The interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit for native speakers of Mandarin: Production and perception of English word-final voicing contrasts

Rachel Hayes-Harb*, Bruce L. Smith, Tessa Bent, Ann R. Bradlow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the intelligibility of native and Mandarin-accented English speech for native English and native Mandarin listeners. The word-final voicing contrast was considered (as in minimal pairs such as 'cub' and 'cup') in a forced-choice word identification task. For these particular talkers and listeners, there was evidence of an interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit for listeners (i.e., native Mandarin listeners were more accurate than native English listeners at identifying Mandarin-accented English words). However, there was no evidence of an interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit for talkers (i.e., native Mandarin listeners did not find Mandarin-accented English speech more intelligible than native English speech). When listener and talker phonological proficiency (operationalized as accentedness) was taken into account, it was found that the interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit for listeners held only for the low phonological proficiency listeners and low phonological proficiency speech. The intelligibility data were also considered in relation to various temporal-acoustic properties of native English and Mandarin-accented English speech in effort to better understand the properties of speech that may contribute to the interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-679
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Phonetics
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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