Flattening the fundamental frequency (F0) contours of Mandarin Chinese sentences reduces their intelligibility in noise but not in quiet. It is unclear, however, how the absence of primary acoustic cue for lexical tones might be compensated with the top-down information of sentence context. In this study, speech intelligibility was evaluated when participants listened to sentences and word lists with or without F0 variations in quiet and noise. The results showed that sentence context partially explained the unchanged intelligibility of monotonous Chinese sentences in quiet and further indicate that F0 variations and sentence context act in concert during speech comprehension.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research was supported by grants from the Humanities and Social Sciences Foundation (Projects for Young Scholars) of the Chinese Ministry of Education (Grant No. 10YJCZH223) to L.J.Z., and from the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31271082), the Natural Science Foundation of Beijing (Grant No. 7132119), and the Fundamental Research Fund for the Central Universities to H.S.
Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.