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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28915779/relative-salience-of-speech-rhythm-and-speech-rate-on-perceived-foreign-accent-in-a-second-language
#1
Leona Polyanskaya, Mikhail Ordin, Maria Grazia Busa
We investigated the independent contribution of speech rate and speech rhythm to perceived foreign accent. To address this issue we used a resynthesis technique that allows neutralizing segmental and tonal idiosyncrasies between identical sentences produced by French learners of English at different proficiency levels and maintaining the idiosyncrasies pertaining to prosodic timing patterns. We created stimuli that (1) preserved the idiosyncrasies in speech rhythm while controlling for the differences in speech rate between the utterances; (2) preserved the idiosyncrasies in speech rate while controlling for the differences in speech rhythm between the utterances; and (3) preserved the idiosyncrasies both in speech rate and speech rhythm...
September 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28863611/phonetic-enhancement-of-mandarin-vowels-and-tones-infant-directed-speech-and-lombard-speech
#2
Ping Tang, Nan Xu Rattanasone, Ivan Yuen, Katherine Demuth
Speech units are reported to be hyperarticulated in both infant-directed speech (IDS) and Lombard speech. Since these two registers have typically been studied separately, it is unclear if the same speech units are hyperarticulated in the same manner between these registers. The aim of the present study is to compare the effect of register on vowel and tone modification in the tonal language Mandarin Chinese. Vowel and tone productions were produced by 15 Mandarin-speaking mothers during interactions with their 12-month-old infants during a play session (IDS), in conversation with a Mandarin-speaking adult in a 70 dBA eight-talker babble noise environment (Lombard speech), and in a quiet environment (adult-directed speech)...
August 2017: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28852917/perceptual-training-of-second-language-vowels-does-musical-ability-play-a-role
#3
Payam Ghaffarvand Mokari, Stefan Werner
The present study attempts to extend the research on the effects of phonetic training on the production and perception of second-language (L2) vowels. We also examined whether success in learning L2 vowels through high-variability intensive phonetic training is related to the learners' general musical abilities. Forty Azerbaijani learners of Standard Southern British English participated in a pre-test/training/post-test setting. Discrimination and production tests were used in pre- and post-tests. The participants' musical ability was evaluated through three musical aptitude tests...
August 29, 2017: Journal of Psycholinguistic Research
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28822408/-the-application-of-artificial-neural-network-on-the-assessment-of-lexical-tone-production-of-pediatric-cochlear-implant-users
#4
Y T Mao, Z M Chen, L Xu
Objective: The present study was carried out to explore the tone production ability of the Mandarin-speaking children with cochlear implants (CI) by using an artificial neural network model and to examine the potential contributing factors underlining their tone production performance. The results of this study might provide useful guidelines for post-operative rehabilitation processes of pediatric CI users. Methods: Two hundred and seventy-eight prelingually deafened children who received unilateral CI participated in this study...
August 7, 2017: Zhonghua Er Bi Yan Hou Tou Jing Wai Ke za Zhi, Chinese Journal of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28803218/do-you-hear-feather-when-listening-to-rain-lexical-tone-activation-during-unconscious-translation-evidence-from-mandarin-english-bilinguals
#5
Xin Wang, Juan Wang, Jeffrey G Malins
Although lexical tone is a highly prevalent phonetic cue in human languages, its role in bilingual spoken word recognition is not well understood. The present study investigates whether and how adult bilinguals, who use pitch contours to disambiguate lexical items in one language but not the other, access a tonal L1 when exclusively processing a non-tonal L2. Using the visual world paradigm, we show that Mandarin-English listeners automatically activated Mandarin translation equivalents of English target words such as 'rain' (Mandarin 'yu3'), and consequently were distracted by competitors whose segments and tones overlapped with the translations of English target words ('feather', also 'yu3' in Mandarin)...
August 10, 2017: Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28798711/languages-in-drier-climates-use-fewer-vowels
#6
Caleb Everett
This study offers evidence for an environmental effect on languages while relying on continuous linguistic and continuous ecological variables. Evidence is presented for a positive association between the typical ambient humidity of a language's native locale and that language's degree of reliance on vowels. The vowel-usage rates of over 4000 language varieties were obtained, and several methods were employed to test whether these usage rates are associated with ambient humidity. The results of these methods are generally consistent with the notion that reduced ambient humidity eventually yields a reduced reliance of languages on vowels, when compared to consonants...
2017: Frontiers in Psychology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28798670/a-meta-analytic-study-of-the-neural-systems-for-auditory-processing-of-lexical-tones
#7
Veronica P Y Kwok, Guo Dan, Kofi Yakpo, Stephen Matthews, Peter T Fox, Ping Li, Li-Hai Tan
The neural systems of lexical tone processing have been studied for many years. However, previous findings have been mixed with regard to the hemispheric specialization for the perception of linguistic pitch patterns in native speakers of tonal language. In this study, we performed two activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses, one on neuroimaging studies of auditory processing of lexical tones in tonal languages (17 studies), and the other on auditory processing of lexical information in non-tonal languages as a control analysis for comparison (15 studies)...
