An ERP study on categorical perception of lexical tones and nonspeech pitches

Hong Ying Zheng, William Shi Yuan Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review


The study investigates the electrophysiological signature for Categorical Perception (CP) of lexical tones. Mandarin level and rising tones are the targets and nonspeech counterparts, using pure tones with the same pitch contours, are synthesized as controls. The results show that in lexical tone condition, across-category deviant elicits Mismatch Negativity (MMN) but within-category deviant does not. In pure tone condition, neither deviant elicits significant MMN. The result indicates CP of lexical tones can be observed by MMN signal. It also suggests that before listener does the overt decision, brain activates differently to lexical tones from nonspeech pitches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1096
Number of pages1
JournalProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventINTERSPEECH 2008 - 9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association - Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Duration: 22 Sep 200826 Sep 2008


  • Categorical perception
  • Lexical tones
  • MMN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Signal Processing
  • Software
  • Sensory Systems

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