BREATH-GROUP THEORY VS. DECLINATION THEORY: EVIDENCE FROM CHINESE APHASICS
This study explores in what way the breath-group theory and the declination theory manifest themselves in Chinese aphasic speech and detects the extent to which aphasics exert control over sentential F0 contours concerning different sentence lengths and tones. Four Broca’s aphasics, four Wernicke’s aphasics and four age-matched normal controls are tested. The results indicate that aphasic subjects have impairments in processing these sentential F0 patterns. Yet, neither the declination nor the breath-group pattern can serve as the criterion in differentiating these two aphasic populations. The breath-group pattern is the better option than the declination pattern in delineating sentential F0 contour in Mandarin Chinese speech, from which we note that the predictive power of the declination theory deserves reconsideration.