The Roles of Segment and Tone in Bi-dialectal Auditory Word recognition

Min Liu, Yiya Chen


This study investigated if and how cross-dialect phonological similarity in segment and tone affects bi-dialectal listeners’ lexical access during spoken word recognition. Balanced bi-dialectal speakers of Xi’an Mandarin and Standard Chinese took part in an auditory-auditory priming experiment with a generalized lexical decision task. The primes were monosyllabic homophones from either Xi’an Mandarin or Standard Chinese, while the targets were disyllabic Xi’an Mandarin or Standard Chinese words. Primes and the first syllable of the target words overlapped in both segment and tone or segment-only within a dialect or across two dialects. In addition, a control condition was included where primes and targets shared neither tone nor segment. The results showed that cross-dialect phonological similarity in segment alone does not affect lexical access in bi-dialectal auditory word recognition while cross-dialect phonological similarity in both segment and tone poses a threat to the recognition system of bi-dialectal listeners. Cross-dialect homophones have been shown to be processed much more slowly and less accurately. We conclude that tonal information plays a significant role in constraining word activation in bi-dialectal auditory word recognition.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-131

Cite as: Liu, M., Chen, Y. (2020) The Roles of Segment and Tone in Bi-dialectal Auditory Word recognition. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 640-644, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-131.


@inproceedings{Liu2020,
  author={Min Liu and Yiya Chen},
  title={{The Roles of Segment and Tone in Bi-dialectal Auditory Word recognition}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={640--644},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-131},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-131}
}