• Accentedness, comprehensibility, and tones in the speech of second language learners of Chinese

    Author(s):
    SLS Working Papers (view group) , Sally Jo Behrenwald
    Date:
    2010
    Group(s):
    SLS Working Papers
    Subject(s):
    Applied linguistics, Second language acquisition
    Item Type:
    Online publication
    Tag(s):
    accent, Chinese
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/wk6y-2d07
    Abstract:
    Research has shown that lexical tones pose considerable challenges for second language (L2) learners of Chinese (Wang, Jongman and Sereno, 2003; 2006) and accurate production in tones is crucial for intelligibility and comprehensibility of Chinese L2 speakers’ utterances (Chen, 1997). This study investigates the interrelationships among degree of foreign accent, comprehensibility, and tone production, and attempts to identify the extent to which tone production contributes to degree of foreign accent. The participants were 30 adult L2 learners of Chinese (10 English, 12 Japanese, and eight Korean native speakers) who were enrolled in a Chinese as a Second Language Program at a large university in China. The participants responded to a semi-direct oral proficiency interview and the oral responses were used for evaluation of degree of foreign accent, perceived comprehensibility, and quality of tone production. ANOVA, correlation, and regression analysis were applied to data analysis. Results show that degree of foreign accent strongly correlated with comprehensibility, and comprehensibility moderately correlated with tone production. Tone production was found to be a poor predictor of perceived accentedness. Results suggest that segmental and other suprasegmental aspects of L2 speech might have outweighed the contribution of tone production to foreign accent.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Online publication    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    9 months ago
    License:
    Attribution
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