Vowel production by Mandarin speakers of English

Y. Chen, Michael Robb, H. Gilbert, J. Lerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


An acoustic study of American English vowels produced by native Mandarin speakers was performed. First and second formant frequencies (F1 and F2) of 11 vowels were examined in syllable-level productions of 40 Mandarin speakers compared to 40 American English speakers. Results of comparative acoustic analysis indicated that male and female Mandarin speakers differed significantly from American English speakers in their production of several English vowels. For female and male Mandarin speakers, the overall vowel quadrilaterals appeared to be smaller than corresponding American speakers' quadrilaterals. The general pattern shown across the Mandarin subjects was one in which vowels are produced with less acoustic diversity compared to native speakers of American English. Phonetic influences of the Mandarin language on production of American English vowels are discussed, as are implications of these findings with regard to clinical management of Chinese individuals who speak English as a second language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-440
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 4 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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