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English Pronunciation Pattern by Native Chinese Speakers?

asked 2015-03-19 12:34:37 -0400

anonymous gravatar image

updated 2015-03-19 12:38:50 -0400

My mom, whose native language is Chinese, seems to exhibit the following pronunciation pattern when speaking English: If a word begins with an unstressed schwa followed by a stressed syllable beginning with a consonant, she will often drop the schwa, which results in words like ''appeal'' being pronounced just like ''peel.'' Is this pronunciation pattern typical among native Chinese speakers when speaking English?

Tom Li

(Transferred from old LINGUIST List Ask-a-Linguist site)

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answered 2015-03-20 11:22:12 -0400

bitmaid gravatar image

Hi Tom:

I'm fairly certain this particular pronunciation pattern is not commonplace among native Chinese speakers. I myself am one of them and know a lot more. I can't speak for the general pronunciation pattern because I have never studied it, but what I can be sure of is this: it has to do with how English was taught. If someone received English education in China and was without a native English speaking teacher/tutor, most of the times, they'd end up with weird pronunciation patterns. Those are easy for some to correct once they settle in an English speaking communities but some would keep those patterns for a lot of reasons.

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Asked: 2015-03-19 12:34:37 -0400

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Last updated: Mar 20 '15