Bidirectional clear speech perception benefit for native and high-proficiency non-native talkers and listeners: Intelligibility and accentedness

Rajka Smiljanić*, Ann R. Bradlow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated how native language background interacts with speaking style adaptations in determining levels of speech intelligibility. The aim was to explore whether native and high proficiency non-native listeners benefit similarly from native and non-native clear speech adjustments. The sentence-in-noise perception results revealed that fluent non-native listeners gained a large clear speech benefit from native clear speech modifications. Furthermore, proficient non-native talkers in this study implemented conversational-to-clear speaking style modifications in their second language (L2) that resulted in significant intelligibility gain for both native and non-native listeners. The results of the accentedness ratings obtained for native and non-native conversational and clear speech sentences showed that while intelligibility was improved, the presence of foreign accent remained constant in both speaking styles. This suggests that objective intelligibility and subjective accentedness are two independent dimensions of non-native speech. Overall, these results provide strong evidence that greater experience in L2 processing leads to improved intelligibility in both production and perception domains. These results also demonstrated that speaking style adaptations along with less signal distortion can contribute significantly towards successful native and non-native interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4020-4031
Number of pages12
Journaljournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume130
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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