16th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Dresden, Germany
September 6-10, 2015

Auris populi: Crowdsourced Native Transcriptions of Dutch Vowels Spoken by Adult Spanish Learners

Pepi Burgos, Eric Sanders, Catia Cucchiarini, Roeland van Hout, Helmer Strik

Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands

In this paper we report on a study in which Dutch vowels produced by Spanish adult L2 learners were orthographically transcribed by Dutch lay listeners through crowdsourcing. The aim of the crowdsourcing experiment was to investigate how the auris populi, the crowd's ear, would deal with possibly deviant L2 vowel realizations. We present data on the transcriptions of the non-expert listeners for all fifteen Dutch vowels. The results of our study indicate that Dutch vowels pronounced by Spanish learners were transcribed differently from their canonical (target) forms by native listeners. The listeners' transcriptions confirm findings of previous research based on expert annotations of Spanish learners' vowel realizations conducted at our lab, namely, that the five Spanish vowels seem to function as “attractors” for the larger set of the Dutch vowels. In general, the results are also in line with the outcomes of acoustic measurements of the same speech material, but there are some interesting discrepancies. We discuss these results with regard to previous studies on the speech production of adult Spanish learners of Dutch and outline perspectives for future research. Finally, given our results, we formulate some evaluative remarks on the auris populi methodology for future L2 speech research.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Burgos, Pepi / Sanders, Eric / Cucchiarini, Catia / Hout, Roeland van / Strik, Helmer (2015): "Auris populi: crowdsourced native transcriptions of Dutch vowels spoken by adult Spanish learners", In INTERSPEECH-2015, 2819-2823.