Modulation of musical experience and prosodic complexity on lexical pitch learning

Xiuli Tong, Yee Ching Tang


Previous research has suggested that second language acquisition is affected by both linguistic and non-linguistic factors, such as native language background and musical experience. However, little is known about the interaction between native language background and musical experience. With a non-native (i.e., Thai) pitch-word learning task, the current study examined the impacts of prosodic complexity and musical experience on non-native tone identification and tone word learning by comparing musicians and non-musicians whose native languages exhibit different prosodic complexity, such as Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. We found that for the pre-training tone identification task, musicians outperformed non-musicians, regardless of their native language background. For the tone word learning task, Cantonese musicians outperformed English musicians at the beginning stage of tone word learning. No significant difference was found among non-musicians in the three languages. However, both Cantonese and Mandarin non-musicians outperformed English non-musicians in the final stage of learning, yet there was no difference between musicians. These findings underscore that prosodic complexity and musical experience have dynamic roles in influencing tone identification and tone word learning at different stages.


DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2016-45

Cite as

Tong, X., Tang, Y.C. (2016) Modulation of musical experience and prosodic complexity on lexical pitch learning. Proc. Speech Prosody 2016, 217-221.

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Tong+2016,
author={Xiuli Tong and Yee Ching Tang},
title={Modulation of musical experience and prosodic complexity on lexical pitch learning},
year=2016,
booktitle={Speech Prosody 2016},
doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2016-45},
url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2016-45},
pages={217--221}
}