Lexical tone disruption in Shona after brain damage

  • Background: The issue of production and perception of lexical tone in patients with brain lesions has been investigated mainly through East Asian languages and Norwegian. The present study investigated the lateralisation of lexical tone in Shona, a Bantu language. Van Lancker (1980) proposed a continuum scale of the levels of functional pitch in the speech signal. According to the functional lateralisation account (FLH), the left hemisphere (LH) is associated with highly structured pitch contrasts, such as phonological tone, whereas the right hemisphere (RH) is specialised for the least structured pitch functions cueing emotional and personal information. The extant data show that the ability to produce and identify lexical tone is frequently more impaired as a result of lesions to the LH than RH lesions. Aims: The present investigation focused on the lateralisation of lexical tone in Shona speakers. The study sought to validate if the scale of hemispheric lateralisation as proposed by Van Lancker (1980) is also valid for Shona, aBackground: The issue of production and perception of lexical tone in patients with brain lesions has been investigated mainly through East Asian languages and Norwegian. The present study investigated the lateralisation of lexical tone in Shona, a Bantu language. Van Lancker (1980) proposed a continuum scale of the levels of functional pitch in the speech signal. According to the functional lateralisation account (FLH), the left hemisphere (LH) is associated with highly structured pitch contrasts, such as phonological tone, whereas the right hemisphere (RH) is specialised for the least structured pitch functions cueing emotional and personal information. The extant data show that the ability to produce and identify lexical tone is frequently more impaired as a result of lesions to the LH than RH lesions. Aims: The present investigation focused on the lateralisation of lexical tone in Shona speakers. The study sought to validate if the scale of hemispheric lateralisation as proposed by Van Lancker (1980) is also valid for Shona, a Bantu language. Methods & Procedures: We examined five LH damaged (LHD) patients and five RH (RHD) damaged patients using a confrontational picture-naming task and a lexical tone identification task of Shona lexical tone. The first experiment investigated the ability of LHD patients and RHD patients to identify Shona lexical tone in 60 disyllabic minimal pairs. The second experiment examined the ability of Shona brain-damaged patients to produce lexical tone using a confrontational picture-naming task with 120 lexical items. Outcomes & Results: We observed a dissociation in the performance of both the LHD and RHD patients in the two tasks. Both groups were impaired in the tone identification task relative to the non-brain-damaged controls. However, RHD patients performed significantly better than the LHD patients in the tone identification task. On the other hand, both LHD and RHD groups were equally impaired in the tone production task in comparison to the controls. Conclusions: The discrepancy in the production and perception of Shona lexical tone for this group of brain-damaged patients shows that, although the two modes are related, they do not always get disrupted at the same level after brain damage. The results from the tone identification task suggest to a certain extent that the FLH is also valid for Shona. In order to account for all the data there is need to carefully consider alternative accounts like the acoustic cue hypothesis (Van Lancker & Sidtis, 1992).show moreshow less

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar Statistics
Metadaten
Author:McLoddy R. Kadyamusuma, Ria De BleserGND, Jörg Mayer
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2011.590966
ISSN:0268-7038 (print)
Parent Title (English):Aphasiology : an international, interdisciplinary journal
Publisher:Wiley
Place of publication:Hove
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2011
Year of Completion:2011
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Aphasia; Brain-damaged patients; Identification; Lexical tone; Production; Shona
Volume:25
Issue:10
Pagenumber:22
First Page:1239
Last Page:1260
Funder:University of Potsdam
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Linguistik / Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Peer Review:Referiert