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ERIC Number: EJ845362
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8309
Perception of Mandarin Lexical Tones when F0 Information Is Neutralized
Liu, Siyun; Samuel, Arthur G.
Language and Speech, v47 n2 p109-138 2004
In tone languages, the identity of a word depends on its tone pattern as well as its phonetic structure. The primary cue to tone identity is the fundamental frequency (F0) contour. Two experiments explore how listeners perceive Mandarin monosyllables in which all or part of the F0 information has been neutralized. In Experiment 1, supposedly critical portions of the tonal pattern were neutralized with signal processing techniques, yet identification of the tonal pattern remained quite good. In Experiment 2, even more drastic removal of tonal information was tested, using stimuli whispered by Mandarin speakers, or signal processed to remove the pitch cues. Again, performance was surprisingly good, showing that listeners can use secondary cues when the primary cue is unavailable. Moreover, a comparison of tone perception of naturally whispered monosyllables and the signal processed ones suggests that Mandarin speakers promote the utility of secondary cues when they know that the primary cue will be unavailable. The flexible use of cues to tone in Mandarin is similar to the flexibility that has been found in the production and perception of cues to phonetic identity in Western languages. (Contains 5 tables, 3 figures and 5 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A