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Influence of dialect use on speech perception: a mismatch negativity study


Bühler, Jessica C; Schmid, Stephan; Maurer, Urs (2017). Influence of dialect use on speech perception: a mismatch negativity study. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 32(6):757-775.

Abstract

Using an electroencephalography (EEG)-based mismatch negativity (MMN) paradigm, we investigated whether higher familiarity with a dialectal variety of German (Swiss German (CHG) vs. Standard German (StG)) impacted speech perception at the neural and the behavioural level. Specifically, we examined 30 CHG- and StG-native adults, by contrasting a pseudoword containing an allophonic phoneme variant found in both dialects (i.e. standard) with 2 deviant stimuli encompassing allophonic phoneme variants, of which one was more familiar for CHG natives and the other was more familiar for StG natives. The same stimuli were used in a behavioural “same–different” discrimination task. Behavioural pseudoword differentiation was better for more familiar allophonic phoneme variants. MMN measures revealed significant fronto-central and temporal deviance-by-language-group interactions, primarily driven by larger MMN responses for less familiar deviants in StG natives. We conclude that a higher degree of familiarity with allophonic variants seems to impact neural processing efficiency, to the extent that less familiar variants demand more wide-spread activation processes.

Abstract

Using an electroencephalography (EEG)-based mismatch negativity (MMN) paradigm, we investigated whether higher familiarity with a dialectal variety of German (Swiss German (CHG) vs. Standard German (StG)) impacted speech perception at the neural and the behavioural level. Specifically, we examined 30 CHG- and StG-native adults, by contrasting a pseudoword containing an allophonic phoneme variant found in both dialects (i.e. standard) with 2 deviant stimuli encompassing allophonic phoneme variants, of which one was more familiar for CHG natives and the other was more familiar for StG natives. The same stimuli were used in a behavioural “same–different” discrimination task. Behavioural pseudoword differentiation was better for more familiar allophonic phoneme variants. MMN measures revealed significant fronto-central and temporal deviance-by-language-group interactions, primarily driven by larger MMN responses for less familiar deviants in StG natives. We conclude that a higher degree of familiarity with allophonic variants seems to impact neural processing efficiency, to the extent that less familiar variants demand more wide-spread activation processes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Date:6 May 2017
Deposited On:22 May 2017 12:46
Last Modified:28 May 2017 05:09
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:2327-3798
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2016.1272704

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