The Perception of Lexical Tone Contrasts in Cantonese Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

Wong, Anita M.-Y.; Ciocca, Valter; Sun Yung
December 2009
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2009, Vol. 52 Issue 6, p1493
Academic Journal
Purpose: This study examined the perception of fundamental frequency (f0) patterns by Cantonese children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). Method: Participants were 14 five-year-old children with SLI, and 14 age-matched (AM) and 13 four-year-old vocabulary-matched (VM) controls. The children identified a word from familiar word pairs that illustrated the 8 minimally contrastive pairs of the 6 lexical tones. They discriminated the f0 patterns within contrastive tonal pairs in speech and nonspeech stimuli. Results: In tone identification, the SLI group performed worse than the AM group but not the VM group. In tone discrimination, the SLI group did worse than the AM group on 2 contrasts and showed a nonsignificant trend of poorer performance on all contrasts combined. The VM group generally did worse than the AM group. There were no group differences in discrimination performance between speech and nonspeech stimuli. No correlation was found between identification and discrimination performance. Only the normal controls showed a moderate correlation between vocabulary scores and performance in the 2 perception tasks. Conclusion: The SLI group's poor tone identification cannot be accounted for by vocabulary knowledge alone. The group's tone discrimination performance suggests that some children with SLI have a deficit in f0 processing.


Related Articles

  • Communication of lexical tones in Cantonese alaryngeal speech. Ching, Teresa Y.C.; Williams, Rhys // Journal of Speech & Hearing Research;Jun94, Vol. 37 Issue 3, p557 

    Assesses the relative efficiency of alaryngeal Cantonese speakers in conveying tonal variations in words in citation form. Investigation of the relative efficiency of other forms of alaryngeal speech in signaling tonal contrasts; Linguistic perspective for guiding voice rehabilitation and the...

  • Tone Perception Ability of Cantonese-Speaking Children*. Yuet Sheung Lee, Kathy; Sung Nok Chiu; van Hasselt, Charles Andrew // Language & Speech;Dec2002, Vol. 45 Issue 4, p387 

    Studies have shown that while children acquire all Cantonese tones by age two, they are not able to label them reliably until approximately age 10. One possible explanation for the large age discrepancy may be the different methodologies used. This study aimed to (1) investigate a new research...

  • Questions Without Movement: A Study of Cantonese-Speaking Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment. Wong, Anita M.-Y.; Leonard, Laurence B.; Fletcher, Paul; Stokes, Stephanie F. // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2004, Vol. 47 Issue 6, p1440 

    English-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI) appear to have special difficulty in the use of who-object questions (e.g., Who is the girl chasing?). It has been argued that the problems related to grammatical movement may be responsible for this difficulty. However, it is...

  • Tone Perception in Cantonese-Speaking Children With Hearing Aids. Lee, Katthy Y. S.; van Hasselt, Charles Andrew; Tong, Michael C. F. // Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology;Apr2008, Vol. 117 Issue 4, p313 

    Objectives: In this study we investigated the benefit of using hearing aids for Cantonese tone perception among children with various degrees of hearing impairment. Methods: Forty-eight children with moderate to profound hearing loss were investigated. They were required to perform a lexical...

  • The Expression of Aspect in Cantonese-Speaking Children With Specific Language Impairment. Fletcher, Paul; Leonard, Laurence B.; Stokes, Stephanie F.; Wong, Anita M.-Y. // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Jun2005, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p621 

    Previous studies of verb morphology in children with specific language impairment (SLI) have been limited in the main to tense and agreement morphemes. Cantonese, which, like other Chinese languages, has no grammatical tense, presents an opportunity to investigate potential difficulties for...

  • Utterance Length and Lexical Diversity in Cantonese-Speaking Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment. Klee, Thomas; Stokes, Stephanie F.; Wong, Anita M.-Y.; Fletcher, Paul; Gavin, William J. // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2004, Vol. 47 Issue 6, p1396 

    Two studies of children's conversational language abilities are reported. In the first, mean length of utterance (MLU) and lexical diversity (D) were examined in a group of typically developing Cantonese-speaking children in Hong Kong. Regression analyses indicated a significant linear...

  • Differentiating Cantonese-Speaking Preschool Children With and Without SLI Using MLU and Lexical Diversity (D). Wong, Anita M.-Y.; Klee, Thomas; Stokes, Stephanie F.; Fletcher, Paul; Leonard, Laurence B. // Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Jun2010, Vol. 53 Issue 3, p794 

    Purpose: In this study, the authors examined the diagnostic accuracy of a composite clinical assessment measure based on mean length of utterance (MLU), lexical diversity (D), and age (Klee, Stokes, Wong, Fletcher, & Gavin, 2004) in a second, independent sample of 4-year-old Cantonese-speaking...

  • PEOPLE.  // Background Notes on Countries of the World: Hong Kong;Feb2008, p2 

    This article focuses on the people of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China. The region's population has increased steadily over the past decade, reaching 6.92 million in 2007. Cantonese, the official Chinese language in the region, is spoken by most of the population. The...

  • The Comparison of the Cantonese Sentence Final Particles. Wai-Mun Leung // Asian Culture & History;2010, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p86 

    In the past decades, researchers of Cantonese treated the frequently used sentence-final particles (hereafter SFPs) wo3 (…, mid level tone) and bo3 (…, mid level tone) as variant forms, the former being the result of sound change from the latter (Kwok 1984, Luke 1990, Li 1995, Fang...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics