Abstract：Natural speech strongly depends on the prosodic features such as tone, intonation and stress, which are very different in Mandarin, Cantonese and English. This study compares the fundamental frequency (f0) contours of Mandarin speech between native speakers and 2 groups of L2 learners who were native in HK Cantonese and American English. The f0 manifestations in tone, intonation and emphatic stress as well as their interactions are evaluated for a set of controlled sentences varying in sentence type, tone identity, and focus position. The results show that most L2 errors can be ascribed to negative transfers from the L1. The findings have pedagogical implications for learners with particular L1s to improve their L2 Mandarin prosody.
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