On English Speakers Ability to Communicate Emotion in Mandarin
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJian, H. L. (2015). On English speakers' ability to communicate emotion in Mandarin. Canadian Modern Language Review, 71(2), 182-210. http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.2104.78
The ability of Mandarin learners to express emotion in Mandarinhas received little attention. This study examines how English L1 usersexpress emotions in Mandarin and how this expression differs from that ofMandarin L1 users. Scenarios were adopted to elicit joy, anger, sadness, fear,and neutrality. Both groups articulated anger, joy, and fear with a high pitch.Both groups also employed high intensity for anger and joy and low intensityfor sadness and fear. Learners generally employed larger F0 ranges thannative speakers, particularly for anger and fear. Learners articulated leveltones with lengthened duration and contour tones with shortened duration,affecting the correctness of the portrayal of emotions. Learners used a similarintensity range for all emotions, whereas native speakers tended to vary theintensity with different emotions. The results have implications for teachingMandarin as a second language with special reference to prosodic naturalnessin expressing emotions.