15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

September 14-18, 2014

English Consonant Confusions by Greek Listeners in Quiet and Noise and the Role of Phonological Short-Term Memory

Angelos Lengeris, Katerina Nicolaidis

AUTH, Greece

This study investigated English consonant identification by Greek listeners and the role of phonological short-term memory (PSTM) in listeners' identification ability. Twenty Greek university students who had received formal instruction in English identified 24 English consonants (embedded in VCV syllables) presented in quiet and in two noise types, a competing talker at a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of -6dB and an 8-speaker babble at an SNR of -2dB. Participants' PSTM was assessed via a serial non-word recognition task in Greek. The results showed that identification scores in quiet were significantly higher than in noise. There was no difference in scores between the two noise conditions. PSTM correlated with English consonant identification in quiet and in the two types of noise; listeners with greater PSTM capacity were also better in identifying English consonants in quiet and noise, a finding that extends previous research in quiet to L2 perception in adverse listening conditions. English consonant confusion patterns are interpreted as caused by a combination of first-language interference (at both the phonetic and phonological levels) and spectral/articulatory factors.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lengeris, Angelos / Nicolaidis, Katerina (2014): "English consonant confusions by Greek listeners in quiet and noise and the role of phonological short-term memory", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 534-538.