Tones are the most challenging aspect of learning Chinese pronunciation for adult learners and traditional research mostly attributes tonal errors to interference from learners’ native languages. In Second Language Acquisition of Mandarin Chinese Tones, Hang Zhang offers a series of cross-linguistic studies to argue that there are factors influencing tone acquisition that extend beyond the transfer of structures from learners’ first languages, and beyond characteristics extracted from Chinese. These factors include universal phonetic and phonological constraints as well as pedagogical issues. By examining non-native Chinese tone productions made by speakers of non-tonal languages (English, Japanese, and Korean), this book brings together theory and practice and uses the theoretical insights to provide concrete suggestions for teachers and learners of Chinese.
Beyond First-Language Transfer
New Horizons for Tibeto-Burman Studies in honor of David Bradley
Sociohistorical Linguistics in Southeast Asia blends insights from sociolinguistics, descriptive linguistics and historical-comparative linguistics to shed new light on regional Tibeto-Burman language varieties and their relationships across spatial, temporal and cultural differences. The approach is inspired by leading Tibeto-Burmanist, David Bradley, to whom the book is dedicated. The volume includes twelve original research essays written by eleven Tibeto-Burmanists drawing on first-hand field research in five countries to explore Tibeto-Burman languages descended from seven internal sub-branches. Following two introductory chapters, each contribution is focused on a specific Tibeto-Burman language or sub-branch, collectively contributing to the literature on language identification, language documentation, typological analysis, historical-comparative classification, linguistic theory, and language endangerment research with new analyses, state-of-the-art summaries and contemporary applications.