Communication of lexical tones in cantonese alaryngeal speech

T. Y C Ching*, R. Williams, A. Van Hasselt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Cantonese is a tone language with six lexical tones. Each word has a distinctive tone, signaled by fundamental frequency variations at the syllable level. We investigated the relative efficiency of alaryngeal Cantonese speakers in conveying tonal variations in words in citation form. Isolated tone tokens were produced by three esophageal speakers, two tracheoesophageal speakers, two pneumatic artificial laryngeal speakers, and two electrolaryngeal speakers for perceptual tests. The correct responses from 22 listeners were highest for the pneumatic artificial laryngeal speakers, and could be graded in order of proficiency as esophageal, tracheoesophageal, and electrolaryngeal speakers. These results provide a linguistic perspective for guiding voice rehabilitation and the choice of voice in alaryngeal patients who speak a tone language.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-563
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Speech and Hearing Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


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