Research on Chinese Pronunciation: Acquisition and Teaching

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Pronunciation acquisition involves two processes: listening and speaking, which means from phonetics to phonology and then back to phonetics. Phonological construction in based on the distinguishing characteristics of the language, and the process of phonetic realization involves other phonetic conditions and processes. Language learners are supposed to extract sporadic, linguistically meaningful phonetic units from the continuous sound signals they hear and thus build a phonological model of the specific language in their mind. Their pronunciation is under the combined influence of phonological opposition and phonetic realization mechanism. The analysis of the process of Chinese pronunciation acquisition in this book is based on the description and interpretation of the “phonetics – phonology – phonetics” process. The model of teaching Chinese pronunciation should be in conformity with the characteristics of the Chinese language. In Chinese, one character represents one syllable and each character has its tone. Therefore, the author proposes that, with syllabic structures and tonal features being understood, pronunciation teaching should integrate sentential prosody into syllable and tone teaching so as to cultivate students' fluent and natural oral expression.

About the Author
Li Zhiqiang, PhD in linguistics from MIT, is a professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Linguistics, College of Arts and Sciences, University of San Francisco. Dr. Li used to be a member of the International Association of Chinese Linguistics and the vice-chairman of the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Texas. Dr. Li’s major research interests include phonology, phonetics, and Chinese language teaching. Dr. Li has published academic papers in journals such as Phonetica, Journal of International Chinese Teaching, Studies in Prosodic Grammar, Chinese Journal of Phonetics, and Journal of International Chinese Education.
Research on Chinese Pronunciation: Acquisition and Teaching