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Acoustic cues to tonal contrasts in Mandarin: Implications for cochlear implants

Kuo, YC; Rosen, S; Faulkner, A; (2008) Acoustic cues to tonal contrasts in Mandarin: Implications for cochlear implants. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America , 123 (5) 2815 - 2824. 10.1121/1.2896755. Green open access

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Abstract

The present study systematically manipulated three acoustic cues-fundamental frequency (f0), amplitude envelope, and duration-to investigate their contributions to tonal contrasts in Mandarin. Simplified stimuli with all possible combinations of these three cues were presented for identification to eight normal-hearing listeners, all native speakers of Mandarin from Taiwan. The f0 information was conveyed either by an f0-controlled sawtooth carrier or a modulated noise so as to compare the performance achievable by a clear indication of voice f0 and what is possible with purely temporal coding of f0. Tone recognition performance with explicit f0 was much better than that with any combination of other acoustic cues (consistently greater than 90% correct compared to 33%-65%; chance is 25%). In the absence of explicit f0, the temporal coding of f0 and amplitude envelope both contributed somewhat to tone recognition, while duration had only a marginal effect. Performance based on these secondary cues varied greatly across listeners. These results explain the relatively poor perception of tone in cochlear implant users, given that cochlear implants currently provide only weak cues to f0, so that users must rely upon the purely temporal (and secondary) features for the perception of tone. (c) 2008 Acoustical Society of America.

Type: Article
Title: Acoustic cues to tonal contrasts in Mandarin: Implications for cochlear implants
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1121/1.2896755
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2896755
Additional information: Copyright 2008 Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America.
Keywords: ENVELOPE CUES, PERCEPTION, SPEECH, PITCH, DISCRIMINATION, RECOGNITION, TONE-3, INFORMATION, CHILDREN, CHINESE
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/19330
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