Surface vs. Underlying Listening Strategies for Cross-Language Listeners in the Perception of Sandhied Tones in the Nanjing Dialect

Xin Li, René Kager, Wentao Gu


This study is devoted to exploring surface/underlying listening strategies adopted by native and non-native, tone and non-tone language groups in their perception of sandhied tones, and the possible effect of the coarticulatory/non-coarticulatory nature of the sandhi rule on tone perception. The mapping between surface sandhied tones and underlying tones is investigated by a pair of Nanjing sandhi rules, one coarticulatory and the other non-coarticulatory, involving three groups of listeners: Dutch, Beijing, and native Nanjing, by means of a Concept Formation paradigm. Results reveal distinct perceptual patterns in the three groups. Dutch listeners experience difficulty in creating phonological representation for tones even in surface listening; Beijing listeners use their native ability at tone perception for interpreting Nanjing sandhied tones in surface tone perception, but have no access to underlying patterns; Nanjing listeners perceive native sandhied tones at both the underlying level and surface level and seem to always mix them when analyzing tones. The coarticulatory/non-coarticulatory nature of sandhi rules does not seem to play a role in the current experiment.


DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2016-7

Cite as

Li, X., Kager, R., Gu, W. (2016) Surface vs. Underlying Listening Strategies for Cross-Language Listeners in the Perception of Sandhied Tones in the Nanjing Dialect. Proc. Tonal Aspects of Languages 2016, 33-37.

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Li+2016,
author={Xin Li and René Kager and Wentao Gu},
title={Surface vs. Underlying Listening Strategies for Cross-Language Listeners in the Perception of Sandhied Tones in the Nanjing Dialect},
year=2016,
booktitle={Tonal Aspects of Languages 2016},
doi={10.21437/TAL.2016-7},
url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/TAL.2016-7},
pages={33--37}
}