Forced-Choice Analysis of Segmental Production by Chinese-Accented English Speakers This study describes the development of a minimal-pairs word list targeting phoneme contrasts that pose difficulty for Mandarin Chinese-speaking learners of English as a second language. The target phoneme inventory was compiled from analysis of phonetic transcriptions of about 800 mono- and polysyllabic English words with examples of all the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2005
Forced-Choice Analysis of Segmental Production by Chinese-Accented English Speakers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Catherine L. Rogers
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Jonathan Dalby
    Communication Disorders Technology, Inc., Bloomington, IN
  • Contact author: Catherine L. Rogers, who is now at the University of South Florida, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, PCD1017, Tampa, FL 33620-8100. E-mail: crogers@chuma1.cas.usf.edu
  • Jonathan Dalby is now at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.
    Jonathan Dalby is now at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.×
  • Disclosure Statement
    Disclosure Statement×
    Jonathan Dalby is part owner of Communication Disorders Technology, Inc., which markets computer-based English intelligibility training systems that incorporate some of the results of this research.
    Jonathan Dalby is part owner of Communication Disorders Technology, Inc., which markets computer-based English intelligibility training systems that incorporate some of the results of this research.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / International & Global / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2005
Forced-Choice Analysis of Segmental Production by Chinese-Accented English Speakers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2005, Vol. 48, 306-322. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/021)
History: Received July 14, 2003 , Revised January 26, 2004 , Accepted August 1, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2005, Vol. 48, 306-322. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/021)
History: Received July 14, 2003; Revised January 26, 2004; Accepted August 1, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

This study describes the development of a minimal-pairs word list targeting phoneme contrasts that pose difficulty for Mandarin Chinese-speaking learners of English as a second language. The target phoneme inventory was compiled from analysis of phonetic transcriptions of about 800 mono- and polysyllabic English words with examples of all the vowels, diphthongs, and syllable onsets and codas of the language. The Mandarin-specific minimal-pairs list derived from the phonetic transcription analyses contains 190 items. Tape recordings were made of 8 Mandarin speakers reading a randomized version of target items from the minimal-pairs list and a set of 20 sentences. Listeners who were native American English speakers judged the words in a forced-choice task and wrote down what they understood of the sentences. Correlations between listener responses on the forced-choice task and the sentence intelligibility scores showed differences in the strength of the relationship with sentence intelligibility across categories of minimal-pairs contrasts. Multiple regression analysis found listener responses on the minimal-pairs task to account for approximately 76% of the variance in speakers' sentence intelligibility scores, showing that performance on the minimal pairs of the probe list does predict connected speech intelligibility. Analyses of individual contrasts indicate target phonemes most often misperceived by native listeners.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Grant 2R44DC02213 to Communication Disorders Technology, Inc., NIDCD Grant 1R03DC005561 to the first author, and, during the time that the first author was affiliated with The Ohio State University, NIDCD Grant T32DC00051 to The Ohio State University. We thank Robert F. Port, Diane Kewley-Port, David Pisoni, and Robert A. Fox for many helpful suggestions. Portions of this article were presented at the 1996 joint meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the Acoustical Society of Japan in Honolulu, HI.
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