Mandarin tone 3 sandhi is a phonological alternation in which the initial tone 3 (i.e., low tone) syllable changes to a tone 2 (i.e., rising tone) when followed by another tone 3. The present study used a cross-modal syllable-morpheme matching experiment to examine how native speakers process the sandhi sequences derived from verb reduplication and...
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... Even regarding tone sandhi, some recent research suggests that different processing mechanisms may be involved in the tone sandhi processing in other Chinese dialects (Chang et al., 2019;Chien et al., 2017;Yan et al., 2020Yan et al., , 2021. Moreover, the application of tone sandhi is also subject to other factors such as morphosyntactic structure and prosodic structure (Chen, 2000), and recent research suggests that the processing of disyllabic Mandarin T3 sandhi words with different morphological structures (e.g., lexical compounds vs. reduplication) may also differ (Gao et al., 2021). Future research should elucidate the processing of different types of phonological alternations and the interaction with other high-level linguistic factors including syntax and semantics and delineate the conditions or contexts that will affect the processing mechanisms. ...
Pronunciation of words or morphemes may vary systematically in different phonological contexts, but it remains unclear how different levels of phonological information are encoded in speech production. In this study, we investigated the online planning process of Mandarin Tone 3 (T3) sandhi, a case of phonological alternation whereby a low-dipping tone (T3) changes to a Tone 2 (T2)-like rising tone when followed by another T3. To examine the time course of the encoding of the abstract category-level (underlying form) and context-specific phonological form (surface form) of T3, we conducted an electroencephalographic (EEG) study with a phonologically-primed picture naming task and examined the event-related potentials (ERPs) time-locked to the stimulus onset as well as speech response onset. The behavioral results showed that targets primed by T3 or T2 primes yielded shorter naming latencies than those primed by control primes. Importantly, the EEG data revealed that T3 primes elicited larger positive amplitude over broad frontocentral regions roughly in the 320–550 ms time window of stimulus-locked ERP and −500 to −400 ms time window of response-locked ERP, whereas T2 primes elicited larger negative amplitude over left frontocentral regions roughly in the −240 to −100 ms time window of response-locked ERP. These results indicate that the underlying and the surface form are encoded at different processing stages. The former presumably occurs in the earlier phonological encoding stage, while the latter probably occurs in the later phonetic encoding or motor preparation stage. The current study offers important implications for understanding the processing of phonological alternations and tonal encoding in Chinese word production.
To investigate Mandarin Tone 2 production of disyllabic words of prelingually deafened children with a cochlear implant (CI) and a contralateral hearing aid (HA) and to evaluate the relationship between their demographic variables and tone-production ability. Thirty prelingually Mandarin-speaking preschoolers with CI+HA and 30 age-matched normal-hearing (NH) children participated in the study. Fourteen disyllabic words were recorded from each child. A total of 840 tokens (14 × 60) were then used in tone-perception tests in which four speech therapists participated. The production of T2-related disyllabic words of the bimodal group was significantly worse than that of the NH group, as reflected in the overall accuracy (88.57% ± 16.31% vs 99.29% ± 21.79%, p < 0.05), the accuracy of T1+T2 (93.33% vs 100%), the accuracy of T2+T1 (66.67 ± 37.91% vs 98.33 ± 9.13%), and the accuracy of T2+T4 (78.33 ± 33.95% vs 100%). In addition, the bimodal group showed significantly inferior production accuracy of T2+T1 than T2+T2 and T3+T2, p < 0.05. Both bimodal age and implantation age were significantly negatively correlated with the overall production accuracy, p < 0.05. For the error patterns, bimodal participants experienced more errors when T2 was in the first position of the tone combination, and T2 was most likely to be mispronounced as T1 and T3. Bimodal patients aged 3-5 have T2-related disyllabic lexical tone production defects, and their performances are related to tone combination, implantation age, and bimodal age.