Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-b2xwp Total loading time: 0.477 Render date: 2022-09-27T11:35:26.326Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Effects of L1 tone on perception of L2 tone - a study of Mandarin tone learning by native Cantonese children*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2016

XINXIN LI*
Affiliation:
The University of Hong Kong
CAROL KIT SUM TO
Affiliation:
The University of Hong Kong
MANWA LAWRENCE NG
Affiliation:
The University of Hong Kong
*
Address of correspondence: Xinxin Li, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, SARChinaallylxx@hku.hk

Abstract

In the present study, the Perceptual Assimilation Model (PAM) was tested on its applicability in child L2 lexical tone acquisition. The possible effect of L1 (Cantonese) lexical tones on L2 (Mandarin) lexical tone learning was explored. Accuracy rate and error patterns were examined with an AX discrimination task and a forced-choice identification task. Forty-nine native Cantonese-speaking students aged 8 years participated in the study. Results revealed that these children exhibited nearly perfect performance in the discrimination of Mandarin tones. However, significant tone differences were detected in the identification task. Tone 4 (T4) was identified with the lowest accuracy, and T1 with the highest. Error analysis revealed that Mandarin T2-T3 was the most confusing pair, followed by the T1-T4 pair. The inherent phonetic similarity between lexical tones in a language and the tone similarities across languages may also have contributed to perception difficulties, which could help to refine and supplement the PAM in the tonal/suprasegmental domain.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

*

We would like to thank the principal of the school, all children and their parents for their participation in this study.

