Lexical prosody beyond first-language boundary: Chinese lexical tone sensitivity predicts English reading comprehension

Tsun Man William CHOI, Xiuli TONG, Kate CAIN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This 1-year longitudinal study examined the role of Cantonese lexical tone sensitivity in predicting English reading comprehension and the pathways underlying their relation. Multiple measures of Cantonese lexical tone sensitivity, English lexical stress sensitivity, Cantonese segmental phonological awareness, general auditory sensitivity, English word reading, and English reading comprehension were administered to 133 Cantonese–English unbalanced bilingual second graders. Structural equation modeling analysis identified transfer of Cantonese lexical tone sensitivity to English reading comprehension. This transfer was realized through a direct pathway via English stress sensitivity and also an indirect pathway via English word reading. These results suggest that prosodic sensitivity is an important factor influencing English reading comprehension and that it needs to be incorporated into theoretical accounts of reading comprehension across languages. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-86
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume148
Early online dateApr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

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Longitudinal Studies

Citation

Choi, W., Tong, X., & Cain, K. (2016). Lexical prosody beyond first-language boundary: Chinese lexical tone sensitivity predicts English reading comprehension. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 148, 70-86. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2016.04.002

Keywords

  • Lexical prosody
  • Cantonese lexical tone
  • English lexical stress
  • Reading comprehension
  • Lexical quality hypothesis
  • Bilingualism