Linguistic Feature Analyses of Chinese Learners of English and Contributions of Discrete Features to Perceptual Judgment

  •  Hsueh Chen    


This study (a) conducted a feature analysis of the spoken data of Chinese university students in pronunciation, grammar, and discourse, (b) investigated the contributions of the discrete linguistic features to the perceptual ratings on foreign accent, comprehensibility, delivery, and general language use. Ten university learners were selected from the Spoken Corpus of the English of Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese learners (, in which two speakers were paired up to conduct a five minutes interview. Three-level analyses were done to investigate Chinese learners’ linguistic features. Forty listeners from four L1 language backgrounds were recruited to rate the speech samples. The results show that strongly negative correlations were found between the production and perceptual rating scores for “omission of consonant(s) in final position” “redundant article ‘the’”, “silent pauses” and “discourse markers,” suggesting that the four features can be perceived and exert strong negative influences on perceptual judgments. Pronunciation rating had the strongest positive correlations with “foreign accentedness”; grammar rating had the strongest positive correlations with “general language use”; discourse rating had the strongest positive correlations with “general delivery”, and “general language use.” Regarding the rating of comprehensibility, “misuse of conjunctions” “redundant article ‘the’”, “silent pauses”, “lengthening”, and “stressing” showed strong negative correlations whereas “filled pauses” had strong positive correlations with it. Regarding the rating of foreign accentedness, strong negative correlations were found between “omission of consonant(s) in final position”, “lengthening”, “discourse markers”, and “stressing” and the rating of “foreign accentedness”.

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