2017: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28727776/language-related-differences-of-the-sustained-response-evoked-by-natural-speech-sounds
#8
Christina Siu-Dschu Fan, Xingyu Zhu, Hans Günter Dosch, Christiane von Stutterheim, André Rupp
In tonal languages, such as Mandarin Chinese, the pitch contour of vowels discriminates lexical meaning, which is not the case in non-tonal languages such as German. Recent data provide evidence that pitch processing is influenced by language experience. However, there are still many open questions concerning the representation of such phonological and language-related differences at the level of the auditory cortex (AC). Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we recorded transient and sustained auditory evoked fields (AEF) in native Chinese and German speakers to investigate language related phonological and semantic aspects in the processing of acoustic stimuli...
2017: PloS One
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28687119/statistical-learning-of-speech-sounds-is-most-robust-during-the-period-of-perceptual-attunement
#9
Liquan Liu, René Kager
Although statistical learning has been shown to be a domain-general mechanism, its constraints, such as its interactions with perceptual development, are less well understood and discussed. This study is among the first to investigate the distributional learning of lexical pitch in non-tone-language-learning infants, exploring its interaction with language-specific perceptual attunement during the first 2years after birth. A total of 88 normally developing Dutch infants of 5, 11, and 14months were tested via a distributional learning paradigm and were familiarized on a unimodal or bimodal distribution of high-level versus high-falling tones in Mandarin Chinese...
July 4, 2017: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28687065/second-language-perception-of-mandarin-vowels-and-tones
#10
Yen-Chen Hao
This study examines the discrimination of Mandarin vowels and tones by native English speakers with varying amounts of Mandarin experience, aiming to investigate the relative difficulty of these two types of sounds for English speakers at different learning stages, and the source of their difficulty. Seventeen advanced learners of Mandarin (Ex group), eighteen beginning learners (InEx group), and eighteen English speakers naïve to Mandarin (Naïve group) participated in an AXB discrimination task. The stimuli were two Mandarin vowel contrasts, /li-ly/ and /lu-ly/, and two tonal contrasts, T1-T4 and T2-T3...
July 1, 2017: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28678079/cantonese-tone-perception-for-children-who-use-a-hearing-aid-and-a-cochlear-implant-in-opposite-ears
#11
Mansze Mok, Colleen M Holt, Kathy Y S Lee, Richard C Dowell, Adam P Vogel
OBJECTIVES: The ability to recognize tones is vital for speech perception in tonal languages. Cantonese has six tones, which are differentiated almost exclusively by pitch cues (tones 1 to 6). The differences in pitch contours among the tones are subtle, making Cantonese a challenging language for cochlear implant users. The addition of a hearing aid has been shown to improve speech perception in nontonal languages and in Mandarin Chinese. This study (1) investigates the Cantonese tone perception ability of children who use a cochlear implant and a hearing aid in opposite ears; (2) evaluates the effect of varying pitch height and pitch contour cues on Cantonese tone perception for these children; and (3) compares the Cantonese tone perception ability for using a hearing aid and a cochlear implant together versus an implant alone...
July 1, 2017: Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28671991/effects-of-stimulus-duration-and-vowel-quality-in-cross-linguistic-categorical-perception-of-pitch-directions
#12
Si Chen, Yiqing Zhu, Ratree Wayland
We investigated categorical perception of rising and falling pitch contours by tonal and non-tonal listeners. Specifically, we determined minimum durations needed to perceive both contours and compared to those of production, how stimuli duration affects their perception, whether there is an intrinsic F0 effect, and how first language background, duration, directions of pitch and vowel quality interact with each other. Continua of fundamental frequency on different vowels with 9 duration values were created for identification and discrimination tasks...
2017: PloS One
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28599529/relative-contributions-of-acoustic-temporal-fine-structure-and-envelope-cues-for-lexical-tone-perception-in-noise
#13
Beier Qi, Yitao Mao, Jiaxing Liu, Bo Liu, Li Xu
Previous studies have shown that lexical tone perception in quiet relies on the acoustic temporal fine structure (TFS) but not on the envelope (E) cues. The contributions of TFS to speech recognition in noise are under debate. In the present study, Mandarin tone tokens were mixed with speech-shaped noise (SSN) or two-talker babble (TTB) at five signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs; -18 to +6 dB). The TFS and E were then extracted from each of the 30 bands using Hilbert transform. Twenty-five combinations of TFS and E from the sound mixtures of the same tone tokens at various SNRs were created...
