12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

Let's All Speak Together! Exploring the Impact of Various Languages on the Comprehension of Speech in Multi-Linguistic Babble

Aurore Gautreau, Michel Hoen, Fanny Meunier

INSERM U1028, France

Our research aims at exploring psycholinguistic processes implicated in the speech-in-speech situation. Our studies focused on the interferences observed during speech-in-speech comprehension. Our goal is to clarify if interferences exist only on an acoustical level or if there are clear psycholinguistic interferences. In 3 experiments, we used 4 talkers cocktail-party signals using different world languages: French, Breton, Irish and Italian. Participants had to identify French words inserted in a babble. Results first confirmed that it is more difficult to understand a French word in a French background than in a babble composed of unknown languages. This result demonstrates that the interference effect is not purely acoustic but rather linguistic. Results also showed differences in the observed performances depending on the unknown language spoken in the background and demonstrated that some languages interfered more with French than some others.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gautreau, Aurore / Hoen, Michel / Meunier, Fanny (2011): "Let's all speak together! exploring the impact of various languages on the comprehension of speech in multi-linguistic babble", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 41-44.