Production of Sustained Vowels and Categorical Perception of Tones in Mandarin Among Cochlear-Implanted Children

Wentao Gu, Jiao Yin, James Mahshie


This study investigated both production and perception of Mandarin speech, comparing two groups of 4-to-5-year-old children, a normal-hearing (NH) group and a cochlear-implanted (CI) hearing-impaired group; the perception ability of the CI group was tested under two conditions, with and without hearing aids. In the production study, the participants were asked to produce sustained vowels /a/, /i/ and /u/, on which a set of acoustic parameters were then measured. In comparison to the NH group, the CI group showed a higher F0, a higher H1-H2, and a smaller acoustic space for vowels, demonstrating both phonatory and articulatory impairments. In the perception study, the identification tests of two tone-pairs in Mandarin (T1-T2 and T1-T4) were conducted, using two sets of synthetic speech stimuli varying only along F0 continua. All groups/conditions showed categorical effects in perception. The CI group in the unimodal condition showed little difference from normal, while in the bimodal condition the categorical effect became weaker in identifying the T1-T4 continuum, with the category boundary more biased to T4. This suggests that bimodal CI children may need more fine grain adjustments of hearing aids to take full advantage of the bimodal technology.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1698

Cite as: Gu, W., Yin, J., Mahshie, J. (2017) Production of Sustained Vowels and Categorical Perception of Tones in Mandarin Among Cochlear-Implanted Children. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 1869-1873, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1698.


@inproceedings{Gu2017,
  author={Wentao Gu and Jiao Yin and James Mahshie},
  title={Production of Sustained Vowels and Categorical Perception of Tones in Mandarin Among Cochlear-Implanted Children},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={1869--1873},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1698},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1698}
}