colloquium, language acquisition, cantonese, tone

Peggy Mok - The acquisition of lexical tone by Cantonese-speaking children

June 20, 2019

The acquisition of lexical tone by Cantonese-speaking children

Peggy Mok, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Date/time: Thursday June 20, 12:30-1:30

Location: Saywell Hall (SWH) 10051

Sponsored by: SFU Linguistics, David Lam Centre at SFU


Previous studies showed early production precedes late perception in Cantonese tone acquisition, contrary to the general principle that perception precedes production in child language, while some recent studies demonstrated that Cantonese tone acquisition is a protracted process. How production and perception are linked in first language tone acquisition remains largely unknown, and very little acoustic data has been reported so far. This study revisited the acquisition of lexical tone by Cantonese-speaking children, exploring the possible link between production and perception in first language acquisition with data from over 100 children aged between 2;0 and 6;0. Both transcription and acoustic data were used to illustrate the multifaceted aspects of Cantonese tone acquisition. The findings call for a wider perspective on how to define successful phonological acquisition.

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