PhD Proposal Defence - Keith Leung

April 10, 2019

DATE: Friday, April 12, 2019
TIME: 1:00 PM

TITLE: Exemplar Theory, Reverse Linguistic Stereotyping, Or Something Else?: Evidence From A Response Time Study.

This proposed work aims to explore the perception-production relationship of Mandarin tones. This project aims to extend the findings of the perception-production relationship at the segmental level to characterize this relationship for lexical tones, expecting a relationship between tone perception and production established by perceptually relevant cues through correlation and training studies. The proposed research is developed on the basis of two pilot studies. Pilot study 1 examined the Mandarin tone perception-production relationship using fundamental frequency (F0) height and direction which did not show significant result, due to a lack of comparability between perception and production measures. Pilot study 2, therefore, focused on more specific cues: F0 onset and the temporal location of F0 turning point of the Mandarin high-rising tone, with F0 mean, slope and curvature as covarying acoustic features. The results of this pilot study indicate that a tone perception-production relationship potentially exists for perceptually relevant cues and, consequently, a study consisted of previously studied perceptually relevant cues is needed to further examine the role of these cues on perception-production link. Therefore, the first proposed study will investigate the perceptual relevance of all previously studied perceptual cues and relate native Mandarin speakers’ perception and production of these cues to establish the correlation between perceptual and production cues. Perceptually relevant cues are expected to show a significant perception-production correlation. Since a correlation analysis alone is unable to show a causal relationship between perception and production, the second proposed study examines tone learning patterns by non-native tone language listeners using laboratory training approaches with native English participants in both perception and production training studies. It is expected that training gains in one (production or perception) domain should transfer to the other domain if a causal perception-production link exists. It further explores if training gains corresponds to perceptually-relevant cues. In sum, the perception-production correlation study will establish which cues are used in perception and whether these cues can relate perception to production, and the training study will further determine if a causal relationship between perception and production is established on the basis of perceptually relevant cues. Findings of the proposed research will advance the literature on speech perception and production relationship in that they provide the empirical evidence for the role of perceptually relevant cues in this relationship and establish a causal perception-production relationship on the acoustic level.

Chair: Dr. Chung-hye Han
Senior Supervisor: Dr. Yue Wang
Supervisor: Dr. Henny Yeung
Supervisor: Dr. Murray Munro