Blog Archives

Overhearing Ireland: Mediatized personae in Irish accent culture

Metapragmatic representations of ‘accent’ in Irish English over a 400-year period are examined, identifying the phonological shibboleths that have remained in place as emblems of ‘Irishness’ over the whole period. A textual structure based on direct quotation is shown to have supported a brisk trade in commodified text-artifacts (joke-books, pamphlets, a web site) that present amusing anecdotes of Irish English speech. These narrational miniatures vivify a wide range of recognizable personae, inviting readers to align (or dis-align) themselves with the Irish ‘characters’ represented. The figure of the overhearer as reporter has been central to the genre ever since a shift to realist reportage around 1800.

from Language & Communication

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Effects of Noise and Speech Intelligibility on Listener Comprehension and Processing Time of Korean-Accented English

Conclusion: The findings suggest that decreased speech intelligibility and adverse listening conditions can be major challenges for effective communication between foreign-accented speakers and native listeners. The results also indicate that foreign-accented speech requires more effortful processing relative to native speech under certain conditions, affecting both comprehension and processing efficiency.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Age-related differences in discrimination of temporal intervals in accented tone sequences

The study measured listener sensitivity to increments of a target inter-onset interval (IOI) embedded within isochronous tone sequences that featured a single accented tonal component. The sequences consisted of six 1000-Hz tone bursts separated by silent intervals to establish equal tonal IOIs of 200 ms within the sequence. Tone burst durations within the sequences were 50 ms, except one tone had a longer duration of 100 ms to produce a perception of accent. Duration DLs in ms for increments of a single sequence IOI were measured adaptively by adjusting the duration of the silent interval between two tones. Sequence position of the target IOI differed across conditions. Listeners included young normal-hearing adults and older adults with and without hearing loss. Discrimination performance of the two older listener groups was equivalent and significantly poorer than that of the younger listeners in each discrimination condition. The age-related discrimination deficits were independent of sequence locations of both the target interval and the accented tonal component. Comparative DLs collected for target intervals in unaccented tone sequences with equal tone durations revealed that the detrimental effects of accent on temporal discrimination were primarily restricted to the older listeners.

from Hearing Research

Listening with an Accent: Speech Perception in a Second Language by Late Bilinguals

Abstract The goal of the present study was to examine functioning of late bilinguals in their second language. Specifically, we asked how native and non-native Hebrew speaking listeners perceive accented and native-accented Hebrew speech. To achieve this goal we used the gating paradigm to explore the ability of healthy late fluent bilinguals (Russian and Arabic native speakers) to recognize words in L2 (Hebrew) when they were spoken in an accent like their own, a native accent (Hebrew speakers), or another foreign accent (American accent).

from the Journal of Psycholinguistic Research