References

Alexander, J., Wong, P. C. M., & Bradlow, A. (2005). Lexical tone perception in musicians and nonmusicians. Paper presented at the Interspeech 2005-Eurospeech—9th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology, Lisbon, Portugal.Google Scholar
Aoyama, K. (2003). Perception of syllable-initial and syllable-final nasals in English by Korean and Japanese speakers. [Article]. Second Language Research, 19 (3), 251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bauer, R. S., & Benedict, P. K. (Eds.). (1997). Modern Cantonese phonology. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bauer, R. S., Cheung, K.-H., & Cheung, P.-M. (2003). Variation and merger of the rising tones in Hong Kong Cantonese. Language Variation and Change 15, 211225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Best, C. T. (1990). Adult Perception of Nonnative Contrasts Differing in Assimilation to Native Phonological Categories. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 88, 177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Best, C. T. (1995). A direct realist perspective on cross-language speech perception. Timonium, MD: York Press.Google Scholar
Best, C. T., Faber, A., & Levitt, A. (1996). Assimilation of non-native vowel contrasts to the American English vowel system. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 99 (4), 26022603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Best, C. T., McRoberts, G. W., & Goodell, N. M. (2001). Discriminationof non-native consonant contrasts varying in perceptual assimilation to thelistener's native phonological system. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 109, 775794.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Best, C. T., McRoberts, G. W., & Sithole, N. M. (1988). Examination ofperceptual reorganization for nonnative speech contrasts: Zulu click discriminationby English-speaking adults and infants. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 14, 345360.Google ScholarPubMed
Best, C. T., & Strange, W. (1992). Effects of phonological and phonetic factors on crosslanguage perception of approximants. Journal of Phonetics, 20, 305330.Google Scholar
Best, C. T., & Tyler, M. D. (2007). Nonnative and second-languagespeech perception: Commonalities and complementarities. Amsterdam.: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
Bidelman, G. M., Hutka, S., & Moreno, S. (2013). Tone language speakers and musicians share enhanced perceptual and cognitive abilities for musical pitch: Evidence for bidirectionality between the domains of language and music. PloS One, 8 (4).CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Blicher, D. L., Diehl, R. L., & Cohen, L. B. (1990). Effects of syllable duration on the perception of the Mandarin Tone 2/Tone 3 distinction: Evidence of auditory enhancement. Journal of Phonetics, 18 (1), 3749.Google Scholar
Chao, Y. R. (1948). Mandarin primer. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chao, Y. R. (1956). Tone, intonation, singsong, chanting, recitatives, tone composition, and a tone composition in Chinese. Mouton: The Hague.Google Scholar
Chao, Y. R. (1968). A grammar of spoken Chinese. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Ciocca, V., & Lui, J. (2003). The development of the perception of Cantonese lexical tones. Journal of Multilingual Communication Disorders, 1 (2), 141147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clumeck, H. V. (1980). The acquisition of tone. In Yeni-Komshian, G., Kavanagh, J. & Ferguson, C. A. (Eds.), Child Phonology: Production (Vol. 1). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Flege, J. E. (1988). The development of skill in producing word-final English stops: Kinematic parameters. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 84 (5).CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Flege, J. E. (1992). Speech learning in a second language. In Ferguson, C., Menn, L. & StoeI-Gammon, C. (Eds.), Phonological Development, Models, Research, and Applications. Timoniu, MD: York Press.Google Scholar
Flege, J. E. (1995). Second-language Speech Learning: Theory, Findings, and Problems. In Strange, W. (Ed.), Speech Perception and Linguistic Experience: Issues in Cross-language research. Timonium, MD: York Press.Google Scholar
Fok, C. (1974). A perceptuai study of tones in Cantonese. HongKong: Centre of Asian Studies.University of HongKong.Google Scholar
Fon, J., & Chiang, W. Y. (1999). What does Chao have to say about tones. Journal of Chinese Linguistics 27, 1537.Google Scholar
Francis, A. L., Ciocca, V., Ma, L., & Fenn, K. (2008). Perceptual learning of Cantonese lexical tones by tone and non-tone language speakers. Journal of Phonetics, 36 (2).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goto, H. (1971). Auditory perception by normal Japanese adults of the sounds “L” and “R”. Neuropsychologia, 9, 317323.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gottfried, T. L. (2007). Music and language learning. In Bohn, M. O. S. and M. J (Ed.), Language Experience in Second Language Speech learning: In Honor of James Emil Flege (pp. 221258). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gottfried, T. L., & Riester, D. (2000). Relation of pitch glide perception and Mandarin tone identification. Journal of Acoustical Society ofAmerica, 108 (2604).Google Scholar
Gottfried, T. L., Staby, A. M., & Ziemer, C. J. (2004). Musical experience and Mandarin tone discrimination and imitation. Journal of Acoustical Society of America, 115 (2545).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hallé, P. A., Best, C. T., & Levitt, A. (1999). Phonetic vs. phonological influences on French listeners' perception of American English approximants. Journal of Phonetics, 27 (3), 281306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hao, Y. C. (2012). Second language acquisition of Mandarin Chinese tones by tonal and non-tonal language speakers. Journal of Phonetics, 40 (2), 269279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ho, A. T. (1976). The acoustic variation of Mandarin tones. Phonetica, 33, 353367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Howie, J. M. (1976). Acoustical studies of Mandarin vowels and tones: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Kiriloff, C. (1969). On the auditory discrimination of tones in Mandarin. Phonetica, 20, 6367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kwan, C. W. (1990). The right word in Cantonese. Hong Kong: Comercial Press.Google Scholar
Lee, C. Y., & Hung, T. H. (2008). Identification of Mandarin tones by English-speaking musicians and non-musicians. Journal of Acoustical Society of America, 124(32353248).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lee, Y. S., Vakoch, D., & Wurm, L. (1996). Tone perception in Cantonese and Mandarin: A cross-linguistic comparison. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 25 (5), 527544.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Li, C. N., & Thompson, S. A. (1977). The acquisition of tone in Mandarin-speaking children. Journal of Child Language, 4 (2), 185199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lin, W. C. J. (1985). Teaching Mandarin tones to adult English speakers: analysis of difficulties with suggested remedies. RELC Journal (Reginal Language Centre of Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation), 16 (2), 3146.Google Scholar
Matthews, S., & Yip, Y. (1994). Cantonese: a comprehensive grammar. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Mok, P. M. K., & Wong, P. W. Y. (2010). Perception of the merging tones in Hong Kong Cantonese: Preliminary data on monosyllables. Paper presented at the In Speech prosody 2010, 5th, international conference., Chicago.Google Scholar
Mok, P. M. K., Zuo, D., & Wong, P. W. Y. (2013). Production and perception of a sound change in progress: tone merging in Hong Kong Cantonese. Language Variation and Change, 25, 341370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moore, C. B., & Jongman, A. (1997). Speaker normalization in the perception of Mandarin Chinese tones. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 102, 18641877.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Schneider, W., Eschman, A., & Zuccolotto, A. (2002). E-Prime User's Guide. Pittsburgh: Psychology Software Tools Inc.Google Scholar
Shen, X. S., & Lin, M. (1991). A perceptual studty of Mandarin tones 2 and 3. Language & Speech, 34 (2), 145156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
So, C. K. (2006). Effects of L1 prosodic background and AV training on learning Mandarin tones by speakers of Cantonese, English and Japanese. Doctoral dissertation, Simon Fraser University.Google Scholar
So, C. K., & Best, C. T. (2010). Cross-language Perception of Non-native Tonal Contrasts: Effects of Native Phonological and Phonetic Influences. Language and Speech, 53 (2), 273293.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Strange, W. (1992). Learning non-native phoneme contrasts: Interactions among subject, stimulus, and task variables. In Tohkura, E., Vatikiotis-Bateson, E. & Sagisaka, Y. (Eds.), Speech Perception, Production, and linguistic Structure. Tokyo: Ohmsha.Google Scholar
Wang, Y. (1995). American learners' tone acquisition. Language Teaching and Research, 2, 126140.Google Scholar
Wayland, R., & Guion, S. G. (2004). Training English and Chinese listeners to perceive Thai tones: A preliminary report. Language Learning, 54 (4), 681712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wayland, R., & Li, B. (2005). Training native Chinese and native English listeners to perceive Thai tones. Paper presented at the ISCA Workshop on Plasticity in Speech Perception (PSP 2005).Google Scholar
Werker, J. F., Frost, P. E., & McGurk, H. (1992). Cross-language influences on bimodal speech perception. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 46, 551568.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wong, P., Schwartz, R. G., & Jenkins, J. J. (2005). Perception and production of lexical tones by 3-Year-Old Mandarin-Speaking Children. Journal of Speech Language Hearing Research, 48, 10651079.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Xu, Y. (1997). Contextual tonal variations in Mandarin. Journal of Phonetics, 25, 6183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yang, B. (2010). A Model of Mandarin Tone Categories— A study of perception and production. Doctoral dissertation, The University of Iowa.Google Scholar
Zee, E. (1991). Chinese (Hong Kong Cantonese). Journal of the International Phonetic Asociation, 21 (1), 4648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zee, E. (1999). Chinese (Hong Kong Cantonese). In Association, I. P. (Ed.), Handbook of the International Phonetic Association (pp. 5860). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Zhu, H., & Dodd, B. (2000). The phonological acquisition of Putonghua (Modern Standard Chinese). Journal of Child Language, 27 (1), 342.Google Scholar
6
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Effects of L1 tone on perception of L2 tone - a study of Mandarin tone learning by native Cantonese children*
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Effects of L1 tone on perception of L2 tone - a study of Mandarin tone learning by native Cantonese children*
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Effects of L1 tone on perception of L2 tone - a study of Mandarin tone learning by native Cantonese children*
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *