Nonword repetition stimuli for Vietnamese-speaking children

Giang Pham, Kerry Danahy Ebert, Kristine Thuy Dinh, Quynh Dam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Nonword repetition (NWR) has been a widely used measure of language-learning ability in children with and without language disorders. Although NWR tasks have been created for a variety of languages, minimal attention has been given to Asian tonal languages. This study introduces a new set of NWR stimuli for Vietnamese. The stimuli include 20 items ranging in length from one to four syllables. The items consist of dialect-neutral phonemes in consonant–vowel (CV) and CVC sequences that follow the phonotactic constraints of the language. They were rated high on wordlikeness and have comparable position segments and biphone probabilities across stimulus lengths. We validated the stimuli with a sample of 59 typically developing Vietnamese–English bilingual children, ages 5 to 8. The stimuli exhibited the expected age and length effects commonly found in NWR tasks: Older children performed better on the task than younger children, and longer items were more difficult to repeat than shorter items. We also compared different scoring systems in order to examine the individual phoneme types (consonants, vowels, and tones) and composite scores (proportions of phonemes correct, with and without tone). The study demonstrates careful construction and validation of the stimuli, and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1326
Number of pages16
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Language assessment
  • Phonological memory
  • Phonotactic properties
  • Tonal languages

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