Communication of Lexical Tones in Cantonese Alaryngeal Speech Cantonese is a tone language with six lexical tones. Each word has a distinctive tone, signaled by fundamental frequency variations at the syllable level. We investigated the relative efficiency of alaryngeal Cantonese speakers in conveying tonal variations in words in citation form. Isolated tone tokens were produced by three esophageal ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1994
Communication of Lexical Tones in Cantonese Alaryngeal Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Teresa Y. C. Ching
    Department of English Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Rhys Williams
    Department of Surgery Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Andrew Van Hasselt
    Department of Surgery Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Contact author: Teresa Ching, PhD, National Acoustics Laboratories, 126 Greville Street, Chatsworth, NSW 2067, Australia.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1994
Communication of Lexical Tones in Cantonese Alaryngeal Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1994, Vol. 37, 557-563. doi:10.1044/jshr.3703.557
History: Received March 11, 1993 , Accepted January 4, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1994, Vol. 37, 557-563. doi:10.1044/jshr.3703.557
History: Received March 11, 1993; Accepted January 4, 1994

Cantonese is a tone language with six lexical tones. Each word has a distinctive tone, signaled by fundamental frequency variations at the syllable level. We investigated the relative efficiency of alaryngeal Cantonese speakers in conveying tonal variations in words in citation form. Isolated tone tokens were produced by three esophageal speakers, two tracheoesophageal speakers, two pneumatic artificial laryngeal speakers, and two electrolaryngeal speakers for perceptual tests. The correct responses from 22 listeners were highest for the pneumatic artificial laryngeal speakers, and could be graded in order of proficiency as esophageal, tracheoesophageal, and electrolaryngeal speakers. These results provide a linguistic perspective for guiding voice rehabilitation and the choice of voice in alaryngeal patients who speak a tone language.

Acknowledgments
We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the University Instructional Media Services at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in handling all the technical aspects of the recordings; Sally Leung and Virginia Lai who helped in the data collection; and, most of all, we wish to thank the subjects who devoted so much of their time and effort to this study.
Thanks are also due to the reviewers of an earlier version of this manuscript who provided useful comments. We owe special gratitude to Gail Kempster for her suggestions for improvement.
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