ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2012, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (8): 1066-1074.

• 论文 • 上一篇    下一篇


陶冶;琴美;im Plunkett   

  1. (1浙江大学心理与行为科学系, 杭州 310028) (2Oxford Babylab, University of Oxford, 英国)
  • 收稿日期:2011-10-22 修回日期:1900-01-01 发布日期:2012-08-28 出版日期:2012-08-28
  • 通讯作者: 徐琴美

Phonological Specificity of Tones in Early Lexical Representation at 16 Months of Age

TAO Ye;XU Qin-Mei; PLUNKETT Kim   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310028, China)
    (2Oxford Babylab, University of Oxford, UK)
  • Received:2011-10-22 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2012-08-28 Published:2012-08-28
  • Contact: XU Qin-Mei

摘要: 采用跨通道注视偏好范式(IPLP)下的声调错读任务, 探究16个月中英婴儿熟悉词汇表征中普通话声调的音位语义特性(phonological specificity)。结果发现在先正确命名再声调错读的任务顺序下, 中英婴儿均在正确命名时表现出命名效应, 在错读时不能再认目标图片, 表现出错读效应, 说明普通话声调对16个月中英婴儿而言都具备语义特性。

关键词: 婴儿, 声调, 音位语义特性, 错读效应

Abstract: By about 14 months of age, English infants show sensitivity to mispronunciations of consonants and vowels of familiar and newly learnt words when asked to identify a referent. They are also capable of learning two similar-sounding words. These findings suggest that infants possess phonologically detailed representations of words. However,very little is known about the role that tones play in early lexical representations. Word meaning is also distinguished by tones, which consist primarily of pitch level or contour variations in tonal language, like Chinese. While in English, a typically non-tonal language, pitch change only plays a role in the phrasal level as intonation. This study aims to answer the question: Do 16-month-old Chinese and English infants treat tones as phonological information in their lexical representations?
Using the intermodal preferential looking paradigm with the mispronunciation task, study 1 examined whether Chinese infants at 16 months were sensitive to mispronunciations of tones in monosyllabic, familiar words. 15 infants were separated into two groups. For group 1, the familiar words were pronounced correctly in block1, while mispronounced with the falling tone in Mandarin (T4) in block 2. The block order was reversed for the infants in group 2. Using a similar task to study 1, study 2 investigated whether English infants at 16 months were sensitive to tonal change in familiar English words when asked to identify a referent. In contrast with study 1, all the 12 infants received one kind of block order. In block 1, the words were pronounced with T4 as the familiar tone. A falling pitch contour is common in English and quite similar to T4 whereas it is less common to pronounce words with a fall-rise contour in English. Therefore, the dipping tone in Mandarin (T3) was used as the novel tone in block 2 and were considered as tone mispronunciations in study 2.
The results of study 1 showed that Chinese infants in group 1 looked longer at a target object when its label was correctly pronounced than when the label was mispronounced, in other words, a mispronunciation effect was found. In group 2, there were no systematic difference in infants’ preferences for the target between the pre- and the post-naming phase, neither when the target label was mispronounced or pronounced correctly. The results of study 2 showed that English infants looked longer at a target object when its label was pronounced with T4 than when the label was pronounced with T3. A positive correlation was found between English infants’ receptive vocabulary size and their performance in the mispronunciation condition.
In conclusion, the results indicate that 1) tones interact with phonological information for both Chinese and English infants at 16 months of age; 2) 16-month-old English infants may be on the way of learning to eliminate the phonological specificity of tone.

Key words: infant, tone, phonological specificity, mispronunciation effect