English and Mandarin native speakers' cue-weighting of lexical stress: Results from MMN and LDN

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2022-09
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Source Title
Brain and Language
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232
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1 - 10
Language
English
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Abstract

Past research on how listeners weight stress cues such as pitch, duration and intensity has reported two inconsistent patternss: listeners’ weighting conforms to 1) their native language experience (e.g., language rhythmicity, lexical tone), and 2) a general “iambic-trochaic law” (ITL), favouring innate sound groupings in cue perception. This study aims to tease apart the above effects by investigating the weighting of pitch, duration and intensity cues in stress-timed (Australian English) and non-stress-timed and tonal (Taiwan Mandarin) language speaking adults using a mismatch negativity (MMN) multi-feature paradigm. Results show effects that can be explained by language-specific rhythmic influence, but only partially by the ITL. Moreover, these findings revealed cross-linguistic differences indexed by both MMN and late discriminative negativity (LDN) responses at cue and syllable position levels, and thus call for more sophisticated perspectives for existing cue-weighting models.

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