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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."

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Academic Paper

Title: Long-term experience with a tonal language shapes the perception of intonation in English words: How Chinese–English bilinguals perceive “Rose?” vs. “Rose”
Author: Gerrit Kootstra
Author: Pieter C. Muysken
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: Long-term experience with a tonal language shapes pitch perception in specific ways, and consequently Chinese speakers may not process pitch in English words – e.g., “Rose?” spoken as a question versus “Rose” spoken as a statement – in the same way as native speakers of non-tonal languages do. If so, what are those pitch processing differences and how do they affect Chinese recognition of English words? We investigated these questions by administering a primed lexical-decision task in English to proficient Chinese–English bilinguals and two control groups, namely, Spanish–English and native English speakers. Prime-target pairs differed in one sound and/or in pitch. Results showed specific cross-language differences in pitch processing between the Chinese speakers and the control groups, confirming that experience with a tonal language shaped the perception of English words' intonation. Moreover, such experience helps to incorporate pitch into models of word-recognition for bilinguals of tonal and non-tonal languages.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 20, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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