-vis native speakers. The analysis confirms that Chinese learners of English demonstrate instances of obstruent deletion, obstruent devoicing, and interdental substitution in their production of English consonants. The results also show incongruent assimilation strategies between the NNS and NS data sets, which should be of pedagogical value not only to EFL/ESL instructors working with Chinese native speakers but also to Chinese native speaking EFL/ESL learners from the three major Chinese-speaking contexts.