Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

The Role of Musical Experience in Cantonese Lexical Tone Perception by Native Speakers of Thai

Angela Cooper, Yue Wang

Department of Linguistics, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada

Adult non-native perception is subject to influence from a variety of factors, including native language and musical experience. The present study investigates the influence of these two factors in the perception and learning of non-native lexical tones. Native Thai-speaking musicians and nonmusicians completed pre- and post-test identification tasks on five Cantonese tones, with 4 days of lexical identification training. Higher identification accuracy scores for musicians suggest that extensive experience with musical pitch enhances perception of non-native linguistic pitch. However, patterns of tonal accuracy improvement were similar across groups and can be attributed to the influence of the L1 tonal system.

Index Terms: lexical tone, musical experience, Cantonese, non-native perception

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cooper, Angela / Wang, Yue (2010): "The role of musical experience in Cantonese lexical tone perception by native speakers of Thai", In SP-2010, paper 184.