This study focuses on the voicing of the stop consonants /b d g/ and the discrimination between occlusives /b d g/ and /p t k/ in French for first year French majors at university in Taiwan, as well as how the students' success in French pronunciation links to their level of mastery in their native language. Taiwanese students speak all the Mandarin and for the majority of them, they speak also the Taiwanese Minnan. In both language exists an opposition of aspiration between occlusive /p t k/ and /ph th kh/. Additionally, in Minnan, exist the voiced stops /b g/. Previous studies have shown that Minnan speakers, just like Mandarin speakers, have difficulty in distinguishing the opposition of voicing in French. Our study tries to verify that whether a student who is unable to voice /b d g/ in French is able to voice /b g/ in Minnan, or on the contrary, under the influence of the Mandarin Chinese, they can not realize the opposition of voicing in Minnan. At the acoustic level, our study leans on the analysis of the VOT (Voice Onset Time), the length of time that passes between the release of a stop consonant and the onset of voicing. At the perceptive level, a test of discrimination of French occlusives is proposed. So, the production and the perception of our learners of occlusives in French are put in connection with the mastery of the voicing of Taiwanese Minnan of our learners.
Tamkang Studies of Foreign Languages and Literatures 32, p.84-103