The acquisition of mandarin tonal processes by children with cochlear implants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Children with cochlear implants (CIs) face challenges in acquiring tonal languages, as CIs do not efficiently code pitch information. Mandarin is a tonal language with lexical tones and tonal processes such as neutral tone and tone sandhi, exhibiting contextually conditioned tonal realizations. Previous studies suggest that early implantation and long CI experience facilitate the acquisition of lexical tones by children with CIs. However, there is lack of acoustic evidence on children’s tonal productions demonstrating that this is the case, and it is unclear whether and how children with CIs are able to acquire contextual tones. This study therefore examined the acoustic realization of both lexical tones and contextual tones as produced by children fitted with CIs, exploring the potential effects of age at implantation and length of CI experience on their acquisition of the Mandarin tonal system. Method: Seventy-two Mandarin-learning preschoolers with CIs, varying in age at implantation (13-42 months) and length of CI experience (2-49 months), and 44 normal hearing 3-year-old controls were recruited. Tonal productions were elicited from both groups using picture-naming tasks and acoustically compared. Results: Only the early implanted group (i.e., implanted before the age of 2 years) produced normal-like lexical tones and generally had contextual tones approximating those of the normal-hearing children. The other children, including those with longer CI experience, did not have typical tonal productions; their pitch patterns for lexical tones tended to be flatter, and contextual tone productions were unchanged across tonal contexts. Conclusion: Children with CIs face challenges in acquiring Mandarin tones, but early implantation may help them to develop normal-like lexical tone categories, which further facilitates their implementation of contextual tones.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1309-1325
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume62
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

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Cochlear Implants
acoustics
experience
Acoustics
Hearing
Cochlear Implant
Tonal
Language
language
Group
Lexical Tone
lack
Contextual
Learning

Cite this

@article{6640f82596f24fcdbc9e416cedc46b4f,
title = "The acquisition of mandarin tonal processes by children with cochlear implants",
abstract = "Purpose: Children with cochlear implants (CIs) face challenges in acquiring tonal languages, as CIs do not efficiently code pitch information. Mandarin is a tonal language with lexical tones and tonal processes such as neutral tone and tone sandhi, exhibiting contextually conditioned tonal realizations. Previous studies suggest that early implantation and long CI experience facilitate the acquisition of lexical tones by children with CIs. However, there is lack of acoustic evidence on children’s tonal productions demonstrating that this is the case, and it is unclear whether and how children with CIs are able to acquire contextual tones. This study therefore examined the acoustic realization of both lexical tones and contextual tones as produced by children fitted with CIs, exploring the potential effects of age at implantation and length of CI experience on their acquisition of the Mandarin tonal system. Method: Seventy-two Mandarin-learning preschoolers with CIs, varying in age at implantation (13-42 months) and length of CI experience (2-49 months), and 44 normal hearing 3-year-old controls were recruited. Tonal productions were elicited from both groups using picture-naming tasks and acoustically compared. Results: Only the early implanted group (i.e., implanted before the age of 2 years) produced normal-like lexical tones and generally had contextual tones approximating those of the normal-hearing children. The other children, including those with longer CI experience, did not have typical tonal productions; their pitch patterns for lexical tones tended to be flatter, and contextual tone productions were unchanged across tonal contexts. Conclusion: Children with CIs face challenges in acquiring Mandarin tones, but early implantation may help them to develop normal-like lexical tone categories, which further facilitates their implementation of contextual tones.",
author = "Ping Tang and Ivan Yuen and {Xu Rattanasone}, Nan and Liqun Gao and Katherine Demuth",
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The acquisition of mandarin tonal processes by children with cochlear implants. / Tang, Ping; Yuen, Ivan; Xu Rattanasone, Nan; Gao, Liqun; Demuth, Katherine.

In: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Vol. 62, No. 5, 05.2019, p. 1309-1325.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The acquisition of mandarin tonal processes by children with cochlear implants

AU - Tang, Ping

AU - Yuen, Ivan

AU - Xu Rattanasone, Nan

AU - Gao, Liqun

AU - Demuth, Katherine

PY - 2019/5

Y1 - 2019/5

N2 - Purpose: Children with cochlear implants (CIs) face challenges in acquiring tonal languages, as CIs do not efficiently code pitch information. Mandarin is a tonal language with lexical tones and tonal processes such as neutral tone and tone sandhi, exhibiting contextually conditioned tonal realizations. Previous studies suggest that early implantation and long CI experience facilitate the acquisition of lexical tones by children with CIs. However, there is lack of acoustic evidence on children’s tonal productions demonstrating that this is the case, and it is unclear whether and how children with CIs are able to acquire contextual tones. This study therefore examined the acoustic realization of both lexical tones and contextual tones as produced by children fitted with CIs, exploring the potential effects of age at implantation and length of CI experience on their acquisition of the Mandarin tonal system. Method: Seventy-two Mandarin-learning preschoolers with CIs, varying in age at implantation (13-42 months) and length of CI experience (2-49 months), and 44 normal hearing 3-year-old controls were recruited. Tonal productions were elicited from both groups using picture-naming tasks and acoustically compared. Results: Only the early implanted group (i.e., implanted before the age of 2 years) produced normal-like lexical tones and generally had contextual tones approximating those of the normal-hearing children. The other children, including those with longer CI experience, did not have typical tonal productions; their pitch patterns for lexical tones tended to be flatter, and contextual tone productions were unchanged across tonal contexts. Conclusion: Children with CIs face challenges in acquiring Mandarin tones, but early implantation may help them to develop normal-like lexical tone categories, which further facilitates their implementation of contextual tones.

AB - Purpose: Children with cochlear implants (CIs) face challenges in acquiring tonal languages, as CIs do not efficiently code pitch information. Mandarin is a tonal language with lexical tones and tonal processes such as neutral tone and tone sandhi, exhibiting contextually conditioned tonal realizations. Previous studies suggest that early implantation and long CI experience facilitate the acquisition of lexical tones by children with CIs. However, there is lack of acoustic evidence on children’s tonal productions demonstrating that this is the case, and it is unclear whether and how children with CIs are able to acquire contextual tones. This study therefore examined the acoustic realization of both lexical tones and contextual tones as produced by children fitted with CIs, exploring the potential effects of age at implantation and length of CI experience on their acquisition of the Mandarin tonal system. Method: Seventy-two Mandarin-learning preschoolers with CIs, varying in age at implantation (13-42 months) and length of CI experience (2-49 months), and 44 normal hearing 3-year-old controls were recruited. Tonal productions were elicited from both groups using picture-naming tasks and acoustically compared. Results: Only the early implanted group (i.e., implanted before the age of 2 years) produced normal-like lexical tones and generally had contextual tones approximating those of the normal-hearing children. The other children, including those with longer CI experience, did not have typical tonal productions; their pitch patterns for lexical tones tended to be flatter, and contextual tone productions were unchanged across tonal contexts. Conclusion: Children with CIs face challenges in acquiring Mandarin tones, but early implantation may help them to develop normal-like lexical tone categories, which further facilitates their implementation of contextual tones.

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T2 - Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

JF - Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

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