Vowel context affects L2 Chinese learners‘ identification of postalveolar sibilants

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This study examines the identification of Standard Chinese initial consonants by native Danish students of Chinese as a foreign language (CFL). Segmental perception is known to be affected by neighboring segments, and in the case of Chinese, certain consonantal contrasts may be enhanced by the quality of the following vowel. We examined how well intermediate learners of Chinese could apply (implicit) knowledge of L2 phonology in their identification of Chinese coronal obstruents that are known to pose challenges. This paper focuses on two sets of postalveolar sibilants ([tɕ, tɕʰ, ɕ] and [tʂ, tʂʰ, ʂ]) that are often perceived and produced similarly by CFL learners. Results show a hierarchy of correct identification depending on the following vowel: /i/ > /u/ > /a/. We suggest that learners rely on implicit knowledge of phonotactics when perceiving non-native contrasts.
Original languageDanish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences : Melbourne, Australia 2019
EditorsSasha Calhoun, Paola Escudero, Paul Warren
Number of pages4
Place of publicationCanberra
PublisherAustralian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.
Publication year2019
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-646-800069-1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventInternationaL Congress of Phonetic Sciences - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 4 Aug 201910 Aug 2019


ConferenceInternationaL Congress of Phonetic Sciences

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