EUROSPEECH 2001 Scandinavia
7th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Aalborg, Denmark
September 3-7, 2001


Auditory-Visual Perception of Lexical Tone

Denis Burnham (1), Valter Ciocca (2), Stephanie Stokes (2)

(1) University of Western Sydney, Australia
(2) University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Cantonese speakers were asked to identify spoken words as one of six Cantonese words differing only in tone. Words were presented in three modes: auditory-visual (AV), auditory only (AO), and visual only (VO). Performance was equivalent in the AO and AV conditions - there was no augmentation of auditory tone perception when visual information was added. Nevertheless, performance in the VO condition was significantly above chance under certain conditions: for perceivers without phonetic training, but not those with phonetic training; for tone carried on monophthongs, but not diphthongs; for tones spoken in running speech, but not citation form; and for contour tones (involving pitch movement over time), but not level tones (involving minimal pitch movement). Thus there is visual information for tone which is functionally relevant under certain circumstances.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Burnham, Denis / Ciocca, Valter / Stokes, Stephanie (2001): "Auditory-visual perception of lexical tone", In EUROSPEECH-2001, 395-398.