Lexical tone perception and production in Cantonese-speaking children with childhood apraxia of speech: A pilot study

Eddy C.H Wong (Corresponding Author), Min Ney Wong, Shelley L. Velleman, Michael C.F. Tong, Kathy Y. S. Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a paediatric motor speech disorder. We investigated the lexical tone perception and production abilities of children with CAS and the relationships between the two. Three children with CAS, aged between 3;7 and 5;8, were given the Cantonese Tone Identification Test (CANTIT) and the Hong Kong Cantonese Articulation Test (HKCAT) for assessment of tone perception and production, respectively. Accuracy and error patterns were investigated based on their performance on the two tests. Correlation analysis was performed on children’s perception and production scores. Two children scored at the lowest rank on the CANTIT, while one child obtained a Z score of 0. All children scored three standard deviations below the mean on the HKCAT. No statistical differences were found among the six tones with respect to perception accuracy, H(5) = 3.731, p = 0.589. Error analysis showed that children with CAS demonstrated more confusion on perceiving tones compared with TD peers. There were no main effects for task (F(1,2) = 0.040, p = 0.859) or tone (F(5,10 = 0.997, p = 0.467); nor were there task or tone interaction effects on perception versus production accuracy (F(5,10) = 1.772, p = 0.206). Tone perception and production accuracy were not significantly correlated (r 2  = 0.181, p = 0.078). Tone perception deficits were evident in two out of three children with CAS, while all children had lexical tone production difficulties. In this small sample, tone production was more universally affected than tone perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316–329
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number4-6
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2022


  • Lexical tone
  • childhood apraxia of speech
  • perception
  • production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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