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ERIC Number: EJ1029487
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Effects of Lexical Tone Contour on Mandarin Sentence Intelligibility
Chen, Fei; Wong, Lena L. N.; Hu, Yi
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v57 n1 p338-345 Feb 2014
Purpose: This study examined the effects of lexical tone contour on the intelligibility of Mandarin sentences in quiet and in noise. Method: A text-to-speech synthesis engine was used to synthesize Mandarin sentences with each word carrying the original lexical tone, flat tone, or a tone randomly selected from the 4 Mandarin lexical tones. The synthesized speech signals were presented to 11 normal-hearing listeners for recognition in quiet and in speech-shaped noise at 0 dB signal-to-noise ratio. Results: Normal-hearing listeners nearly perfectly recognized the Mandarin sentences produced with modified tone contours in quiet; however, performance declined substantially in noise. Conclusions: Consistent with previous findings to some extent, the present findings suggest that lexical tones are relatively redundant cues for Mandarin sentence intelligibility in quiet and that other cues could compensate for the distorted lexical tone contour. However, in noise, the results provide direct evidence that lexical tone contour is important for the recognition of Mandarin sentences.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A