Processing of acoustic cues in lexical-tone identification by pediatric cochlear-implant recipients

Shu Chen Peng, Hui Ping Lu, Nelson Lu, Yung Song Lin, Mickael L.D. Deroche, Monita Chatterjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose: The objective was to investigate acoustic cue processing in lexical-tone recognition by pediatric cochlear-implant (CI) recipients who are native Mandarin speakers. Method: Lexical-tone recognition was assessed in pediatric CI recipients and listeners with normal hearing (NH) in 2 tasks. In Task 1, participants identified naturally uttered words that were contrastive in lexical tones. For Task 2, a disyllabic word (yanjing) was manipulated orthogonally, varying in fundamental-frequency (F0) contours and duration patterns. Participants identified each token with the second syllable jing pronounced with Tone 1 (a high level tone) as eyes or with Tone 4 (a high falling tone) as eyeglasses. Results: CI participants’ recognition accuracy was significantly lower than NH listeners’ in Task 1. In Task 2, CI participants’ reliance on F0 contours was significantly less than that of NH listeners; their reliance on duration patterns, however, was significantly higher than that of NH listeners. Both CI and NH listeners’ performance in Task 1 was significantly correlated with their reliance on F0 contours in Task 2. Conclusion: For pediatric CI recipients, lexical-tone recognition using naturally uttered words is primarily related to their reliance on F0 contours, although duration patterns may be used as an additional cue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1223-1235
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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