11th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Makuhari, Chiba, Japan
September 26-30. 2010

Cantonese Tone Word Learning by Tone and Non-Tone Language Speakers

Angela Cooper, Yue Wang

Simon Fraser University, Canada

Adult non-native perception is subject to influence from a variety of factors, including native language experience. The present research examines the effect of linguistic experience on non-native tone perception and tone word learning. Native Thai and English-speaking participants completed seven sessions of lexical identification training on words distinguished by Cantonese tones. A tone identification task was administered before and after training. Both groups had comparable tone identification accuracy; however, Thai listeners obtained greater tone word learning proficiency. The findings suggest that native language experience with employing pitch lexically facilitates the incorporation of non-native tones into novel lexical representations.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cooper, Angela / Wang, Yue (2010): "Cantonese tone word learning by tone and non-tone language speakers", In INTERSPEECH-2010, 1840-1843.