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Seton Hall University

Higher Education

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An Investigation Of American Students’ Tonal Acquisition Towards Disyllabic Words With Same Or Different Tones, Yuan Yuan May 2014

An Investigation Of American Students’ Tonal Acquisition Towards Disyllabic Words With Same Or Different Tones, Yuan Yuan

Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs)

Mastering Mandarin tones is an indispensable path to achieving high Chinese language proficiency and a headache to a lot of American learners. Scholars keep studying this area, but this problem remains unsolved.

Through long-time observation of beginners, I found an interesting phenomenon: many students were able to correctly produce a certain tone (Tone X) which was contained by a monosyllable. However, when the students encountered a disyllabic word with the tone which they were skillful at (Tone X) and another different tone (Tone Y), the students showed no advantage on Tone X. This phenomenon motivated me to do research on ...