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Tonal language

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
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
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
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
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...
December 18, 2016: Cognitive Science
Shuo Wang, Jiong Hu, Ruijuan Dong, Dongxin Liu, Jing Chen, Gabriella Musacchia, Bo Liu
Background: Perceptual and electrophysiological studies have found reduced speech discrimination in quiet and noisy environment, delayed neural timing, decreased neural synchrony, and decreased temporal processing ability in elderlies, even those with normal hearing. However, recent studies have also demonstrated that language experience and auditory training enhance the temporal dynamics of sound encoding in the auditory brainstem response (ABR). The purpose of this study was to explore the pitch processing ability at the brainstem level in an aging population that has a tonal language background...
2016: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Hatice Zora, Tomas Riad, Iris-Corinna Schwarz, Mattias Heldner
Like that of many other Germanic languages, the stress system of Swedish has mainly undergone phonological analysis. Recently, however, researchers have begun to recognize the central role of morphology in these systems. Similar to the lexical specification of tonal accent, the Swedish stress system is claimed to be morphologically determined and morphemes are thus categorized as prosodically specified and prosodically unspecified. Prosodically specified morphemes bear stress information as part of their lexical representations and are classified as tonic (i...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Luke A Johnson, Charles C Della Santina, Xiaoqin Wang
: Despite the success of cochlear implants (CIs) in human populations, most users perform poorly in noisy environments and music and tonal language perception. How CI devices engage the brain at the single neuron level has remained largely unknown, in particular in the primate brain. By comparing neuronal responses with acoustic and CI stimulation in marmoset monkeys unilaterally implanted with a CI electrode array, we discovered that CI stimulation was surprisingly ineffective at activating many neurons in auditory cortex, particularly in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the CI...
December 7, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Raphael B C Leite, Sergio A Mota-Rolim, Claudio M T Queiroz
Absolute pitch (AP) is the ability to identify and name the pitch of a sound without external reference. Often, accuracy and speed at naming isolated musical pitches are correlated with demographic, biological, and acoustical parameters to gain insight into the genesis and evolution of this ability in specific cohorts. However, the majority of those studies were conducted in North America, Europe, or Asia. To fill this gap, here we investigated the pitch-naming performance in a large population of Brazilian conservatory musicians (N = 200)...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Thayse Bienert Goetze, Pricila Sleifer, Rafael Fabiano Machado Rosa, Alessandra Pawelec da Silva, Carla Graziadio, Paulo Ricardo Gazzola Zen
Oculoauriculovertebral spectrum (OAVS), also known as Goldenhar syndrome, is considered a condition associated to failing of embryogenesis involving the first and second branchial arches, leading to structural abnormalities arising from it. The aim of this study is to verify the hearing features presented by patients with OAVS and provide additional information that may contribute to improvement of speech therapy. The sample consisted of 10 individuals diagnosed with OAVS and cared for by the Clinical Genetics Service...
February 2017: American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part A
Beier Qi, Ziye Liu, Xin Gu, Bo Liu
CONCLUSION: Mandarin-speaking adults can use the Fine Structure Processing (FSP) coding strategy as well as the Continuous Interleaved Sampling (CIS+) coding strategy. No loss in performance was observed after switch-over. Tone identification improves over time with the FSP coding strategy, which is of benefit to tonal-language users. After some time, fine structure was preferred. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine speech perception, tone perception, and the subjective preferences of Mandarin-speaking adults who received the FSP coding strategy, at upgrade from the CIS + coding strategy...
October 5, 2016: Acta Oto-laryngologica
Anja Hahne, Alexander Mainka, Annegret Leuner, Dirk Mürbe
OBJECTIVE: Measurement of electrophysiological correlates of discrimination abilities of basic musical features in pre- and postlingually deafened adult cochlear implant (CI) users. STUDY DESIGN: Electroencephalographic study. Comparison between CI users and matched normal hearing controls. PATIENTS: Thirty-six hearing impaired adults using a cochlear implant for 4 to 15 months. Profound hearing impairment was acquired either before (N = 12) or after language acquisition (N = 17)...
