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Success in spoken word processing relies not only on accurate word recognition but also the veracity with which words are maintained in memory. However, research on word retention is still scarce, especially in tonal languages and phonologically impaired populations. To address these gaps, the present study administered an auditory order recall task to native Cantonese speakers with and without amusia. Stimuli intrinsic (segmental similarity, suprasegmental similarity, and lexicality) and extrinsic (cognitive load) factors were manipulated.