The effect of l1 prosody in the perception and production of non-native lexical stress

Joanne Jingwen Li, Maria Grigos

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The present study examined perception and production of English lexical stress by Cantonese and Mandarin late learners of English. Perception was tested with an ABX stress discrimination task, and production was tested with a real word repetition task. Stimuli were English real words consisting of 17 stress minimal pairs. Perception results did not reveal significant between-group differences, but suggested that Mandarin speakers were slightly better at perceiving stress contrast than Cantonese speakers. Production results showed that both Mandarin and English speakers demonstrated a higher stress contrast than Cantonese speakers in terms of duration. All language groups showed a similar degree of stress contrast in F0 and intensity. It is suggested that Mandarin speakers would benefit from their use of neutral tone and demonstrate a better ability perceiving and producing non-native lexical stress. The hypothesis is that perception and production of lexical stress is not only determined by early experience with lexical stress but could also be influenced by the speakers’ L1 prosodic features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)898-902
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody
StatePublished - 2018
Event9th International Conference on Speech Prosody, SP 2018 - Poznan, Poland
Duration: Jun 13 2018Jun 16 2018


  • Cantonese
  • Lexical stress
  • Mandarin
  • Perception
  • Production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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