Prosodic Analysis of German Produced by Russian and Chinese Learners

Andreas Hilbert, Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin
Hansjörg Mixdorff, Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin
Hongwei Ding, Tongji University, Shanghai
Hartmut R. Pfitzinger, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
Oliver Jokisch, Dresden University of Technology

This study compares utterances by Russian and Chinese learners of German with those of native speakers. Adopting the methodology of an earlier study on accented English, the utterances had been rated for strength of foreign accent. We aim to find measurable prosodic differences accounting for the perceptual results. Our outcomes indicate, inter alia, that unaccented syllables are relatively longer compared with accented ones in the Chinese data than in the Russian and German data. Furthermore, the correlations of syllabic durations in utterances of one and the same sentence are much higher for German speakers than for Russian and Chinese learners of German. Russian speakers tend to use a larger range of F0 and produce more pitch-accents than German speakers.