Monosyllabic Mandarin Tone Productions by 3-Year-Olds Growing Up in Taiwan and in the United States: Interjudge Reliability and Perceptual Results PurposeThe author compared monosyllabic Mandarin lexical tones produced by 3-year-old Mandarin-speaking children growing up in Taiwan and in the United States.MethodFollowing 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 ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2012
Monosyllabic Mandarin Tone Productions by 3-Year-Olds Growing Up in Taiwan and in the United States: Interjudge Reliability and Perceptual Results
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Puisan Wong
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Correspondence to Puisan Wong: pswResearch@gmail.com
  • Editor: Anne Smith
    Editor: Anne Smith×
  • Associate Editor: Alex Francis
    Associate Editor: Alex Francis×
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / International & Global / Speech
Article   |   October 01, 2012
Monosyllabic Mandarin Tone Productions by 3-Year-Olds Growing Up in Taiwan and in the United States: Interjudge Reliability and Perceptual Results
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2012, Vol. 55, 1423-1437. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0273)
History: Received October 6, 2011 , Accepted February 17, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2012, Vol. 55, 1423-1437. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0273)
History: Received October 6, 2011; Accepted February 17, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

PurposeThe author compared monosyllabic Mandarin lexical tones produced by 3-year-old Mandarin-speaking children growing up in Taiwan and in the United States.

MethodFollowing 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.

ResultsThe 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 didMandarin-speaking children growing up in the United States. Accuracy rates of Tone 1 and Tone 3 were comparable in the 2 groups of children.

ConclusionMandarin 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.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by funding from the East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute (EAPSI) of the National Science Foundation (NSF Grant OISE-0611641). Parts of this study were presented in 2011 at the 162nd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in San Diego, CA. Thanks to Jane Tsay for her assistance in subject recruitment and providing lab space for data collection. Thanks are also extended to

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(Sophia Chuang),

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, and the teachers and staff at Green World Children School and Chung Cheng Nursery School for their generous support in recruiting participants; the children and parents for their participation in the study; Steve Naber for his input on statistical analyses; and Marisa Monteleone for proofreading a previous version of the article.
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