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Perception of non-native accent in relation to intelligibility and attitude

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Åsa Abelin
Elisabeth Zetterholm
Publicerad i New Sounds 2016. International Symposium on the Acquisition of Second Language Speech 10-12 June 2016. Aarhus, DK
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Institutionen för filosofi, lingvistik och vetenskapsteori
Språk en
Länkar conferences.au.dk/newsounds2016/
Ämnesord non-native accent, intelligibility, attitude, Swedish, Somali
Ämneskategorier Lingvistik, Fonetik

Sammanfattning

The perception of speakers with a non-native accent in a communicative situation brings up several aspects: is the speaker intelligible or pleasant to listen to, and what attitudes do the listeners get towards the speaker (cf. Boyd, Abelin & Dorriots, 1999)? Additionally we address the question of whether intelligibility is facilitated when the listener has the same L1 as the non-native speaker. We performed listener tests of recordings of 10 adult Somali speakers learning Swedish as their L2. The stimuli consisted of 8 read sentences per speaker. 20 L1 Swedish speakers and 20 L1 Somali speakers listened to the 8 stimulus sentences once. They were asked to rate each speaker, using Likert-like scales concerning: degree of foreign accent, intelligibility, pleasantness, and emotion. The judgments were correlated with auditory analyses of phoneme realization and word stress, and acoustic analyses of vowel/consonant duration (cf. Zetterholm, 2014). The hypotheses were that listeners with the same L1 accent would rate speakers lower on degree of foreign accent and higher on intelligibility than the Swedish listeners would. This is in accordance with studies of Munro & Derwing (1995), Munro (2008) who discussed how e.g. L1 background and L2 accent contribute to the intelligibility of non-native speech and a study by Mora & Ludwig (2015) who demonstrated how L2-English was faster to process for L2-listeners compared to L1-listeners. We also predicted that a larger amount of phonemic errors and louder speech (cf. Abelin & Boyd, 2000) would yield less positive classifications of degree of foreign accent and emotions. Preliminary results show that there is a difference between L1 and L2 listeners both for accent rate and intelligibility. There is also a correlation between judged degree of accent and the listeners’ attitude. References Abelin, Å., & Boyd, S. (2000). Voice quality, foreign accent and attitudes to speakers, Proceedings of FONETIK 2000, Inst för språk, Högskolan i Skövde, 21–24. Boyd S., Abelin, Å., & Dorriots, B. (1999). Attitudes to foreign accent, Proceedings of FONETIK 99, Department of Linguistics, Göteborg University, 31–35. Mora, J. C., & Ludwig, A. (2015). Non-native listeners’ speech processing benefits for accented speech. Abstract from ISMBS 2016. Munro, M. (2008). Foreign accent and speech intelligibility. In: J.G. Hansen Edwards & M.L. Zampini (eds.) Phonology and Second Language Acquisition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 193–218. Munro, M., & Derwing, T. (1995). Processing time, accent, and comprehensibility in the perception of native and foreign-accented speech. Language and Speech, 38, 289–306. Zetterholm, E. (2014). Vowel length contrast and word stress in Somali-accented Swedish, Concordia working papers in applied linguistics, 5, 771–782.

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