May 2017: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28464664/use-of-semantic-context-and-f0-contours-by-older-listeners-during-mandarin-speech-recognition-in-quiet-and-single-talker-interference-conditions
#14
Wei Jiang, Yu Li, Hua Shu, Linjun Zhang, Yang Zhang
This study followed up Wang, Shu, Zhang, Liu, and Zhang [(2013). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 34(1), EL91-EL97] to investigate factors influencing older listeners' Mandarin speech recognition in quiet vs single-talker interference. Listening condition significantly interacted with F0 contours but not with semantic context, revealing that natural F0 contours provided benefit in the interference condition whereas semantic context contributed similarly to both conditions. Furthermore, the significant interaction between semantic context and F0 contours demonstrated the importance of semantic context when F0 was flattened...
April 2017: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28443053/perceptual-improvement-of-lexical-tones-in-infants-effects-of-tone-language-experience
#15
Feng-Ming Tsao
To learn words in a tonal language, tone-language learners should not only develop better abilities for perceiving consonants and vowels, but also for lexical tones. The divergent trend of enhancing sensitivity to native phonetic contrasts and reduced sensitivity to non-native phonetic contrast is theoretically essential to evaluate effects of listening to an ambient language on speech perception development. The loss of sensitivity in discriminating lexical tones among non-tonal language-learning infants was apparent between 6 and 12 months of age, but only few studies examined trends of differentiating native lexical tones in infancy...
2017: Frontiers in Psychology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28301851/the-effect-of-focus-and-phrase-position-on-east-norwegian-lexical-tonal-accents
#16
Niamh E Kelly, Rajka Smiljanic
Two experiments examined the acoustic correlates of the disyllabic tonal accent contrast in the Trøndersk dialect of Norwegian, and how narrow focus and phrasal position shape the contrast. Production results showed that both tonal accents have a high-low (HL) pitch contour, with different timing. In narrow focus, the pitch contrast was enlarged through asymmetrical F0 changes. When at the right edge of an accent phrase (AP), the accents were shown to have a higher L, lower AP H% tone, shorter stressed vowel, and longer final vowel...
March 17, 2017: Phonetica
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28225070/speech-specific-categorical-perception-deficit-in-autism-an-event-related-potential-study-of-lexical-tone-processing-in-mandarin-speaking-children
#17
Xiaoyue Wang, Suiping Wang, Yuebo Fan, Dan Huang, Yang Zhang
Recent studies reveal that tonal language speakers with autism have enhanced neural sensitivity to pitch changes in nonspeech stimuli but not to lexical tone contrasts in their native language. The present ERP study investigated whether the distinct pitch processing pattern for speech and nonspeech stimuli in autism was due to a speech-specific deficit in categorical perception of lexical tones. A passive oddball paradigm was adopted to examine two groups (16 in the autism group and 15 in the control group) of Chinese children's Mismatch Responses (MMRs) to equivalent pitch deviations representing within-category and between-category differences in speech and nonspeech contexts...
February 22, 2017: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28208141/the-phonetics-and-phonology-of-the-polish-calling-melodies
#18
Amalia Arvaniti, Marzena Żygis, Marek Jaskuła
Two calling melodies of Polish were investigated, the routine call, used to call someone for an everyday reason, and the urgent call, which conveys disapproval of the addressee's actions. A Discourse Completion Task was used to elicit the two melodies from Polish speakers using twelve names from one to four syllables long; there were three names per syllable count, and speakers produced three tokens of each name with each melody. The results, based on eleven speakers, show that the routine calling melody consists of a low F0 stretch followed by a rise-fall-rise; the urgent calling melody, on the other hand, is a simple rise-fall...
2016: Phonetica
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28208133/how-truncating-are-truncating-languages-evidence-from-russian-and-german
#19
Tamara V Rathcke
Russian and German have pr eviously been described as 'truncating', or cutting off target frequencies of the phrase-final pitch trajectories when the time available for voicing is compromised. However, supporting evidence is rare and limited to only a few pitch categories. This paper reports a production study conducted to document pitch adjustments to linguistic materials, in which the amount of voicing available for the realization of a pitch pattern varies from relatively long to extremely short. Productions of nuclear H+L*, H* and L*+H pitch accents followed by a low boundary tone were investigated in the two languages...
2016: Phonetica
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28203463/the-relative-weight-of-temporal-envelope-cues-in-different-frequency-regions-for-mandarin-sentence-recognition
#20
Yang Guo, Yuanyuan Sun, Yanmei Feng, Yujun Zhang, Shankai Yin
Acoustic temporal envelope (E) cues containing speech information are distributed across the frequency spectrum. To investigate the relative weight of E cues in different frequency regions for Mandarin sentence recognition, E information was extracted from 30 contiguous bands across the range of 80-7,562 Hz using Hilbert decomposition and then allocated to five frequency regions. Recognition scores were obtained with acoustic E cues from 1 or 2 random regions from 40 normal-hearing listeners. While the recognition scores ranged from 8...
2017: Neural Plasticity
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