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Prosodic Realization of Focus in Bilingual Production of Southern Min and Mandarin

Chen, Y; Xu, Y; Guion-Anderson, S; (2015) Prosodic Realization of Focus in Bilingual Production of Southern Min and Mandarin. Phonetica , 71 (4) pp. 249-270. 10.1159/000371891. Green open access

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Abstract

Previously post-focus compression (PFC) - the lowering of fundamental frequency (F0) and intensity of post-focal words to below those of the same words in identical sentences with neutral focus - was found in Beijing Mandarin but not in Taiwan Southern Min and Taiwan Mandarin. This study investigated whether the presence of PFC would vary with age and language use of societal bilinguals of Southern Min and Mandarin. Three groups of bilingual speakers of Quanzhou Southern Min and Mandarin, age around 20, 40 and 60, were examined for their prosodic realization of focus. All the speakers acquired Southern Min first, followed by Mandarin in childhood, but the younger speakers used more Mandarin than the older speakers. Comparisons of duration, intensity and F0 in focused, prefocus and post-focus words indicated that all groups produced Taiwan-like focus, i.e., without PFC, in Southern Min, but the youngest group produced Beijing-like PFC in Mandarin. These findings reveal that increased language experience, such as greater amount of second language (L2) use, correlates with increased ability to produce native-like PFC in L2, suggesting that PFC can be used as an indicator in assessing L2 speech acquisition.

Type: Article
Title: Prosodic Realization of Focus in Bilingual Production of Southern Min and Mandarin
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1159/000371891
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000371891
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel. This is the peer-reviewed but unedited manuscript version of the following article: Phonetica 2014;71:249-270 (DOI:10.1159/000371891). The final, published version is available at http://www.karger.com/?doi=10.1159/000371891
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1460151
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