Word goodness affects the L1-dependent ability to store pitch contrasts

Y. Asano, H. Mitterer


The ability to store prosodic information is known to be modulated by the use of prosodic contrasts in one’s first language (L1). We tested to what extent this L1-dependent ability can vary along the levels of word goodness of the stimuli (a word, a pseudoword respecting L1 phonotactics, or a pseudoword violating L1 phonotactics). Three L1 groups; Mandarin, Japanese and German participated into an online adaptive version of the Sequence Recall Task presenting sequences of between 2–9 stimuli (with high-low or low-high pitch contrasts) expressed on the word goodness. Mandarin listeners showed the highest ability to store pitch contrasts of words, followed by pseudowords with native and nonnative phonotactic structures, the least ability in the control segmental condition (, whose stimuli differed not in tone but in their segmental make-up). The outcome by German listeners was the opposite. Mandarin listeners seem to store pitch information together with words, while Germans process pitch and segments separately, thought at the same level, so that their ability to store pitch contrasts is interfered with the word goodness. Japanese processed these at different levels so that their pitch processing was not affected by the word goodness.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-96

Cite as: Asano, Y., Mitterer, H. (2020) Word goodness affects the L1-dependent ability to store pitch contrasts. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 469-473, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-96.


@inproceedings{Asano2020,
  author={Y. Asano and H. Mitterer},
  title={{Word goodness affects the L1-dependent ability to store pitch contrasts}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={469--473},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-96},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-96}
}