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ERIC Number: EJ1128566
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0090-6905
Effects of Phonetic Similarity in the Identification of Mandarin Tones
Li, Bin; Shao, Jing; Bao, Mingzhen
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v46 n1 p107-124 Feb 2017
Tonal languages differ in how they use phonetic correlates, e.g. average pitch height and pitch direction, for tonal contrasts. Thus, native speakers of a tonal language may need to adjust their attention to familiar or unfamiliar phonetic cues when perceiving non-native tones. On the other hand, speakers of a non-tonal language may need to develop sensitivity to tonal correlates absent from their native system. The current study examines and compares five language groups' perception of two synthesized Mandarin tones: the high level tone and the high falling tone. It aims to examine how listeners from tonal and non-tonal backgrounds identify and categorize acoustically equidistant pitches varying along two phonetic dimensions: pitch onset and slope. Results reveal "universal" perceptual patterns across groups and also tendencies caused by native tonal systems. Our findings confirm that L1 tonal and prosodic systems affect speakers' sensitivity to novel perceptual cues and their abilities to discern relevant phonetic differences.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A