Universality and language-specific experience in the perception of lexical tone and pitch

Denis Burnham, Benjawan Kasisopa, Amanda Reid, Sudaporn Luksaneeyanawin, Francisco Lacerda, Virginia Attina, Nan Xu Rattanasone, Iris-Corinna Schwarz, Diane Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Two experiments focus on Thai tone perception by native speakers of tone languages (Thai, Cantonese, and Mandarin), a pitch-accent (Swedish), and a nontonal (English) language. In Experiment 1, there was better auditory-only and auditory-visual discrimination by tone and pitch-accent language speakers than by nontone language speakers. Conversely and counterintuitively, there was better visual-only discrimination by nontone language speakers than tone and pitch-accent language speakers. Nevertheless, visual augmentation of auditory tone perception in noise was evident for all five language groups. In Experiment 2, involving discrimination in three fundamental frequency equivalent auditory contexts, tone and pitch-accent language participants showed equivalent discrimination for normal Thai speech, filtered speech, and violin sounds. In contrast, nontone language listeners had significantly better discrimination for violin sounds than filtered speech and in turn speech. Together the results show that tone perception is determined by both auditory and visual information, by acoustic and linguistic contexts, and by universal and experiential factors.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1459-1491
Number of pages33
JournalApplied Psycholinguistics
Volume36
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Language
discrimination
Sodium Glutamate
language
experience
Phonetics
experiment
Pitch Discrimination
language group
Auditory Perception
Lexical Tone
Universality
listener
acoustics
English language
Discrimination
Hearing
Linguistics
Population Groups
Acoustics

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Cite this

Burnham, D., Kasisopa, B., Reid, A., Luksaneeyanawin, S., Lacerda, F., Attina, V., ... Webster, D. (2015). Universality and language-specific experience in the perception of lexical tone and pitch. Applied Psycholinguistics, 36(6), 1459-1491. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716414000496
Burnham, Denis ; Kasisopa, Benjawan ; Reid, Amanda ; Luksaneeyanawin, Sudaporn ; Lacerda, Francisco ; Attina, Virginia ; Xu Rattanasone, Nan ; Schwarz, Iris-Corinna ; Webster, Diane. / Universality and language-specific experience in the perception of lexical tone and pitch. In: Applied Psycholinguistics. 2015 ; Vol. 36, No. 6. pp. 1459-1491.
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Burnham, D, Kasisopa, B, Reid, A, Luksaneeyanawin, S, Lacerda, F, Attina, V, Xu Rattanasone, N, Schwarz, I-C & Webster, D 2015, 'Universality and language-specific experience in the perception of lexical tone and pitch', Applied Psycholinguistics, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 1459-1491. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716414000496

Universality and language-specific experience in the perception of lexical tone and pitch. / Burnham, Denis; Kasisopa, Benjawan; Reid, Amanda; Luksaneeyanawin, Sudaporn; Lacerda, Francisco; Attina, Virginia; Xu Rattanasone, Nan; Schwarz, Iris-Corinna; Webster, Diane.

In: Applied Psycholinguistics, Vol. 36, No. 6, 2015, p. 1459-1491.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Lacerda, Francisco

AU - Attina, Virginia

AU - Xu Rattanasone, Nan

AU - Schwarz, Iris-Corinna

AU - Webster, Diane

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