The Acquisition of Lexical Tone by Cantonese-speaking Children

July 13, 2019

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.


Peggy Mok (莫碧琪) is an associate professor at the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages in Chinese University of Hong Kong. Peggy is interested in both speech production and perception, particularly with cross-linguistic and psycholinguistic perspectives. She investigates both segmental and prosodic properties of speech, but focusing more on prosodic aspects in recent years. Speech acquisition in different contexts is an important theme in her research. Additionally, Peggy is interested in forensic phonetics, and the bilingual mental lexicon.

Sponsoring groups

  • Department of Linguistics
  • David Lam Centre

Thursday, June 20, 2019

12:30 - 1:30pm

Saywell Hall (SWH) 10051
SFU Burnaby
8888 University Drive

All are welcome to attend.