Using eye-tracking in a visual world paradigm, we sought converging evidence for the time course of Mandarin Chinese tone recognition as predicted by the availability of information in F0 and past results from a gating experiment. Our results showed that tones 1 and 2 are recognized earlier than tone 4, followed by tone 3. With the exception of tone 2, which was recognized earlier than expected, our results are consistent with those found in gating. The speed of tone 2 recognition varied significantly across vowels in our study, part of a broader pattern whereby vowels systematically influenced the time course of tone recognition. Rising tones, tone 2 and tone 3, were recognized earliest when co-produced with /a/. The falling tone, tone 4, was recognized earliest when co-produced with /u/.
Bibliographic reference. Shaw, Jason A. / Tyler, Michael D. / Kasisopa, Benjawan / Ma, Yuan / Proctor, Michael / Han, Chong / Derrick, Donald / Burnham, Denis (2013): "Vowel identity conditions the time course of tone recognition", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 3142-3146.