Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1571-0718
  • E-ISSN: 1571-0726
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Mandarin Chinese and Spanish are the first two languages in the world by number of speakers. The interaction between speakers and thus between the two languages increases day by day. There are more and more Chinese students who study Spanish and Spanish students who study Chinese. At the same time, difficulties arise from the teaching-learning process, particularly with regard to phonetics, and more specifically the intonation, as they are two typologically-different languages. However, there exist very few comparative studies between them.

This article seeks to explore the global declination of intonation groups in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese and we found similarities and differences between these two languages. To do this, we created a corpus of 278 isolated and unmarked sentences and 140 neutral paragraphs in Mandarin Chinese (totally 651 sentences), while in Spanish we used data from previous studies. The corpus was recorded by nine native speakers, three men and six women.

We approached this study from a phonetic point of view and used the Garrido model (Garrido 199620012010) to compare the declination effect on the two languages according to different factors such as sentence type, the position of the intonation group within the utterance and length of the group.

We also proposed for future study some possible methods for teaching Chinese and Spanish intonation as a second language.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): F0 declination; intonation groups; language teaching; Mandarin Chinese; Spanish
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