Taking a long time to produce their first words and mixing up similar sounding words like "mother" and "horse" in Cantonese may be indicators of developmental language problems that impact children's social and emotional development as well as academic performance later in life. Therefore, early detection is important, as it allows for early intervention to be prescribed. CUHK has developed a new algorithm to forecast infants’ future language development.
If you have that specific ASPM genotype that enjoys the ups and downs of tone language, that’s the way you’ll go and about 70% of Cantonese speakers participating in a CUHK study had it, with better tone perception. If you don’t, or aren’t Chinese, all is not lost. Music training may help you improve your performance in lexical tones.