Archives of Acoustics, 36, 3, pp. 509–518, 2011

An Investigation of Tone Perception and Production in German Learners of Mandarin

Hongwei DING
Tongji University School of Foreign Languages

Rudiger HOFFMANN
Dresden University of Technology Institute of Acoustics and Speech Communication

Oliver JOKISCH
Dresden University of Technology Institute of Acoustics and Speech Communication

This study investigates the possible errors related to Mandarin tone perception
and production by German speakers. In a preliminary test, 23 German listeners
should identify the tones of 186 monosyllables. Results show that exposure to Man-
darin Chinese can help to discriminate lexical tones as highly expected. In the main
experiment, 17 German subjects were asked to take part in a perception and pro-
duction test. Stimulus of perception involves 48 monosyllables uttered by a standard
professional Chinese speaker; acoustic measures were conducted to analyze the pro-
duction of 72 monosyllables for each subject. It is found that German speakers
have much smaller f0 range than Chinese native speakers. Findings can provide
implications for cross language studies and teaching practices.
Keywords: Mandarin tones; German speakers; tone perception; tone production
Full Text: PDF


Copyright © Polish Academy of Sciences & Institute of Fundamental Technological Research (IPPT PAN)