Segmental and tonal errors in L2 Mandarin speech produced by Australian English learners
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Despite the increasing importance of learning Mandarin in international communities, the phonetics of L2 Mandarin has been studied far less than that of L2 English. In this study, L2 Mandarin speeches by the Australian beginner-level learners were collected on the basis of a phonetically balanced corpus. A systematic analysis of segmental and tonal errors showed that Australian learners made errors not only in tones but also in some initial consonants and finals which were absent in English. Most errors are associated with the L1 transfer effect, and some of them are also ascribed to the confusion caused by the Pinyin spelling. Our findings will be beneficial not only in the pedagogical sense - those frequently observed errors can be treated purposefully in language teaching, but also for the development of computer-assisted language learning programs.
Proceedings of the 15th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology
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Laboratory Phonetics and Speech Science