Impaired talker recognition in Mandarin-speaking congenital amusics

Jing Shao, Lan Wang, Caicai Zhang

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


The speech signal contains at least two types of information: the linguistic information and a talker’s voice. In this study we examined how congenital amusia, a pitch-processing disorder, affects the recognition of talkers’ voices. Twenty Mandarin-speaking amusics and 20 controls were tested on talker recognition in four types of contexts that varied in language familiarity: Mandarin real words, Mandarin pseudowords, Arabic words and reversed Mandarin speech. We found that the deficit in amusia affects talker recognition in that amusics demonstrated degraded performance in both native language conditions that contain phonological cues to facilitate talker recognition and non-native conditions where talker recognition primarily relies on phonetics cues including pitch. Altogether, the results suggested that the scope of amusia is beyond the pitch-related processing in linguistic dimension, but also extends to the talker dimension in speech signal.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
EditorsSasha Calhoun, Paola Escudero, Marija Tabain , Paul Warren
Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
PublisherAustralasian Speech Science and Technology Association
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780646800691
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
EventThe 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 5 Aug 20199 Aug 2019


ConferenceThe 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
Abbreviated titleICPhS2019
Internet address

User-Defined Keywords

  • congenital amusia
  • talker processing
  • pitch
  • language familiarity
  • Mandarin Chinese


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