Acoustic Study on Perception of Vowels in Standard Chinese by Uyghur Students

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The present acoustic study aims to explore the role of the first language phonetic categories in the second language learning by examining Uyghur speakers’ perception of vowels in Standard Chinese. The perception experiment is computer controlled with the software E-Prime. 30 Uyghur university students as well as 30 Han Chinese students participated in the experiment. The findings show that although the Uyghur students have learned Standard Chinese for many years, they are still significantly poorer and slower in perceiving the vowels than the Han Chinese students; and the Uyghur students are better and quicker in perceiving some of the Chinese vowels but poorer and slower in perceiving some others. It can be concluded that the first language phonological system plays an important part in the second language perception.
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Acoustic Study; Vowel Perception; Standard Chinese; Uyghur

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