Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 2000)

Beijing, China
October 16-20, 2000

The Role of Language Experience in Speaker and Rate Normalization Processes

Allard Jongman (1), Corinne B. Moore (2)

(1) Linguistics Department, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA
(2) Diebold, Inc., North Canton, OH, USA

This study explores the extent to which listeners are sensitive to variations in context when listening to Mandarin tones. Specifically, the effects of speaker F0 and speaking rate are evaluated on the perception of a Tone 2-Tone 3 continuum that varied either along a spectral parameter, a temporal parameter, or both. In addition, two groups of listeners were tested, Chinese and American. Results showed that both listener groups compensate for variations in both F0 and speaking rate. However, Chinese and American listeners did not weigh the acoustic cues in the same manner. Results suggest that language background aids in disambiguating phonemic contrasts for Mandarin listeners, but that for English listeners the normalization effects are a consequence of acoustic discriminability. Limitations on perceptual resources allow English listeners to attend to extrinsic information only when intrinsic acoustic differences become more perceptually salient.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Jongman, Allard / Moore, Corinne B. (2000): "The role of language experience in speaker and rate normalization processes", In ICSLP-2000, vol.1, 62-65.