Commenced in January 2007
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Comparative Study of Affricate Initial Consonants in Chinese and Slovak

Authors: Maria Istvanova

Abstract:

The purpose of the comparative study of the affricate consonants in Chinese and Slovak is to increase the awareness of the main distinguishing features between these two languages taking into consideration this particular group of consonants. We determine the main difficulties of the Slovak learners in the process of acquiring correct pronunciation of affricate initial consonants in Chinese based on the understanding of the distinguishing features of Chinese and Slovak affricates in combination with the experimental measuring of voice onset time (VOT) values. The software tool Praat is used for the analysis of the recorded language samples. The language samples contain recordings of a Chinese native speaker and Slovak students of Chinese with different language proficiency levels. Based on the results of the analysis in Praat, we identify erroneous pronunciation and provide clarification of its cause.

Keywords: Chinese, comparative study, initial consonants, pronunciation, Slovak

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