Revisiting focus production in Mandarin Chinese: Some preliminary findings

Yike Yang, Si Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Prosodic focus has been well documented in many languages, and various acoustic cues have been identified in focus production. However, the issue of focus domain has not been thoroughly studied. This study investigated the production of prosodic focus in Mandarin declarative sentences, and designed stimuli with complex sentence subjects and with different focus widths. Eleven native speakers of Mandarin participated in the recording experiment. Production data with various focus conditions were elicited with precursor questions and then analysed with linear mixed-effects modelling. Our data revealed focus-induced change of F0, duration and intensity values in pre-focus, on focus and post-focus regions. The results suggest that focus size may not interfere with focus realisation in Mandarin. Concerning the role of F0 range in Mandarin focus marking, we provided conflicting results compared with previous studies. Moreover, it is suggested that focus realisation in non-sentence-final positions and within complex nominal phrases should be considered for a better understanding of focus domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-264
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody
Publication statusPublished - May 2020
Event10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020 - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 25 May 202028 May 2020


  • Focus
  • Focus domain
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Prosody
  • Speech production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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