Archived Projects

Factors Influencing Cantonese Lexical Tone and Tone Word Acquisition

Research Team: Angela Cooper and Yue Wang

This research examines how linguistic and musical experience influence non-native Cantonese tone perception and word learning. Native Thai and English listeners, subdivided into musician and non-musician groups, engaged in a perceptual training program. They learned words distinguished by five Cantonese tones during training, also completing a musical aptitude task and pre and post-training lexical tone identification tasks. This study looks to investigate how these two factors interact, and what impact the combination will have on the acquisition of non-native tone words, as well as which factor facilitates the acquisition of new lexical items to a greater degree.

Additionally, we will also compare a group of native English non-musicians undergoing lexical tone training before completing the word learning program to the English musicians and non-musicians who received no tone training. This will enable us to examine how raising listeners’ tonal awareness transfers to the acquisition of tone words.

Perceived Nativeness of Temporal Adjustments in Speech

Research Team:Yue Wang, Dawn Behne (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway) and Qi Dong (Beijing Normal University, China)

Native Mandarin Chinese speakers’ productions of English consonant-vowel (CV) syllables have shown syllable-internal temporal adjustments in the direction of native (English)-like CVs (Wang & Behne 2004). This research investigates whether these temporal adjustments affect perceived nativeness.