• Yunjie Huang School of Foreign Studies, Northwestern Polytechnical University, China
  • Yi zhang School of Foreign Studies, Northwestern Polytechnical University, China




Intonation, Speech, EFL Learner

Abstract [English]

Intonation plays an essential role in verbal communication. Besides, intonation patterns that influence information transmission in speeches have always been a significant research focus in current years. Based on Halliday's intonation systems, this study investigated the intonation features, including tonality, tonicity and tone shown in speeches of Chinese EFL learners and English native speakers. In the study, the acoustic tool Praat and Excel were employed to label the data and analyze the obtained statistics. Results indicated that Chinese students were able to use tone groups and marked tonicity to emphasize the focus of information units. However, there existed some improper and excessive use of tonality segmentation and marked tonicity. Moreover, Chinese students showed more changeable tones when delivering speeches, which might create an understanding barrier of listeners. In order to improve Chinese EFL learners' use of intonation, a more thorough comprehension of the information units, key focus and meaning of each tone is required.


Download data is not yet available.


Zhu, W. (2012). Application of "input hypothesis" theory in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. Hubei social science (06), 139-142.

Allen,V. (1971.) Teaching intonation, from theory to practice. TESOL Quarterly, (4):73-91. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/3586113

Cruttenden, (2002). A. Intonation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Crystal, D. (1969). Prosodic Systems and Intonation in English. Cambridge Studies in Linguistics. Cambridge University Press.

Fang, Z., Xin, C., Lu, H., Yang, S., & Yang, Y. (2020). Research on Vocal Emotion Production of Preschool Children with Cochlear Implants and Normal Hearing Children. Chinese Scientific Journal of Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation,18(5):402-404.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1967). Intonation and Grammar in British English. Berlin: Mouton. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783111357447

Halliday, M. A. K. & Greaves. (2008) W. S., Intonation in the Grammar of English. London: Equinox.

Haoxin, Y. (2020). A Study on the Effectiveness of Speech Visualization Technology in English Intonation Acquisition. Heilongjiang Education(Theory & Practice)(7):89-90.

Hu, C. (2009) On English Intonational Studies in the 20th Century. Journal of PLA University of Foreign Languages,32(03):13-20.

Hua, C. (2008). On Chinese EFL Learner's English Intonation Pattern. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

Hua ,C ., & Ran, R. (2015). A Study on the Phonological Structure of Chinese English. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.

Honnet, P.E., Gerazov, B., Gjoreski, A. & Garner, P.N. (2008). Intonation modelling using a muscle model and perceptually weighted matching pursuit.

Jianfen, C. (2002). The relationship between Chinese tone and intonation. Studies of Chinese Language, 288:195.

Ladd, D. R. (1996) Intonational Phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tench, P. (1996). The Intonation Systems of English. London: Cassell.

O’Grady, G.(2002). Intonation and exchange: A dynamic and metafunction view. Lingua.

Steffman, J. (2019) Intonational structure mediates speech rate normalization in the perception of segmental categories. Journal of Phonetics, 74. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wocn.2019.03.002

Xiuhua, H., & Lei, Z. (2019). A Comparative Study of Perception of Speech Intonation between Hearing Impaired Children and Normal-hearing Children Aged 4~6 years. Journal of Audiology and Speech Pathology,28(2):138-141. DOI:10.3969/j.issn.1006-7299.2020.02.005.




How to Cite

Huang, Y., & Yizhang. (2020). A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF INTONATION CHARACTERISTICS OF SPEECHES BY CHINESE EFL LEARNERS AND NATIVE SPEAKERS . International Journal of Research -GRANTHAALAYAH, 8(11), 195–203. https://doi.org/10.29121/granthaalayah.v8.i11.2020.2438