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Cues to linguistic origin: The contribution of speech temporal information to foreign accent recognition


Kolly, Marie-José; Dellwo, Volker (2014). Cues to linguistic origin: The contribution of speech temporal information to foreign accent recognition. Journal of Phonetics, 42:12-23.

Abstract

Foreign-accented speech typically contains information about speakers' linguistic origin, i.e., their native language. The present study explored the importance of different temporal and rhythmic prosodic characteristics for the recognition of French- and English-accented German. In perception experiments with Swiss German listeners, stimuli for accent recognition contained speech that was reduced artificially to convey temporal and rhythmic prosodic characteristics: (a) amplitude envelope durational information (by noise vocoding), (b) segment durations (by 1-bit requantisation) and (c) durations of voiced and voiceless intervals (by sasasa-delexicalisation). This preserved mainly time domain characteristics and different degrees of rudimentary information from the frequency domain. Results showed that listeners could recognise French- and English-accented German above chance even when their access to segmental and spectral cues was strongly reduced. Different types of temporal cues led to different recognition scores – segment durations were found to be the temporal cue most salient for accent recognition. Signal conditions that contained fewer segmental and spectral cues led to lower accent recognition scores.

Abstract

Foreign-accented speech typically contains information about speakers' linguistic origin, i.e., their native language. The present study explored the importance of different temporal and rhythmic prosodic characteristics for the recognition of French- and English-accented German. In perception experiments with Swiss German listeners, stimuli for accent recognition contained speech that was reduced artificially to convey temporal and rhythmic prosodic characteristics: (a) amplitude envelope durational information (by noise vocoding), (b) segment durations (by 1-bit requantisation) and (c) durations of voiced and voiceless intervals (by sasasa-delexicalisation). This preserved mainly time domain characteristics and different degrees of rudimentary information from the frequency domain. Results showed that listeners could recognise French- and English-accented German above chance even when their access to segmental and spectral cues was strongly reduced. Different types of temporal cues led to different recognition scores – segment durations were found to be the temporal cue most salient for accent recognition. Signal conditions that contained fewer segmental and spectral cues led to lower accent recognition scores.

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12 citations in Web of Science®
13 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:03 Jan 2015 18:52
Last Modified:01 Jun 2017 02:11
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0095-4470
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wocn.2013.11.004

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