The effects of tonal experience on the categorization of Cantonese lexical tones into Japanese native pitch accent categories

Janice Wing Sze Wong, Takayuki Arai


This study examined the effects of prosodic experience in the first (L1) and second (L2) language on the perception of non-native lexical tones. Japanese naïve listeners (Group JN) and Japanese learners of Mandarin (Group J1M2) were instructed to categorize the six Cantonese lexical tones into their native pitch accent categories. Results showed that both groups could only categorize two tones into their native pitch accent categories, and their categorization patterns were different: Group JN only assimilated two rising tones, T2 and T5, into the final-accented LH* while Group J1M2 assimilated high-rising T2 into LH* and low-falling T4 into initial-accented H*L. These preliminary results are only partly compatible with the assumptions of PAM-S [12, 15-17] stating that non-native tonal categories will be assimilated to native prosodic categories, but provide more evidence that learning a more complicated system with lexical F0 variations at the phonetic level (i.e. Mandarin) does influence the perceptual assimilation of non-native tones.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-99

Cite as: Wong, J.W.S., Arai, T. (2020) The effects of tonal experience on the categorization of Cantonese lexical tones into Japanese native pitch accent categories. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 484-488, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-99.


@inproceedings{Wong2020,
  author={Janice Wing Sze Wong and Takayuki Arai},
  title={{The effects of tonal experience on the categorization of Cantonese lexical tones into Japanese native pitch accent categories}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={484--488},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-99},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-99}
}