ESSV Konferenz Elektronische Sprachsignalverarbeitung

Title: An Investigation of English Prosody Produced by Chinese Speakers

Authors: Hongwei Ding, Rüdiger Hoffmann, Daniel Hirst


This study is concerned with the prosodic properties of English speech produced by Chinese students. The database used in this study is a reasonably large-scale, multilingual speech corpus designed for prosody research. The speech data contains three recordings: 1) 40 English passages read by 10 native English speakers; 2) the same English passages read by 10 Chinese native speakers; 3) 40 Chinese passages read by the same Chinese speakers. Momel algorithm was employed to calculate the melody metrics on this database, and 14 prosodic parameters were compared among the three types of speech. The discrimination of Chinese English from native English and native Chinese regardless of gender reached approximately 76.5%. The results demonstrated that the pitch movements in Mandarin Chinese were greater and faster than in English, and the English produced by Chinese speakers showed greater and faster pitch movements than native English speech, but smaller and slower pitch movements than Mandarin Chinese speech. However, there was a slight difference between Chinese male and female speakers, but larger differences between English male and female speakers. Chinese female speakers even displayed smaller magnitudes of pitch movements on the basis of Momel targets than English female speakers in their English speech. Further investigations should be carried out to find out the reasons of such pitch movement patterns.

Year: 2015
In session: Prosodie
Pages: 158 to 164