Perception of lexical tone across languages: evidence for a linguistic mode of processing

D. Burnham, E. Francis, D. Webster, S. Luksaneeyanawin, C. Attapaiboon, F. Lacerda, P. Keller
Proceeding of Fourth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing. ICSLP '96  
Pairs of Thai tones were presented for perceptual discrimination in three linguistic contexts (normal speech, low-pass filtered speech, and as musical (violin) sounds) to tonal language speakers, Thai and Cantonese, and non-tonal (English) language speakers. English speakers discriminated the tonal contrasts significantly better in the musical context than in filtered speech, and in filtered speech better than in full speech. On the other hand, both Thai and Cantonese speakers perceived the
more » ... l contrasts equally well in all three contexts. Thus developmental absence of exposure to lexical tone results in a linguistic mode of processing which involves the attenuation of a basic psychoacoustic ability, pitch discrimination.
doi:10.1109/icslp.1996.607325 fatcat:ipw2o44rerhxdozihkaaelkcze