The Influence of Modality and Speaking Style on the Assimilation Type and Categorization Consistency of Non-Native Speech

Sarah E. Fenwick, Catherine T. Best, Chris Davis, Michael D. Tyler


The Perceptual Assimilation Model [1] proposes that non-native contrast discrimination accuracy can be predicted by perceptual assimilation type. However, assimilation types have been based just on auditory-only (AO) citation speech. Since auditory-visual (AV) and clear speech can benefit non-native speech perception [2, 3], we reasoned that modality and speaking style could influence assimilation. This was tested by presenting English monolinguals Sindhi consonants in a categorization task. Results showed that, across speaking styles, consonants were assimilated the same way in AV and AO. For consonants that were uncategorized in visual-only (VO) conditions: 1) their AO counterpart was more consistently categorized than AV; and 2) citation speech was also more consistently categorized than clear. Interestingly, this set of results was reversed for consonants that were assimilated to the same native category across modalities; participants were able to use the visual articulatory information to make more consistent categorization judgments for AV than AO. This was also the case for speaking style: clear speech was more consistently categorized than citation. Together these results demonstrate that the extent to which AV and clear speech is beneficial for cross-language perception may depend on the similarities between the articulatory characteristics of native and non-native consonants.


DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2016-611

Cite as

Fenwick, S.E., Best, C.T., Davis, C., Tyler, M.D. (2016) The Influence of Modality and Speaking Style on the Assimilation Type and Categorization Consistency of Non-Native Speech. Proc. Interspeech 2016, 1016-1020.

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Fenwick+2016,
author={Sarah E. Fenwick and Catherine T. Best and Chris Davis and Michael D. Tyler},
title={The Influence of Modality and Speaking Style on the Assimilation Type and Categorization Consistency of Non-Native Speech},
year=2016,
booktitle={Interspeech 2016},
doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2016-611},
url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2016-611},
pages={1016--1020}
}