NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ784556
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
The Developmental Course of Lexical Tone Perception in the First Year of Life
Mattock, Karen; Molnar, Monika; Polka, Linda; Burn, Denis
Cognition, v106 n3 p1367-1381 Mar 2008
Perceptual reorganisation of infants' speech perception has been found from 6 months for consonants and earlier for vowels. Recently, similar reorganisation has been found for lexical tone between 6 and 9 months of age. Given that there is a close relationship between vowels and tones, this study investigates whether the perceptual reorganisation for tone begins earlier than 6 months. Non-tone language English and French infants were tested with the Thai low vs. rising lexical tone contrast, using the stimulus alternating preference procedure. Four- and 6-month-old infants discriminated the lexical tones, and there was no decline in discrimination performance across these ages. However, 9-month-olds failed to discriminate the lexical tones. This particular pattern of decline in nonnative tone discrimination over age indicates that perceptual reorganisation for tone does not parallel the developmentally prior decline observed in vowel perception. The findings converge with previous developmental cross-language findings on tone perception in English-language infants [Mattock, K., & Burnham, D. (2006). Chinese and English infants' tone perception: Evidence for perceptual reorganization. "Infancy, 10"(3)], and extend them by showing similar perceptual reorganisation for non-tone language infants learning rhythmically different non-tone languages (English and French).
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; 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