A Perceptual Study of the Five Level Tones in Hmu (Xinzhai Variety)

Wen Liu

Previous studies have shown that the perception is categorical when tones have different contours, whereas continuous when tones have the same contour. In this study, a perceptual experiment of the five level tones in Hmu (Xinzhai variety) was conducted to further examine this conclusion. Results show that in the identification test, continua between different level tones have different boundary width, which has a negative correlation with the pitch interval of two level tones. In the discrimination test, though there is no peak in discrimination curve, the discrimination accuracy reveals an important phenomenon that the accuracy is approximately 50% between two neighboring level tones, but higher when the level tones have a larger pitch interval. Besides, the boundary width is highly correlated with the discrimination accuracy (e.g., the narrower the boundary width, the higher the discrimination accuracy). These results reveal the basic characteristic of continuous perception, especially for level tones. Finally, the results also demonstrate that the category in categorical perception is not equal to phonological category.

 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-0056

Cite as: Liu, W. (2020) A Perceptual Study of the Five Level Tones in Hmu (Xinzhai Variety). Proc. Interspeech 2020, 1620-1623, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-0056.

  author={Wen Liu},
  title={{A Perceptual Study of the Five Level Tones in Hmu (Xinzhai Variety)}},
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2020},