Age-related differences of tone perception in Mandarin-speaking seniors

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This study examined age-related differences in categorical perception of Mandarin lexical tones through comparing identification and discrimination performance among young adults, seniors aged 60-65 years, and older seniors aged 75-80 years. Results showed a significantly wider boundary and smaller peakedness in older seniors. There was also a positive correlation between the hearing level at 125 Hz and boundary width, and a negative correlation between hearing level (125 Hz) and peakedness in older seniors, indicating that the decline of tone perception in this population might be associated with degradation of hearing sensitivity. However, there was no significant difference between young adults and seniors aged 60-65 years, which might reveal that younger seniors could maintain normal ability to perceive tones categorically.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1629-1633
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Age-related decline
  • Categorical perception
  • Mandarin
  • Tone


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