We tested the hypothesis that, given the consistency of tone-syllable alignment found in recent research, accuracy of tone perception is dependent on the accuracy of syllable perception. In two experiments, subjects either judged the number of syllables or identified the tones in nonsense sentences that were spectrally intact, low-pass filtered at 300 Hz or converted to sustained schwa carrying the original F0. It was found that removing spectral information affected not only subjects' ability to judge the number of syllables in a sentence, but also their ability to identify the tones. The results thus confirm the dependence of tone perception on syllable perception.
Bibliographic reference. Olsberg, Michael / Xu, Yi / Green, Jeremy (2007): "Dependence of tone perception on syllable perception", In INTERSPEECH-2007, 2649-2652.