Vowel identity conditions the time course of tone recognition

Jason A. Shaw, Michael D. Tyler, Benjawan Kasisopa, Yuan Ma, Michael Proctor, Chong Han, Donald Derrick, Denis Burnham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Using eye-tracking in a visual world paradigm, we sought converging evidence for the time course of Mandarin Chinese tone recognition as predicted by the availability of information in f0 and past results from a gating experiment. Our results showed that tones 1 and 2 are recognized earlier than tone 4, followed by tone 3. With the exception of tone 2, which was recognized earlier than expected, our results are consistent with those found in gating. The speed of tone 2 recognition varied significantly across vowels in our study, part of a broader pattern whereby vowels systematically influenced the time course of tone recognition. Rising tones, tone 2 and tone 3, were recognized earliest when co-produced with /a/. The falling tone, tone 4, was recognized earliest when co-produced with /u/. Intrinsic f0 and spectral cues to tone are discussed as possible explanations for the vowel quality effect.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterspeech 2013
Subtitle of host publication14th annual conference of the international speech communication association
Place of PublicationBaixas, France
PublisherInternational Speech Communication Association (ISCA)
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInterspeech 2013: 14 Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association - Lyon, France
Duration: 25 Aug 201329 Aug 2013


ConferenceInterspeech 2013


  • Chinese
  • Eye-tracking
  • Intrinsic f0
  • Speech perception
  • Tone
  • Visual world
  • Word recognition

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