ISCA Archive SpeechProsody 2022
ISCA Archive SpeechProsody 2022

Taiwanese and Beijing Mandarin listeners’ perception of English focus prosody

Jamie Adams, Sam Hellmuth

Post-focal compression (PFC) of F0 is a known cue to focus in English and Beijing Mandarin (BM), but PFC is neither present in Taiwan Mandarin (TM) production nor interpreted as a cue to focus in perception [1]. Studies of variation in L2 English production by BM and TM learners of English confirm transfer of some L1 patterns into their L2 English [2]. This paper explores for the first time how BM and TM listeners’ interpret PFC in English. It also seeks to clarify L2 listeners’ interpretation of PFC in contexts where discourse-new post-focal material carries a post-focal prominence in English [3]. Following [4] we presented L1 BM, TM and English listeners with a series of written discourse contexts and two prosodically congruous or incongruous audio responses in a between-participants design. One set of listeners in each language group judged SVO English stimuli produced in either all-new context (NN) or with initial narrow focus followed by discourse-given post-focal material (FG). Another set of listeners in each group judged the same all-new (NN) stimuli against recordings with initial narrow focus followed by discourse-new post-focal material (FN). Results indicate differential interpretation of on-focus and post-focal prosody matching a L1 perceptual transfer hypothesis.


doi: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-151

Cite as: Adams, J., Hellmuth, S. (2022) Taiwanese and Beijing Mandarin listeners’ perception of English focus prosody. Proc. Speech Prosody 2022, 744-748, doi: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-151

@inproceedings{adams22_speechprosody,
  author={Jamie Adams and Sam Hellmuth},
  title={{Taiwanese and Beijing Mandarin listeners’ perception of English focus prosody}},
  year=2022,
  booktitle={Proc. Speech Prosody 2022},
  pages={744--748},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-151},
  issn={2333-2042}
}