October 2016: Otology & Neurotology
Wei Tang, Wen Xiong, Yu-Xuan Zhang, Qi Dong, Yun Nan
Music and speech share many sound attributes. Pitch, as the percept of fundamental frequency, often occupies the center of researchers' attention in studies on the relationship between music and speech. One widely held assumption is that music experience may confer an advantage in speech tone processing. The cross-domain effects of musical training on non-tonal language speakers' linguistic pitch processing have been relatively well established. However, it remains unclear whether musical experience improves the processing of lexical tone for native tone language speakers who actually use lexical tones in their daily communication...
August 5, 2016: Neuropsychologia
Kathryn H Franich
This study presents results of an identification experiment with speakers of Medʉmba, a Grassfields Bantu language, aimed at evaluating the relative effects of f0 and duration in cuing tonal contrasts, as well as the role of lexical vs non-speech pitch contexts in biasing tone perception. Results show that duration is a cue for tone perception, with the influence of duration strongest where target f0 values were lower. Lexical tone perception is also sensitive to the identity of a preceding lexical tone, but not to the presence of a preceding non-speech pure tone...
July 2016: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Fang Liu, Alice H D Chan, Valter Ciocca, Catherine Roquet, Isabelle Peretz, Patrick C M Wong
This study investigated pitch perception and production in speech and music in individuals with congenital amusia (a disorder of musical pitch processing) who are native speakers of Cantonese, a tone language with a highly complex tonal system. Sixteen Cantonese-speaking congenital amusics and 16 controls performed a set of lexical tone perception, production, singing, and psychophysical pitch threshold tasks. Their tone production accuracy and singing proficiency were subsequently judged by independent listeners, and subjected to acoustic analyses...
July 2016: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Mary Kim Ngo, Kim-Phuong L Vu, Thomas Z Strybel
We examined the interaction between music and tone language experience as related to relative pitch processing by having participants judge the direction and magnitude of pitch changes in a relative pitch task. Participants' performance on this relative pitch task was assessed using the Cochran-Weiss-Shanteau (CWS) index of expertise, based on a ratio of discrimination over consistency in participants' relative pitch judgments. Testing took place in 2 separate sessions on different days to assess the effects of practice on participants' performance...
2016: American Journal of Psychology
Kathleen Wermke, Yufang Ruan, Yun Feng, Daniela Dobnig, Sophia Stephan, Peter Wermke, Li Ma, Hongyu Chang, Youyi Liu, Volker Hesse, Hua Shu
OBJECTIVES: This study examined whether prenatal exposure to either a tonal or a nontonal maternal language affects fundamental frequency (fo) properties in neonatal crying. STUDY DESIGN: This is a population prospective study. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 102 neonates within the first week of life served as the participants. METHODS: Spontaneously uttered cries (N = 6480) by Chinese (tonal language group) and German neonates (nontonal group) were quantitatively analyzed...
July 7, 2016: Journal of Voice: Official Journal of the Voice Foundation
Johanna Tan, Richard Dowell, Adam Vogel
PURPOSE: The purpose of this review article is to synthesize evidence from the fields of developmental linguistics and cochlear implant technology relevant to the production and perception of Mandarin lexical tone in cochlear implant users with prelingual deafness. The aim of this review was to identify potential factors that determine outcomes for tonal-language speaking cochlear implant users and possible directions for further research. METHOD: A computerized database search of MEDLINE, CINAHL, Academic Search Premier, Web of Science, and Google Scholar was undertaken in June and July 2014...
September 1, 2016: American Journal of Audiology
M Paula Roncaglia-Denissen, Drikus A Roor, Ao Chen, Makiko Sadakata
Previous research suggests that mastering languages with distinct rather than similar rhythmic properties enhances musical rhythmic perception. This study investigates whether learning a second language (L2) contributes to enhanced musical rhythmic perception in general, regardless of first and second languages rhythmic properties. Additionally, we investigated whether this perceptual enhancement could be alternatively explained by exposure to musical rhythmic complexity, such as the use of compound meter in Turkish music...
2016: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Anthony Shook, Viorica Marian
When listening to speech in a second language, bilinguals' perception of acoustic-phonetic properties is often influenced by the features that are important in the native language of the bilingual. Furthermore, changes in the perception of segmental contrasts due to L1 experience can influence L2 lexical access during comprehension. The present study investigates whether the effect of L1 experience on L2 processing seen at the segmental level extends to suprasegmental processing. In an eye-tracking task, Mandarin-English bilinguals heard an auditorily presented English word and selected which of two visually presented Chinese characters represented the correct Mandarin translation...
June 2016: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
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