7th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

September 16-20, 2002
Denver, Colorado, USA

Same Talker, Different Language: a Replication

Verna Stockmal, Zinny S. Bond

Ohio University, USA

When discriminating between spoken samples of unknown foreign languages, infants, young children and adult listeners are able to make same-language/different-language judgments at better than chance levels. Adults can even discriminate between languages when they are produced by the same bilingual talkers. That is, listeners are able to separate talker from language characteristics. One question raised by this investigation had to do with the familiarity of languages. The bilingual talkers who provided spoken language samples spoke a home language and a language they had learned as part of formal education such as French, German or Russian. It is possible that the listeners, American college students, had some familiarity with the school language and could distinguish it from the home language on this basis. In the current study, four bilingual talkers provided spoken samples of languages spoken in Africa which would be expected to be equally unfamiliar to American listeners. One of the languages spoken by all the talkers was Swahili; the other languages were Akan, Haya, Kikuyu, and Luhya. American listeners were asked to judge whether spoken paired samples were produced in the same language or in two different languages. Overall, listeners were able to identify languages as same or different at better than chance expectation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Stockmal, Verna / Bond, Zinny S. (2002): "Same talker, different language: a replication", In ICSLP-2002, 77-80.