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Transfer of English Phonology onto Mandarin L2 Speech.

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Presentation on theme: "Transfer of English Phonology onto Mandarin L2 Speech."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transfer of English Phonology onto Mandarin L2 Speech

2 Phonology of Standard American English

3 Phonology of Standard Mandarin

4 Transfer My speaker has a strong, almost universal tendency to produce Standard Mandarin words using solely English phonology Because AE and Standard Mandarin do share some consonants, this sometimes results in almost identical pronunciations:  [ti] (“to carry”) and the English word ['ti] (“tee,” as in golf)

5 Transfer In many other cases pronunciation differs significantly, forcing MS to either acquire the Mandarin sound system and allophony or replace Mandarin sounds with the English sounds closest in acoustic quality: place of articulation, manner, and voice. MS demonstrates a mostly consistent system of English sounds corresponding to certain Mandarin sounds

6 Transfer and Tone In most instances MS does not produce tone at all, instead following standard English intonation patterns in his Mandarin speech as well as in his English speech. This does affect some of his pronunciations, since vowels are reduced in the neutral tone and he does not produce this tone.

7 Transfer of Consonants: t ʂ,t ɕ →d ʒ Neutralization of Retroflexes and Palatals 這 [t ʂɤ ][d ʒʌ ]“this” 中 [t ʂɔ ŋ][d ʒɔ ŋ]“middle” 幾 [t ɕ i][d ʒ i]“how many” 叫 [t ɕʲ a ʊ ][d ʒ a ʊ ]“call”

8 Transfer of Vowels: Neutralization Neutralization of [ ɛ ] and [ei] 列 [li ɛ ][leı]“to arrange” 累 [leı][leı]“to be tired” 小姐 [ ɕʲ a ʊ t ɕʲɛ ][ ʃ a ʊ d ʒ eı]“miss” 學生 [ ɕɛ ʂʌ ŋ][ ʃɛ ʃʌ ŋ]“student” 學 [ ɕɛ ][ ʃ eı]“to study”

9 Transfer of Vowels: Inconsistencies Neutralization of Vowels After Certain consonants: Retroflexes 只 [t ʂɻ ][d ʒʌ ~ d ʒ u]“only” 吃 [t ʂ h ɻ ][t ʃ u ~ t ʃʌ ]“eat” 是 [ ʂɻ ][ ʃʌ ]“to be”

10 Coarticulated Glides Duanmu (2000) posits that the glide is articulated at the same time as the consonant For example: “sour,” which is pronounced [s w an] versus the word [swan] (“swan”) in English, in which the rounding of the lips for the glide occurs after the [s].

11 Coarticulated Glides For most of the consonants, the coarticulated glide can be easily perceived and produced after the consonant. For palatal consonants, their place of articulation is the same as that of the palatal glide. Therefore, the L2 learner could either interpret the glide as part of the consonant and drop it entirely, or perceive the glide and pronounce it separately after the consonant. MS produced examples of both possibilities: 先生 [ ɕʲɛ n ʂʌ ŋ][ ʃɛ n ʃʌ ŋ] (glide drop)‏ 姐姐 [t ɕʲɛ t ɕʲɛ ][d ʒ ieı d ʒ ieı](glide separation)‏

12 Unusual Phenomena 星期 [ ɕ iŋ t ɕʰ i] “week” Prediction for transfer: [ ʃ iŋ t ʃ i] Actual production: [t ʃ iŋ t ʃ i], with 2 affricates 請進 [t ɕʰ iŋ t ɕ in]“(please) come in” Prediction for transfer: [t ʃ iŋ d ʒ in] Actual production: [t ʃ iŋ d ʒ iŋ], with 2 velar nasals

13 Possible Explanations One possibility could be that MS simply interprets these segments in this way in every compound they appear in. But: 行李 [ ɕ h iŋ li][ ʃ iŋ li] 星號 [ ɕ h iŋ xa ʊ ][ ʃ iŋ ha ʊ ]

14 Possible Explanations: Aggressive Reduplication Certain similarities between one pair of segments can make another pair of segments more likely to become similar themselves; ie, reduplicate. If two segments are similar in place of articulation, they are more likely to undergo aggressive reduplication. 星期 [ ɕ iŋ t ɕʰ i] [t ʃ iŋ t ʃ i]“week”

15 Aggressive Reduplication Zuraw (2002) analyzed aggressive reduplication as occurring in loan words from English or Spanish to Tagolog Normally, faithfulness constraints are ranked much higher than any constraints encouraging reduplication Zuraw postulates that “when the speech community is still establishing the form [of the word], faithfulness is vacuously satisfied and lower-ranked constraints come into play”-- including Reduplication (47).

16 Aggressive Reduplication and L2 L2 speakers are comparable to the “speech community” described in the quote above—as MS is beginning to learn the language, he does not yet have a grasp on the phonology or phonemes of Standard Mandarin Therefore the faithfulness constraint is in his case satisfied vacuously as well; he is not sure of what the word should sound like because its phonetic makeup is so unfamiliar to him.

17 Aggressive Reduplication and L2 Zuraw further states that the invoking of this lower-ranked constraint can impact the encoding of new words, “causing errors in perception or production of established words in the direction of Aggressive Reduplication” (49). This would be significant for L2 speakers of a language, causing them to misperceive or misremember words due to the automatically satisfied faithfulness constraint

18 Predictions for MS I predict that once MS increases his vocabulary and begins using more compounds or words in isolation, he will realize his reduplicated words are multimorphemic, resulting in the faithfulness constraint applying. This would imply that the aggressive reduplication would only apply at the beginning of his learning the language, but could still apply to future words he learns.

19 Thank you!

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