F0 patterns in Mandarin statements of Mandarin and cantonese speakers

Yike Yang, Si Chen, Xi Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Cross-linguistic differences of F0 patterns have been found from both monolingual and bilingual speakers. However, previous studies either worked on intonation languages or compared an intonation language with a tone language. It still remains unknown whether there are F0 differences in bilingual speakers of tone languages. This study compared second language (L2) Mandarin with Cantonese and first language (L1) Mandarin, to test whether the L2 speakers of Mandarin have acquired the F0 patterns of Mandarin and whether there are influences from their L1 Cantonese. Different F0 measurements (including maximum F0, minimum F0, mean F0 and F0 range) were examined with linear mixed-effects models. Cantonese and Mandarin showed different F0 patterns, the source of which still requires further investigation. The L2 Mandarin data resembled the F0 patterns of Cantonese and were different from L1 Mandarin, for which we provided different explanations: assimilation of L1 Cantonese and L2 Mandarin, the negative transfer from native Cantonese, and similarities in the nature of tone languages. Suggestions for testing these assumptions are proposed. Lastly, our data provided conflicting results concerning the role of gender in F0 pattern realisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4163-4167
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event21st Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH 2020 - Shanghai, China
Duration: 25 Oct 202029 Oct 2020


  • Cantonese
  • F0 pattern
  • Mandarin
  • Second language
  • Speech production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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