Emphasising sound and meaning: pitch gestures enhance Mandarin lexical tone acquisition

Laura M. Morett*, Li Yun Chang


研究成果: 雜誌貢獻期刊論文同行評審

47 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


Lexical tones – pitches differentiating between word meanings in tonal languages – are particularly difficult for atonal language speakers to learn. To test the hypotheses of embodied cognition and spoken word recognition, we examined whether – and how – gesture could facilitate English speakers' discrimination between Mandarin words differing in lexical tone. Words were learned with gestures conveying tone pitch contours (pitch gestures), gestures conveying word meanings (semantic gestures) or no gestures. The results demonstrated that pitch gestures enhanced English speakers' discrimination between the meanings of Mandarin words differing in tone, whereas semantic gestures hindered their identification of tones in learned words. These findings indicate that the visuospatial features of pitch gestures strengthen the relationship between English speakers' representations of Mandarin lexical tones and word meanings, supporting the predictions of spoken word recognition and embodied cognition.

頁(從 - 到)347-353
期刊Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
出版狀態已發佈 - 2015 3月 16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 語言與語言學
  • 實驗與認知心理學
  • 語言和語言學
  • 認知神經科學


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