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Re: AP in all of us? New evidence from speech research

Hi -

    Chinese is a tonal language, but it is *possible* to understand
Chinese without the pitch information:

1) Chinese speakers whisper, too! (However, there are formant changes
correlated with pitch in speech)
2) Chinese songs are almost completely devoid of the lexical tonal
information. (However, songs are special in their use of language -
especially regarding redundancy)
3) Tones are often sacrificed  in natural speech (albeit using pragmatic
and contextual "rules")
4) Monotone computer speech synthesis is also understandable - by both
humans and machines - due to joint word frequency statistics as well as
semantic context.

Aren't there any native Chinese speakers who want to "pitch in" here? I
would be interested to know if deaf-from-birth people learn to speak
with tones at all.

             - lonce

p.s. Related topic: I believe Bruno Repp (among others) found that pitch
in Chinese is processed in areas of the brain associated with language
rather than with music.

Tom Brennan wrote:

> Now let me make another comment on pitch.  Languages such as Chinese
> speak do absolutely require control of pitch so what you have said
> speech not requiring pitch control is patently untrue for some
speech.  I cannot
> comment on speech training of Chinese deaf as I have no first hand
> with it.