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ERIC Number: EJ1013846
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
The Influence of Semantic Context on the Perception of Spanish-Accented American English
Behrman, Alison; Akhund, Ali
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v56 n5 p1567-1578 Oct 2013
Purpose: In this article, the authors examine (a) the effect of semantic context on accentedness, comprehensibility, and intelligibility of Spanish-accented American English (AE) as judged by monolingual AE listeners and (b) the interaction of semantic context and accentedness on comprehensibility and intelligibility. Method: Twenty adult native (L1) Spanish speakers proficient in AE and 4 L1 AE speakers (controls) read 48 statements consisting of true-false, semantically meaningful, and semantically anomalous sentences. Eighty monolingual AE listeners assessed accentedness, comprehensibility, and intelligibility of the statements. Results: A significant main effect was found for semantic category on all 3 dependent variables. Accents were perceived to be stronger, and both comprehensibility and intelligibility were worse, in semantically anomalous contexts. Speaker data were grouped into strong, mid-level, and mild accents. The interaction between semantic category and accent was significant for both comprehensibility and intelligibility. The effect of semantic context was strongest for strong accents. Intelligibility was excellent for speakers with mid-level accents in true-false and semantically meaningful contexts, and it was excellent for mild accents in all contexts. Conclusions: Listeners access semantic information, in addition to phonetic and phonotactic features, in the perception of nonnative speech. Both accent level and semantic context are important in research on foreign-accented speech.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A