Sentence Accent Perception in Noise by French Non-Native Listeners of English

Odette Scharenborg, Fanny Meunier, Sofoklis Kakouros, Brechtje Post


This paper investigates the use of prosodic information signalling sentence accent and the role of different acoustic features on sentence accent perception during native and non-native speech perception in the presence of background noise. A phoneme detection experiment was carried out in which English native listeners and French highly proficient non-native listeners of English were presented with target phonemes in English sentences. Sentences were presented in different levels of speech-shaped noise and in two prosodic contexts in which the target-bearing word was either deaccented or accented. Acoustic analyses of the two prosodic conditions showed that the target-bearing words in the accented condition carried more energy, had a higher F0, and more spectral tilt than those in the deaccented condition. Results of the behavioural data showed that the native listeners outperformed the French listeners in the clean condition but not in the noise conditions and that the effect of noise was smaller for the non-native compared to the native listeners. Possibly, the non-native listeners use more and different acoustic cues than the native listeners who primarily relied on more local cues for sentence accent detection.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-12

Cite as: Scharenborg, O., Meunier, F., Kakouros, S., Post, B. (2018) Sentence Accent Perception in Noise by French Non-Native Listeners of English. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 60-64, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-12.


@inproceedings{Scharenborg2018,
  author={Odette Scharenborg and Fanny Meunier and Sofoklis Kakouros and Brechtje Post},
  title={Sentence Accent Perception in Noise by French Non-Native Listeners of English},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={60--64},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-12},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-12}
}