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Effects of initial sounds on the perception of Chinese disyllable tones by Swedish students of Chinese

Conference contribution
Authors Guohua Hu
Jonas Lindh
Published in 2014 International Conference on Phonetic Research and Language Learning (ICPRLL) & English Phonetic Conference in China (EPCC)
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Department of Languages and Literatures
Language en
Keywords Keywords: Chinese Initials, Tone Perception, Disyllable, Swedish listeners
Subject categories Languages and Literature, Linguistics, Phonetics, Bilingualism, Chinese language

Abstract

ABSTRACT This paper extends previous research on the effects of initial sounds on perception of Chinese disyllable tones. A perception test was performed on Swedish adult students of Chinese using disyllable words (most previous studies have been made using solely monosyllable words). The main results indicate that voiced initial sounds e.g. [l] have a strong connection to the tone confusion pattern Tone 2 perceived as Tone 3. On the contrary, a voiceless aspirated initial sound e.g. [th] is mostly connected to misidentifications between Tone 3 to Tone 2. Unvoiced unaspirated initial sounds affect tone perception heavily, especially when they occur in the second syllable of a disyllabic word.

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