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ERIC Number: EJ865241
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0169-0965
Asymmetry in Mandarin Affricate Perception by Learners of Mandarin Chinese
Lai, Yi-hsiu
Language and Cognitive Processes, v24 n7-8 p1265-1285 2009
Six Mandarin affricates (i.e., zh[ts], ch[ts[superscript h]], z[ts], c[ts[superscript h]], j[tc], q[tc[superscript h]), which are not universally present in other languages, have been extensively challenging for learners of Mandarin Chinese. In the current study, perception of these affricates was investigated via an experiment in which native speakers of Malay and of Burmese identified Mandarin affricate pairs varying across place of articulation and manner of articulation. The results showed that language experience was significant for all Mandarin affricate pairs. Among the Mandarin affricate pairs, learners of Mandarin Chinese were most confused about the aspirated affricates, especially the dental-retroflex contrast. Dentalisation was the dominant direction of Mandarin affricate merger, especially in the [ts]-[ts] and [ts[superscript h]]-[ts[superscript h]] pairs. These findings in the perception experiment of Mandarin affricates were somewhat in disagreement with previous studies, but supported some theories developed from European languages. To draw on the facts from other languages (i.e., Polish), the researcher argued that L1-L2 segment inventories alone may not fully account for the current findings and suggested one Interactive Model for interpreting the perceptual asymmetry in Mandarin affricates. (Contains 6 tables, 2 figures and 10 footnotes.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Taiwan