The present paper aims to examine the language processing of Chinese-speaking seniors with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) from the perspective of temporal cues. Twenty healthy adults, 17 healthy seniors, and 13 seniors with AD in Taiwan participated in this study to tell stories based on two sets of pictures. Nine temporal cues were fetched and analyzed. Oral productions in Mandarin Chinese were compared and discussed to examine to what extent and in what way these three groups of participants performed with significant differences. Results indicated that the age effects were significant in filled pauses. The dementia effects were significant in mean duration of pauses, empty pauses, filled pauses, lexical pauses, normalized mean duration of filled pauses and lexical pauses. The findings reported in the current paper help characterize the nature of language processing in seniors with or without AD, and contribute to the interactions between the AD neural mechanism and their temporal parameters.
This study statistically models the surface f0 contour and the underlying pitch target of a well-studied third sandhi tone of Mandarin Chinese. Although the growth curve analysis on the surface f0 contours indicates non-neutralization of this sandhi tone (T3) and the base T2, their underlying pitch targets do show neutralization. These results in Mandarin are also consistent with the perception of native speakers, where they cannot distinguish the third T3 from the base T2, compensating contextual variation. It is possible to use the proposed statistical procedure of testing underlying pitch targets to verify tone sandhi processes in other tonal languages.
This paper examines the impact of grammatical differences on simultaneous interpreting from English into Mandarin Chinese by drawing upon an empirical study of professional and student interpreters. The research focuses on the effects of three grammatical categories including passives, adverbial components and noun phrases on simultaneous interpreting. For each category, interpretations of instances in which the grammatical structures are the same across the two languages are compared with interpretations of instances in which the grammatical structures differ across the two languages in terms of content accuracy and delivery appropriateness. The results indicate that grammatical differences have a significant impact on the interpreting performance of both professionals and students.
The present study addressed the nature of bilingual semantic processing in Mandarin Chinese and Southern Min and examined category effects and age effects. Nineteen bilingual adults of Mandarin Chinese and Southern Min, nine monolingual seniors of Mandarin Chinese, and ten monolingual seniors of Southern Min in Taiwan individually completed two semantic tasks: Picture naming and category fluency tasks. The instruments for the naming task were sixty black-and-white pictures, including thirty-five object pictures and twenty-five action pictures. The category fluency task also consisted of two semantic categories – objects (or nouns) and actions (or verbs). The reaction time for each picture/question was additionally calculated and analyzed. Oral productions in Mandarin Chinese and in Southern Min were compared and discussed to examine the category effects and age effects. The results of the category fluency task indicated that the content of information of these seniors was comparatively deteriorated, and thus they produced a smaller number of semantic-lexical items. Significant group differences were also found in the reaction time results. Category effects were significant for both adults and seniors in the semantic fluency task. The findings of the present study will help characterize the nature of the bilingual semantic processing of adults and seniors, and contribute to the fields of contrastive and corpus linguistics.