Monosyllabic Mandarin Tone Productions by 3-Year-Olds Growing Up in Taiwan and in the United States: Interjudge Reliability and Perceptual Results

Correspondence to Puisan Wong: .
Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research (Impact Factor: 2.07). 02/2012; 55(5):1423-37. DOI: 10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0273)
Source: PubMed


The author compared monosyllabic Mandarin lexical tones produced by 3-year-old Mandarin-speaking children growing up in Taiwan and in the United States.
Following the procedures in Wong, Schwartz, and Jenkins (2005), the author collected monosyllabic tone productions from 3-year-old Mandarin-speaking children in Taiwan and low-pass filtered them to eliminate lexical information but retain tone information. Five Mandarin-speaking adults residing in Taiwan categorized these filtered tones and those produced by the Mandarin-speaking children growing up in the United States, the latter of which was reported in Wong et al. (2005). Agreements on tone categorization by judges residing in Taiwan and in the United States were evaluated. Tone accuracy of children growing up in Taiwan and the United States were examined and compared.
The Mandarin-speaking judges residing in the United States and in Taiwan showed high agreements on tone categorization. None of the 4 tones produced by the Mandarin-speaking children growing up in the United States and in Taiwan was adultlike.Children in Taiwan made more errors in Tone 2 and Tone 4 than did Mandarin-speaking children growing up in the United States. Accuracy rates of Tone 1 and Tone 3 were comparable in the 2 groups of children.
Mandarin tone acquisition is a protracted process. Three-year-old Mandarin-speaking children growing up in Taiwan and the United States show similar developmental patterns and have not yet produced monosyllabic tones with adultlike accuracy.

14 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study used the same methodology in Wong [J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res. 55, 1423-1437 (2012b)] to examine the perceived accuracy of monosyllabic Mandarin tones produced by 4- and 5-year-old Mandarin-speaking children growing up in Taiwan and combined the findings with those of 3-year-olds reported in Wong [J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res. 55, 1423-1437 (2012b)] to track the development of monosyllabic tone production in preschool children. Tone productions of adults and children were collected in a picture naming task and low-pass filtered to remove lexical information and reserve tone information. Five native-speakers categorized the target tones in the filtered productions. Children's tone accuracy was compared to adults' to determine mastery and developmental changes. The results showed that preschool children in Taiwan have not fully mastered the production of monosyllabic Mandarin tones. None of the tones produced by the children in the three age groups reached adult-like accuracy. Little developmental change was found in children's tone accuracy during the preschool years. A similar order of accuracy of the tones was observed across the three age groups and the order appeared to follow the order of articulatory complexity in producing the tones. The findings suggest a protracted course of development in children's acquisition of Mandarin tones and that tone development may be constrained by physiological factors.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This book is a comprehensive yet succinct overview of research on prosodic development, uniting phonetic, phonological, and clinical approaches to the topic. It brings together diverse research findings on prosodic perception, prosodic production, the development of prosodic structure, and prosodic disorders in clinical populations. The book is written for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, as well as for professionals and scholars working in linguistics, child language development, psychology, or related disciplines. The first part of the book deals with phonetic approaches. Following a detailed introduction in which the formal and functional aspects of prosody are defined, the book describes stimulating new research findings on the perception of prosody with neonates and infants. At the same time, it introduces the reader to important related themes in speech perception research such as prosodic bootstrapping and word segmentation. Included in this first part is a discussion of the production of prosody during the pre-linguistic and early linguistic periods, with a focus on central topics such as ambient language effects and differentiation of prosody according to pragmatic function. The final component in this part is the discussion of the development of individual prosodic systems such as stress, timing, intonation, and tone. The second part of the book deals with phonological approaches to prosodic development. It reviews the vast literature base that has accrued during recent years on the development of prosodic structure within the framework of prosodic phonology. The importance of prosodic units (the mora, syllable, foot, prosodic word, and phonological phrase) in accounting for children's phonological patterns is addressed. The third and final part of the book deals with clinical aspects of prosody such as the assessment of prosody and atypical prosody in clinical conditions such as autistic spectrum disorder, childhood apraxia of speech, specific language impairment, and hearing impairment. The book's cross-linguistic approach is documented through numerous examples and illustrations. Chapter summaries, relevant sidebar topics, and a list of key terms make the book highly readable and accessible.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Factors that may/may not influence inter-rater reliability in assessing the accuracy of monosyllabic Mandarin tones produced by children and adults were examined in three experiments. Experiment 1 investigated inter-judge reliability in two groups of Mandarin-speaking adults-one group from China and the other from Taiwan-on their categorization of filtered tones produced by adults and children. The results showed that the magnitude of inter-rater agreement was associated with the production accuracy of the speakers; the judges attained lower agreement in categorizing children's tones than adults' tones. All judges who indicated that Mandarin was their strongest language and that they had learned and used Mandarin since birth performed similarly in their tone categorization despite the fact that they came from and were residing in different countries. Similar results was found in experiment 2, in which one group of the judges in experiment 1 categorized tones produced by a new and larger group of adults and children, and in experiment 3, in which a different group of adults categorized another new set of tones produced by a different group of speakers. Implications of the findings in research design will be discussed. [Work supported by NIH-NIDCD (1 F31 DC008479-01A1) and NSF (OISE-0611641).].
    Preview · Article · May 2013 · The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Show more