7th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

September 16-20, 2002
Denver, Colorado, USA

Perceptual Adjustment to Foreign-Accented English With Short Term Exposure

Constance M. Clarke

University of Arizona, USA

Non-native, or ‘foreign-accented’, speech deviates from native pronunciation norms, and these deviations can cause perceptual dif- ficulty for listeners. However, there is reason to believe that nonnative speech can be learned by the adult perceptual system. The present study investigated perceptual learning of foreign-accented speech with very limited experience. Sixteen auditory sentences were presented to two groups whose task was to indicate whether an orthographic word presented immediately after each sentence matched the final word of the sentence. The experimental group heard 16 Spanish-accented sentences. For the control group, only the last four sentences were accented; the rest were non-accented. The experimental group’s response time decreased across the sixteen sentences, suggesting they rapidly adjusted to the accented speech. The experimental group was also faster for the last four accented sentences compared to the control group, indicating learning was not completely due to practice with the task.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Clarke, Constance M. (2002): "Perceptual adjustment to foreign-accented English with short term exposure", In ICSLP-2002, 253-256.