Date of Award

December 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics


Tej K. Bhatia


Chinese, Mandarin

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities



Much of the past research on Native Mandarin speakers' acquisition of English consonants has focused on codas because of the constraint against stop phonemes as codas. Native Mandarin speakers face a range of challenges in the process of acquiring English because of the variation between the syllable structures of English and Mandarin, and the variation between the two phonological systems. Past research has investigated native Mandarin speakers' perception, and production of English words. Based on the reviewed literature for this study, stop and liquid clusters in onset position which contrast according to voicing have not been the focus of past research.

The following study focuses on Mandarin speakers' perception and production of English stop and liquid clusters in onset position when the stops contrast according to voicing. In order to achieve this goal the following methodology was adopted to obtain experimental data. First, a recording for the auditory perception task was created. Next, the production component, which contained both a word-reading, and natural elicitation task, was established. Participants completed the auditory perception task first, and then the two production tasks.

The results of the auditory perception task showed few perception errors. The perception results showed sound changes in five environments in the reading exercise including onset consonant, cluster, vowel, final consonant, and re-segmenting of the phrase. The story re-tell task showed similar sound changes to those present in the reading exercise. Results of this study show that for this small group of participants' perception of contrasts precede production. This study suggests a need for future


Open Access



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.