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Universality and language-specific experience in the perception of lexical tone and pitch
University of Western Sydney, Australia.
University of Western Sydney, Australia.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6358-6710
University of Western Sydney, Australia.
Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.
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2015 (English)In: Applied Psycholinguistics, ISSN 0142-7164, E-ISSN 1469-1817, Vol. 36, no 6, 1459-1491 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Two experiments focus on Thai tone perception by native speakers of tone languages (Thai, Cantonese, and Mandarin), a pitch–accent (Swedish), and a nontonal (English) language. In Experiment 1, there was better auditory-only and auditory–visual discrimination by tone and pitch–accent language speakers than by nontone language speakers. Conversely and counterintuitively, there was better visual-only discrimination by nontone language speakers than tone and pitch–accent language speakers. Nevertheless, visual augmentation of auditory tone perception in noise was evident for all five language groups. In Experiment 2, involving discrimination in three fundamental frequency equivalent auditory contexts, tone and pitch–accent language participants showed equivalent discrimination for normal Thai speech, filtered speech, and violin sounds. In contrast, nontone language listeners had significantly better discrimination for violin sounds than filtered speech and in turn speech. Together the results show that tone perception is determined by both auditory and visual information, by acoustic and linguistic contexts, and by universal and experiential factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 36, no 6, 1459-1491 p.
Keyword [en]
Tone, pitch, perception, universals, language-specific
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112587DOI: 10.1017/S0142716414000496ISI: 000368233000007OAI: diva2:779482
Available from: 2015-01-12 Created: 2015-01-12 Last updated: 2016-02-16Bibliographically approved

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Kasisopa, BenjawanLacerda, FranciscoSchwarz, Iris-Corinna
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