This study extended previous findings on cross-situational learning of minimal word pairs by using Cantonese Chinese, a language that can separate the effects from individual lexical components of a word: initial consonant, rime and tone. Sixty native Cantonese speakers were recruited to participate in a standard cross-situational word learning task. In the cross-situational word learning task, four different types of word pairs were used: (1) a non-minimal word pair (N); (2) a consonant minimal word pair (C); (3) a rime minimal word pair (R) and (4) a tone minimal word pair (T). The results showed that participants could learn the word-referent mapping for all types of word pair but they performed better on N and T types of word pairs than the other two types of word pairs (i.e. C and R). Together with other previous evidence, these findings suggest that Cantonese language learners can learn and encode those phonetic details while they learn the word-referent co-occurrence probabilities, and the present results also suggest that the tonal information seemed to be more important than the other phonological components in word learning of Cantonese. Copyright © 2018 59th Annual Meeting Psychonomic Society.
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2018|