ERIC Number: EJ1145357
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Lexical Tone Variation and Spoken Word Recognition in Preschool Children: Effects of Perceptual Salience
Singh, Leher; Tan, Aloysia; Wewalaarachchi, Thilanga D.
Journal of Child Language, v44 n4 p924-942 Jul 2017
Children undergo gradual progression in their ability to differentiate correct and incorrect pronunciations of words, a process that is crucial to establishing a native vocabulary. For the most part, the development of mature phonological representations has been researched by investigating children's sensitivity to consonant and vowel variation, with a much lesser focus on lexical tones. The current study investigates sensitivity to lexical tones in word recognition with specific attention to role of perceptual salience. Chinese-speaking preschoolers were presented with familiar words that were correctly pronounced, substituted for a subtle tone variant (Tones 2 and 3), or substituted for a salient tone variant (Tones 1 and 4). Results demonstrated that subtle tone variants were mistakenly perceived as correct pronunciations and only salient tone variants were recognized as mispronunciations. Findings suggest that tone integration follows a more complex developmental course that previously concluded.
Descriptors: Child Language, Chinese, Preschool Children, Pronunciation, Tone Languages, Language Acquisition, Phonology, Word Recognition
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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