Volume 52, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2451-828x
  • E-ISSN: 2451-8298
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This study examines how native English speakers perceive and produce intonation and tone in Mandarin statements and unmarked questions. The results showed, as predicted, that English speakers had less difficulty perceiving intonation and sentence-final tone when the pitch movement of both was in the same direction than when it was not. On the production side, English speakers performed much better at producing tone than intonation. The intelligibility of their question intonation was especially compromised, likely due to their narrow pitch range. The English speakers also consistently produced more final rising pitch in Mandarin unmarked questions, suggesting phonological influence from their native language. Findings highlight the role of language experience in language learning, and the importance of pedagogical awareness.


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