Tone Sensitivity in Bilingual (Mandarin-English) and Monolingual (English/Mandarin) Learners

Guest Speaker:
Dr Leher Singh (National University of Singapore)
Dr Rachel Pye (School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading Malaysia)
Subject Area:
Date & Time:
Wed, 2. May 2018, 13:00 h - 14:00 h
N3.24, University of Reading Malaysia - EduCity@Iskandar​


Much of the world grows up to speak a tone language, where words are distinguished by variation in vowels, consonants and lexical tones. However, research in early phonological and lexical development has focused predominantly on acquisition of vowel and consonant categories. I will present results of studies on the acquisition of tone categories in infants and toddlers in three areas of language development: speech discrimination, novel word learning and familiar word recognition. I will also discuss research investigating the stabilization of tone categories by presenting findings relating to children’s abilities to recognize tones in the face of context-driven variation (e.g. Sandhi, intonational variation). Finally, I will present comparative studies that investigate tone sensitivity in bilingual (Mandarin-English) and monolingual (English/Mandarin) learners.



Dr Leher Singh is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the National University of Singapore. Prior to this, she served on the faculty of Boston University for 9 years. She conducts research on early speech perception in infancy and word learning and recognition in toddlers and on the effects of bilingualism on social, cognitive and linguistic functions in infancy and early childhood.

  • Admission is free.​
  • UoRM staff RSVP by responding to the internal event invitation.
  • All are welcome, RSVP by 30 April 2018.


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