15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)
Using an 'odd one out' task these studies investigate phonological awareness - awareness of phonemes as independent speech units, and also "tonological awareness" using Central Thai, a tonal language with five tones. In Experiment 1 Thai children and Australian English children (Kindergarten, Year 2, 4, 6), and adults are tested and it is found that children and adults perform better on phonological than tonological awareness, and that tonological awareness is a function of Thais' education level. Experiment 2 with good and poor reader Thai children shows that good readers are better at both tasks, and confirms the advantage for phonological over tonological awareness, even for good readers. The psychological equivalence of phonemes and tonemes is discussed.
Bibliographic reference. Burnham, Denis / Davis, Chris / Kim, Jeesun / Issa, Zeina / Tam, Helen / Kasisopa, Benjawan / Tantong, Prajaree / Schoknecht, Colin / Jones, Caroline / Luksaneeyanawin, Sudaporn (2003): "Are tones phones?", In ICPhS-15, 897-900.