Age-Related Differences of Tone Perception in Mandarin-Speaking Seniors

Yan Feng, Gang Peng, William Shi-Yuan Wang


This study examined age-related differences in categorical perception of Mandarin lexical tones through comparing identification and discrimination performance among young adults, seniors aged 60–65 years, and older seniors aged 75–80 years. Results showed a significantly wider boundary and smaller peakedness in older seniors. There was also a positive correlation between the hearing level at 125 Hz and boundary width, and a negative correlation between hearing level (125 Hz) and peakedness in older seniors, indicating that the decline of tone perception in this population might be associated with degradation of hearing sensitivity. However, there was no significant difference between young adults and seniors aged 60–65 years, which might reveal that younger seniors could maintain normal ability to perceive tones categorically.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2194

Cite as: Feng, Y., Peng, G., Wang, W.S. (2020) Age-Related Differences of Tone Perception in Mandarin-Speaking Seniors. Proc. Interspeech 2020, 1629-1633, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2194.


@inproceedings{Feng2020,
  author={Yan Feng and Gang Peng and William Shi-Yuan Wang},
  title={{Age-Related Differences of Tone Perception in Mandarin-Speaking Seniors}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2020},
  pages={1629--1633},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2194},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2194}
}