Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing
(ICSLP 2000)

Beijing, China
October 16-20, 2000

Perceptual Features for the Identification of Romance Languages

Ioana Vasilescu, Francois Pellegrino, Jean-Marie Hombert

Dynamique du Langage - I.S.H., Lyon, France

This paper deals with perceptual identification and differentiation of five Romance languages, namely French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian. Previous studies have investigated human capability to identify spoken samples in unknown languages after a relatively brief exposure. Moreover, they have shown that subjects use perceptual categories and adapt foreign categories to their own categories in language differentiation. Accordingly, we conduct an analysis to determine which perceptual categories are salient in Romance languages identification and discrimination. Four different sets of listeners are tested. Each set consists in speakers of a different mother tongue (French, Romanian, Japanese and American English native speakers). Results reveal that identification scores are a function of the previous exposure of the listeners to the languages. Moreover, the strategies of discrimination among languages are mother tongue dependent and several potential features emerge that may be relevant in automatic language identification.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Vasilescu, Ioana / Pellegrino, Francois / Hombert, Jean-Marie (2000): "Perceptual features for the identification of Romance languages", In ICSLP-2000, vol.2, 543-546.