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The Influence of French Intonation on the Acquisition of Mandarin Tone
Mandarin tone,French intonation,Tonal errors,Prosodic structure,
|Publication Year :||2019|
Rapid progress has been made on research within Mandarin tonal errors in the past decade, and country-specific factors are commonly included, whereas only few studies focus on French speakers so far. Since French is a non-tone language, the change of pitch is not associated with the change of lexical meaning but functions at sentence and discourse levels. This paper aims to demonstrate how prosodic structure in French may cause Mandarin tonal errors, so as to figure out the role of French intonation in Mandarin tone acquisition.
Previous research concerning prosodic hierarchy has indicated that both similarities and differences exist between Mandarin and French. To facilitate structural comparison, the present research applied the minimum prosodic unit in French prosodic structure--Accentual Phrase (AP), to be the primary unit to investigate subjects’ pronunciation. This study combined quantitative and qualitative approaches, in order to undergo further investigation, thus separating Mandarin sentences into smaller units equivalent to French AP structure, especially focus on the first and the last syllables in both initial APs and final APs. Totally, 15 subjects were involved in this analysis, all of whom were native French speakers. As for the speaking materials, including sentences reading and viewpoint declaration, being analyzed to detect the relationship between tonal performance and the traits of French AP structure.
The analysis revealed that Mandarin tone with the highest error rate opposed to the corresponding pitch in French intonation. The discrepancy between Mandarin tone and the characteristics of French intonation indicated Mandarin tonal errors were therefore possibly influenced by intonation of learners’ first language. Through qualitative phonetic analysis, tonal pitch variation further supported the finding. To break away from negative transfer caused by French intonation is salient for French native speakers. Based on the result of the present study, we suggested directions for further research, and provided advice to teachers at the end of the thesis.
|Appears in Collections:||華語教學碩士學位學程|
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