9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

The Non-Native Consonant Challenge for European Languages

M. Luisa Garcia Lecumberri (1), Martin Cooke (2), Francesco Cutugno (3), Mircea Giurgiu (4), Bernd T. Meyer (5), Odette Scharenborg (6), Wim van Dommelen (7), Jan Volin (8)

(1) University of the Basque Country, Spain; (2) University of Sheffield, UK; (3) University of Naples "Federico II", Italy; (4) Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania; (5) Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany; (6) Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands; (7) NTNU, Norway; (8) Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

This paper reports on a multilingual investigation into the effects of different masker types on native and non-native perception in a VCV consonant recognition task. Native listeners outperformed 7 other language groups, but all groups showed a similar ranking of maskers. Strong first language (L1) interference was observed, both from the sound system and from the L1 orthography. Universal acoustic-perceptual tendencies are also at work in both native and non-native sound identifications in noise. The effect of linguistic distance, however, was less clear: in large multilingual studies, listener variables may overpower other factors.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Garcia Lecumberri, M. Luisa / Cooke, Martin / Cutugno, Francesco / Giurgiu, Mircea / Meyer, Bernd T. / Scharenborg, Odette / Dommelen, Wim van / Volin, Jan (2008): "The non-native consonant challenge for european languages", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 1781-1784.