Investigating native and non-native English classification and transfer effects using Legendre polynomial coefficient clustering
In this paper, we investigate similarities and differences in pitch contours among native English speakers and non-native English speakers (whose first language is Mandarin). In particular, we investigate if there are particular prosodic contours that are predictive of native and non-native English speech in the area of question intonation contours. We also look to see if we find evidence of negative transfer effects or second language learning effects around native Mandarin speakers who may be using Mandarin prosody when speaking English. To investigate these questions, we explore prosodic contour modeling techniques for native and non-native English speech by clustering Legendre polynomial coefficients. Our results show evidence of non-native English speakers using unexpected contours in the place of expected English prosody. We additionally find support that speakers in our corpus may be experiencing negative language transfer effects, as well as second language learning effects.