Tone Merging Patterns in Congenital Amusia in Hong Kong Cantonese

Oi-Yee Ho, Jing Shao, Jinghua Ou, Sam Po Law, Caicai Zhang

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

Abstract

Congenital amusia is a neurodevelopmental disorder, affecting fine-grained musical pitch processing without brain injury. This disorder also affects pitch processing in speech such as lexical tone perception. On the other hand, the phenomenon of tone merging has been observed among some speakers of Hong Kong Cantonese (HKC), who exhibit confusion between certain tone pairs in perception and/or production. It has been reported that tone merging may relate to individual variation in cognitive abilities of working memory and attention. The current study is a first attempt to investigate the relationship between amusia and tone merging by examining tone merging patterns in perception of amusics in HKC and their cognitive abilities of working memory and attention as well as pitch threshold. The results revealed a different profile of amusics from that of merger groups reported in previous studies. Amusics exhibited a profound impairment in discriminating tones compared to musically intact controls, which appeared to differ from the highly selective perceptual confusion of tone pairs reported in the merger groups. Regarding cognitive measures, amusics also demonstrated broad deficits in selective attention, working memory and inhibitory control. The temporary results imply that amusia might have a limited contribution to the previously reported tone merging.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages (TAL 2018)
PublisherInternational Speech Communication Association
Pages134-138
Number of pages5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2018
Event6th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 18 Jun 201820 Jun 2018
https://www.isca-speech.org/archive/tal_2018/index.html

Conference

Conference6th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages
Abbreviated titleTAL 2018
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityBerlin
Period18/06/1820/06/18
Internet address

User-Defined Keywords

  • congenital amusia
  • tone merger
  • attention
  • working memory
  • Hong Kong Cantonese

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