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ERIC Number: ED176580
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977-Jun
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Ontogeny of the Ability to Recognize Foreign Accents.
Scovel, Thomas
A study was conducted to assess the ability of children to distinguish native from non-native English and to determine the age at which they reach the adult level of recognition ability. A brief passage containing the segmental phonemes of English was recorded by ten native and ten non-native speakers of Standard American English. The tape was played to children of varying age groups, who were asked to identify each subject as a native or non-native speaker of American English. The ability to identify non-native speakers was demonstrated to be an increment of age. Five-year-olds showed a 73% rate of accurate identification, and adult criterion (95%) was reached before the age of ten. An explanation for the ranking of misidentified speakers based on contrastive analysis of English and the native language of each speaker was not justified, but non-American native English speakers were more easily identified than native speakers of several foreign languages. The age at which adult criterion is attained coincides with the maximum age at which complete recovery from aphasia is likely, suggesting that competence to recognize non-native speech develops simultaneously with performance limitation which account for the production of non-native speech. (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A