Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
The current study compared adult bilingual Mandarin-English speakers and monolingual English speakers’ ability to perceive linguistic (word and non-word) as well as non-linguistic (pure tone) auditory tonal contrasts to investigate the presence of both a linguistic and cross domain advantage based on tone language experience. Accuracy and reaction time were recorded for all three conditions during a tone perception discrimination task. Findings did not reveal such advantage in any context, however the bilingual Mandarin-English group was more accurate in the word condition suggesting additional semantic information contributed to the group’s decisions about tone contrasts. Additionally, the bilingual group exhibited a trend of slower reaction times across all conditions. Randomization of stimuli and both relevant and non-relevant information together may have contributed to an increased cognitive load for the bilingual group. Together, the results show that tone perception may not be a result of tone language experience and further investigation will provide insight into neural perception, processing, and access of tone.
Yee, Alyssa J., "Advantages in Linguistic Tone Perception in Speakers with Tone Language Experience" (2017). Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 51.