The effect of language background on processing of pitch accent was investigated. A dichotic listening paradigm was adopted to examine the way pitch accent in Japanese was processed in the brain by Japanese and English listeners. A total of 32 young adults participated in the experiment, including 16 Japanese and 16 native English listeners. The Japanese listeners all had no other tonal language experience. The stimuli were 30 Japanese disyllabic words with three pitch accent patterns. Two measures were calculated in the study that include % errors of identification of each pitch accent pattern in each ear and the percentage of errors (POE). It was observed that the average POE for the Japanese listeners is 40%, where that for English listeners is 42%.
Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Acoustical Association, Vol.36, No.3, pp.154-155