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Mental representation of tonal spreading in Bemba: Evidence from elicited production and perception

Kula, Nancy C and Braun, Bettina (2015) Mental representation of tonal spreading in Bemba: Evidence from elicited production and perception. In: UNSPECIFIED, ? - ?.

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Previous research has shown that listeners from tonal languages are better at processing tone compared to speakers from non-tonal languages. However, most of this research has tested Asian tone languages, particularly those which have many tonal contrasts and a dense tone-to-syllable association. In this paper we investigate the mental representation of derived tones in Bemba, a Bantu language that has a two-way tone contrast but which shows robust tone spreading patterns. Specifically, we test ternary high-tone spreading, a process that is unique from a phonological perspective. In a production task we test whether ternary spread can be extended to non-words. We complement this with an AX discrimination task comparing binary vs ternary spread, which are phonologically contrastive, on the one hand, with a tonally similarly salient but non-phonologically relevant contrast, on the other. We show that in both the production and percep- tion of non-words, ternary spread is distinct from binary spread, suggesting that derived tone is equally mentally represented as lexical tone is in Asian tone languages.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Additional Information: Published proceedings: Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2016 19:28
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:30

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