Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

The Perception of Speech and Non-Speech Tones by Tone and Non-Tone Language Listeners

Zhen Qin, Peggy Mok

Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, Chinese University of Hong Kong

This study tested how linguistic experience and psychoacoustic factors affect tonal perception of Mandarin, English and French speakers. AX discrimination tasks of speech and non-speech tones were conducted. Results showed that the subjects performed differently in the speech and nonspeech tasks. In the speech task, while the three L1 groups shared some confusable tone pairs due to their acoustical similarity, they differed in specific pairs under the influence of L1 linguistic experience. In the non-speech task, however, the three L1 groups did not have different error patterns of individual pairs. In short, both L1 experience and psychoacoustic similarity of stimuli were found to have an impact on the perception of non-native tones.

Index Terms: Tone perception, Linguistic experience, Psychoacoustic similarity, Cross-Linguistic study.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Qin, Zhen / Mok, Peggy (2012): "The perception of speech and non-speech tones by tone and non-tone language listeners", In SP-2012, 366-369.