Categorical Perception of Mandarin Tones Based on Acoustic Features by Japanese Learners

Hong Zhu, Kei Yoshimoto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Based on acoustic features of four Mandarin tones, this study investigated the perceptual pattern between Tone1 (T1) and Tone4 (T4), Tone2 (T2) and Tone3 (T3) which are considered difficult for Japanese learners and Chinese native speakers to distinguish. We compared the performance of Mandarin and Japanese Listeners on the perception of Mandarin tones in a classical categorical perception experiment that employed identification and discrimination tasks. Experiments on T1 and T4 were designed using the fundamental frequency (fo) of endpoint as the acoustic cue, while experiments on T2 and T3 were designed using continual sound stimuli, which gradually changed from T2 to T3 varying in the timing of turning point (inflection point of the tone), Δfo (pitch difference between onset and turning point) or both acoustic dimensions. The results showed that when endpoint pitch was taken as the acoustic parameter, categorical perception was found between T1 and T4 by both Chinese native speakers and Japanese learners. And when the timing of turning point and Δfo were both taken as the acoustic parameters, both advanced Chinese learners and beginners demonstrated quasi-categorical perception of T2 and T3 whereas timing of turning point was used as a sole parameter, only a categorical perception tendency is observed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th International Conference on Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval, NLPIR 2020
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages81-84
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781450377607
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 18
Event4th International Conference on Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval, NLPIR 2020 - Virtual, Online, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 2020 Dec 182020 Dec 20

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference

Conference4th International Conference on Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval, NLPIR 2020
CountryKorea, Republic of
CityVirtual, Online
Period20/12/1820/12/20

Keywords

  • Acoustic parameters
  • Categorical perception
  • Japanese learners
  • Mandarin tones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Software

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