Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Academic Paper

Title: Pitch ability as an aptitude for tone learning
Paper URL:
Author: Anita R. Bowles
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Rosetta Stone
Author: Charles B. Chang
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Boston University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Cognitive Science; Language Acquisition; Phonetics; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: Tone languages such as Mandarin use voice pitch to signal lexical contrasts, presenting a challenge for foreign language (FL) learners whose native languages do not use pitch in this manner. The present study examined components of an aptitude for mastering FL lexical tone. Native English speakers with no previous tone language experience completed a Mandarin word learning task, as well as tests of pitch ability, musicality, FL aptitude, and general cognitive ability. Pitch ability measures improved predictions of learning performance beyond musicality, FL aptitude, and general cognitive ability and also predicted transfer of learning to new talkers. In sum, although certain non-tonal measures help predict successful tone learning, the central components of tonal aptitude are pitch-specific perceptual measures.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Language Learning, 66(4), 774-808.
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page