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Title: The development of categorical perception of Mandarin tones in four- to seven-year-old children
Authors: Chen, F
Peng, G 
Yan, N
Wang, L
Issue Date: Nov-2017
Source: Journal of child language, Nov. 2017, v. 44, no. 6, p. 1413-1434
Abstract: To track the course of development in children's fine-grained perception of Mandarin tones, the present study explored how categorical perception (CP) of Mandarin tones emerges along age among 70 four- to seven-year-old children and 16 adults. Prominent discrimination peaks were found for both the child and the adult groups, and they were well aligned with the corresponding identification crossovers. Moreover, six-year-olds showed a much narrower width (i.e. a sharper slope) compared to younger children, and have already acquired adult-like identification competence of Mandarin high-level and mid-rising tones. Although the ability to discriminate within-category tone pairs did not change, the between-category discrimination accuracies were positively correlated with chronological ages among child participants. We assume that the perceptual refinement of Mandarin tones in young children may be driven by an accumulation of perceptual development from the tonal information of the ambient sound input.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Journal: Journal of child language 
ISSN: 0305-0009
EISSN: 1469-7602
DOI: 10.1017/S0305000916000581
Rights: This article has been published in a revised form in Journal of Child Language https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0305000916000581. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © Cambridge University Press 2016.
When citing an Accepted Manuscript or an earlier version of an article, the Cambridge University Press requests that readers also cite the Version of Record with a DOI link. The article is subsequently published in revised form in Journal of Child Language https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0305000916000581.
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