Hang Zhang
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This book examines non-native Mandarin Chinese tone productions made by speakers of English, Japanese, and Korean. Its goal is to show that there are factors influencing second-language acquisition that extend beyond transfer of structures from the learner’s first language and beyond characteristics extracted from the learner’s target language. The first two chapters provide background on the phonetics and phonology of Mandarin Chinese tones, and survey major findings from the past several decades on the first- and second-language acquisition of Chinese tones. The third chapter describes the procedure of one main experiment designed to answer several questions about second-language tone acquisition. The book’s three core chapters, Chapters 4–6, present research investigating the presence of influences that extend beyond learners’ first languages. The book concludes with a discussion in Chapter 7 of pedagogical implications and a review of current teaching materials for Chinese tones. Practical suggestions and ten sets of sample teaching materials are provided to improve Chinese tonal pedagogy. This book will be of interest to researchers and graduate students in the fields of second-language acquisition and Chinese linguistics. Although primarily a research monograph, the book contains intensive reviews of previous studies on tone acquisition, presents new perspectives on tone pedagogy, and offers practical solutions. Thus it (especially Chapters 1, 2, 6, and 7) will also be of interest to educators and learners of the Chinese language.

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