Analysis of Chinese syllable durations in running speech of Japanese L2 learners

Yue Sun, Shudon Hsiao, Yoshinori Sagisaka, Jinsong Zhang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Aiming at better understanding of prosody generation by native Japanese learners of Mandarin as a second language (L2), we analyzed the syllable duration differences between tone types. By comparing the mean syllable durations and the variation of normalized syllable durations across tone types and speakers, significant differences were found between tone types as well as between speakers. Native Chinese speakers generate tone 1 and tone 2 with relatively long durations but smaller variations, contrary to tone 3 and tone 4. Japanese L2 learners generate tone 3 with relatively high variations compared to the other tones, while the mean duration of tone 4 was remarkably different from natives. Compared with native speakers, the variations of both tone 3 and tone 4 are significantly smaller. Furthermore, the neutral tone caused a significant increase of the mean variation across tones for the Japanese L2 learners. The results suggest that native Chinese speakers control syllable durations adaptively with tones, especially for tone 3 and tone 4, in running speech while Japanese L2 learners tend to pronounce them in isolated syllable fashion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1030-1033
    Number of pages4
    JournalProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Japanese L2 learners
    • Mandarin Chinese tones
    • Syllable duration

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Signal Processing
    • Software
    • Modelling and Simulation

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of Chinese syllable durations in running speech of Japanese L2 learners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this