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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28687119/statistical-learning-of-speech-sounds-is-most-robust-during-the-period-of-perceptual-attunement
#1
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
#2
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
#3
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
#4
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
#5
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
#6
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
#7
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
#8
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
#9
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
#10
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
#11
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
#12
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
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28174545/categorization-of-natural-whistled-vowels-by-na%C3%A3-ve-listeners-of-different-language-background
#13
Julien Meyer, Laure Dentel, Fanny Meunier
Whistled speech in a non-tonal language consists of the natural emulation of vocalic and consonantal qualities in a simple modulated whistled signal. This special speech register represents a natural telecommunication system that enables high levels of sentence intelligibility by trained speakers and is not directly intelligible to naïve listeners. Yet, it is easily learned by speakers of the language that is being whistled, as attested by the current efforts of the revitalization of whistled Spanish in the Canary Islands...
2017: Frontiers in Psychology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28174518/assessing-music-perception-in-young-children-evidence-for-and-psychometric-features-of-the-m-factor
#14
Caio G Barros, Walter Swardfager, Sylvain Moreno, Graziela Bortz, Beatriz Ilari, Andrea P Jackowski, George Ploubidis, Todd D Little, Alexandra Lamont, Hugo Cogo-Moreira
Given the relationship between language acquisition and music processing, musical perception (MP) skills have been proposed as a tool for early diagnosis of speech and language difficulties; therefore, a psychometric instrument is needed to assess music perception in children under 10 years of age, a crucial period in neurodevelopment. We created a set of 80 musical stimuli encompassing seven domains of music perception to inform perception of tonal, atonal, and modal stimuli, in a random sample of 1006 children, 6-13 years of age, equally distributed from first to fifth grades, from 14 schools (38% private schools) in So Paulo State...
2017: Frontiers in Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28153640/neural-bases-of-congenital-amusia-in-tonal-language-speakers
#15
Caicai Zhang, Gang Peng, Jing Shao, William S-Y Wang
Congenital amusia is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder of fine-grained pitch processing. In this fMRI study, we examined the neural bases of congenial amusia in speakers of a tonal language - Cantonese. Previous studies on non-tonal language speakers suggest that the neural deficits of congenital amusia lie in the music-selective neural circuitry in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). However, it is unclear whether this finding can generalize to congenital amusics in tonal languages. Tonal language experience has been reported to shape the neural processing of pitch, which raises the question of how tonal language experience affects the neural bases of congenital amusia...
March 2017: Neuropsychologia
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28107359/sustained-cortical-and-subcortical-measures-of-auditory-and-visual-plasticity-following-short-term-perceptual-learning
#16
Bonnie K Lau, Dorea R Ruggles, Sucharit Katyal, Stephen A Engel, Andrew J Oxenham
Short-term training can lead to improvements in behavioral discrimination of auditory and visual stimuli, as well as enhanced EEG responses to those stimuli. In the auditory domain, fluency with tonal languages and musical training has been associated with long-term cortical and subcortical plasticity, but less is known about the effects of shorter-term training. This study combined electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral measures to investigate short-term learning and neural plasticity in both auditory and visual domains...
2017: PloS One
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28040029/categorical-perception-of-lexical-tones-by-english-learners-of-mandarin-chinese
#17
Guannan Shen, Karen Froud
Whether native speakers of non-tonal languages can acquire categorical representations of lexical tones remains controversial. This study investigates the acquisition of lexical tone categories by native English speakers learning Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language by comparing the categorical perception (CP) of lexical tones between three groups of listeners: (1) native English speakers who had taken advanced Mandarin courses in colleges; (2) native English speakers with no knowledge of Mandarin Chinese; and (3) native Mandarin speakers...
December 2016: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28013472/development-and-evaluation-of-wheel-controlled-pitch-adjustable-electrolarynx
#18
Li Wang, Yijun Feng, Ze Yang, Haijun Niu
Tone is important in tonal languages, especially in Mandarin. However, there is presently no commercially available electrolarynx (EL) for laryngectomized Mandarin speakers. Moreover, few studies have focused on this area. Our purpose is to design an EL that produces the four Mandarin tones and to evaluate its performance. We designed a wheel-controlled pitch-adjustable EL and manufactured a prototype (Wheel-EL). Using monosyllables, disyllabic segments, and frequently used phrases, we evaluated speech produced by Wheel-EL and by monotone (M-TruTone) and variable-frequency modes (V-TruTone) of the commercially available TruTone EL...
December 24, 2016: Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28008803/seeking-an-anchorage-stability-and-variability-in-tonal-alignment-of-rising-prenuclear-pitch-accents-in-cypriot-greek
#19
Charalambos Themistocleous
Although tonal alignment constitutes a quintessential property of pitch accents, its exact characteristics remain unclear. This study, by exploring the timing of the Cypriot Greek L*+H prenuclear pitch accent, examines the predictions of three hypotheses about tonal alignment: the invariance hypothesis, the segmental anchoring hypothesis, and the segmental anchorage hypothesis. The study reports on two experiments: the first of which manipulates the syllable patterns of the stressed syllable, and the second of which modifies the distance of the L*+H from the following pitch accent...
December 2016: Language and Speech
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27988939/second-language-experience-facilitates-statistical-learning-of-novel-linguistic-materials
#20
Christine E Potter, Tianlin Wang, Jenny R Saffran
Recent research has begun to explore individual differences in statistical learning, and how those differences may be related to other cognitive abilities, particularly their effects on language learning. In this research, we explored a different type of relationship between language learning and statistical learning: the possibility that learning a new language may also influence statistical learning by changing the regularities to which learners are sensitive. We tested two groups of participants, Mandarin Learners and Naïve Controls, at two time points, 6 months apart...
April 2017: Cognitive Science
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