A Segmentation Effect in Dutch listeners’ Surface-to-Underlying Mapping of Tones

Xin Li, Rene Kager


The current study investigates a) whether assimilatory tone sandhi processes, which are motivated by articulatory ease, and dissimilatory tone sandhi processes, which are not, differ in their recoverability of surface-to-underlying tone mapping for naïve Dutch listeners. It also investigates b) whether gradient and categorical underlying-to-surface sound changes in these processes lead to any difference in this mapping. Results from a series of Word Detection tasks reveal no evidence that the listeners perform surface-to-underlying tone mapping more successfully in the assimilation than in the dissimilation condition when the underlying-to-surface tone change is discrete. Also, no robust evidence is found that they perform the mapping more easily in the assimilatory condition when the underlying-to-surface alternation becomes more gradual. Consistent evidence suggests a tone segmentation effect at the surface level playing a pivotal role in the surface-to-underlying tone mapping task by the listeners. Dissimilation seems to be intrinsically related with easier segmentation whereas assimilation seems to intrinsically lead to more difficult segmentation for the Dutch listeners.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-29

Cite as: Li, X., Kager, R. (2018) A Segmentation Effect in Dutch listeners’ Surface-to-Underlying Mapping of Tones. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 143-147, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-29.


@inproceedings{Li2018,
  author={Xin Li and Rene Kager},
  title={A Segmentation Effect in Dutch listeners’ Surface-to-Underlying Mapping of Tones},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={143--147},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-29},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-29}
}