CHR Guest: Michelle Kapolowicz, Univ. Texas at Dallas, 4/13 11am Med Sci E

Title: The role of spectral information in perceiving foreign-accented speech

Source signals, vocal tract resonances and articulatory movements encode talker-specific spectral information that allows for appropriate adjustment of a listener’s perceptual system to the acoustic characteristics of a particular talker. This implicit learning of talker-specific properties is known as talker normalization and requires prior experience and structured knowledge about pronunciation variation across talkers that share the same native accent to guide perception. This process becomes difficult when the talker has an accent that is perceived as foreign. We tested whether listeners rely on spectral cues to a greater extent when perceiving foreign-accented speech compared to native speech either by limiting spectral resolution or by altering the fundamental frequency and spectral envelope. We found that these manipulations were much more detrimental for perceiving foreign accented speech, with an added difficulty when perceiving foreign-accented speech spoken by multiple talkers who share the same native language. These results support a model of foreign-accented speech perception that relies on spectral cues to adjust to the deviations between foreign-accented and native speech.

Date(s) - 04/13/2018
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Medical Sciences E Conference Room
UC Irvine