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Language and Speech

Miriam Baigorri, Luca Campanelli, Erika S Levy
Increasing numbers of Hispanic immigrants are entering the US and learning American-English (AE) as a second language (L2). Previous studies investigating the relationship between AE and Spanish vowels have revealed an advantage for early L2 learners for their accuracy of L2 vowel perception. Replicating and extending such previous research, this study examined the patterns with which early and late Spanish-English bilingual adults assimilated naturally-produced AE vowels to their native vowel inventory and the accuracy with which they discriminated the vowels...
October 25, 2018: Language and Speech
Juan Zhang, Timothy Teo, Chenggang Wu
Emotion words modulate conflict processing, even at an early stage (i.e., N200). However, the previous studies implicitly mixed emotion-label words and emotion-laden words together and mostly concentrated on first language (L1) rather than on second language (L2). The current study aimed to investigate whether L2 negative emotion-label words, negative emotion-laden words, and neutral words would affect conflict processing in a flanker task by using event-related potential (ERP) measurements. Twenty Chinese-English bilinguals completed a modified flanker task to decide the color of the target words...
October 24, 2018: Language and Speech
Julia Krebs, Ronnie B Wilbur, Phillip M Alday, Dietmar Roehm
Previous studies of Austrian Sign Language (ÖGS) word-order variations have demonstrated the human processing system's tendency to interpret a sentence-initial (case-) ambiguous argument as the subject of the clause ("subject preference"). The electroencephalogram study motivating the current report revealed earlier reanalysis effects for object-subject compared to subject-object sentences, in particular, before the start of the movement of the agreement marking sign. The effects were bound to time points prior to when both arguments were referenced in space and/or the transitional hand movement prior to producing the disambiguating sign...
October 24, 2018: Language and Speech
Kimiko Tsukada, Mariko Kondo
This study examines the perception of Mandarin lexical tones by native speakers of Burmese who use lexical tones in their first language (L1) but are naïve to Mandarin. Unlike Mandarin tones, which are primarily cued by pitch, Burmese tones are cued by phonation type as well as pitch. The question of interest is whether Burmese listeners can utilize their L1 experience in processing unfamiliar Mandarin tones. Burmese listeners' discrimination accuracy was compared with that of Mandarin listeners and Australian English listeners...
October 20, 2018: Language and Speech
Miquel Llompart, Eva Reinisch
This study investigated the relationship between imitation and both the perception and production abilities of second language (L2) learners for two non-native contrasts differing in their expected degree of difficulty. German learners of English were tested on perceptual categorization, imitation and a word reading task for the difficult English /ɛ/-/æ/ contrast, which tends not to be well encoded in the learners' phonological inventories, and the easy, near-native /i/-/ɪ/ contrast. As expected, within-task comparisons between contrasts revealed more robust perception and better differentiation during production for /i/-/ɪ/ than /ɛ/-/æ/...
October 15, 2018: Language and Speech
Annie Tremblay, Elsa Spinelli, Caitlin E Coughlin, Jui Namjoshi
This study investigates whether syntactic cues take precedence over distributional cues in native and non-native speech segmentation by examining native and non-native speech segmentation in potential French-liaison contexts. Native French listeners and English-speaking second-language learners of French completed a visual-world eye-tracking experiment. Half the stimuli contained the pivotal consonant /t/, a frequent word onset but infrequent liaison consonant, and half contained /z/, a frequent liaison consonant but rare word onset...
September 25, 2018: Language and Speech
Lan-Fen Huang
This corpus-based study examines the widely-used discourse marker well in Chinese-speaking learners' speech and compares its frequencies in native speaker data and Swedish learners. While Swedish learners overuse well, Chinese-speaking learners (predominantly at the upper-intermediate level) significantly underuse it. The positions and functions of well are further examined using a functional framework. One-fourth of the Chinese-speaking learners who use well manipulate its positions in utterances in a similar way to native speakers...
September 20, 2018: Language and Speech
Katharina Korecky-Kröll, Neriman Dobek, Verena Blaschitz, Sabine Sommer-Lolei, Monika Boniecki, Kumru Uzunkaya-Sharma, Wolfgang U Dressler
Phonological working memory capacity, vocabulary size, and narrative competence are important skills in children's L1 and L2 acquisition, which may vary as a function of their language background and socioeconomic status (SES). We investigated test data of 56 typically developing 4-year-old kindergarten children from two SES and two language backgrounds: 29 children (15 higher SES, 14 lower SES) were monolingual German-speaking, and 27 children (14 higher SES, 13 lower SES) were successive Turkish-German bilinguals...
September 17, 2018: Language and Speech
Jesse A Harris, Katy Carlson
We compare the roles of overt accent and default focus marking in processing ellipsis structures headed by focus-sensitive coordinators (such as Danielle couldn't pass the quiz, let alone the final/Kayla). In a small auditory corpus study of radio transcripts, we establish that such structures overwhelmingly occur with contrastive pitch accents on the correlate and remnant ( the quiz and the final, or Danielle and Kayla), and that there is a strong bias to pair the remnant with the most local plausible correlate in production...
September 2018: Language and Speech
Erin Conwell
In natural production, adults differentiate homophones prosodically as a function of the frequency of their intended meaning. This study compares adult and child productions of homophones to determine whether prosodic differentiation of homophones changes over development. Using a picture-based story-completion paradigm, isolated tokens of homophones were elicited from English-learning children and adult native English speakers. These tokens were measured for duration, vowel duration, pitch, pitch range, and vowel quality...
September 2018: Language and Speech
Miquel Llompart, Miquel Simonet
This study investigates the production and auditory lexical processing of words involved in a patterned phonological alternation in two dialects of Catalan spoken on the island of Majorca, Spain. One of these dialects, that of Palma, merges /ɔ/ and /o/ as [o] in unstressed position, and it maintains /u/ as an independent category, [u]. In the dialect of Sóller, a small village, speakers merge unstressed /ɔ/, /o/, and /u/ to [u]. First, a production study asks whether the discrete, rule-based descriptions of the vowel alternations provided in the dialectological literature are able to account adequately for these processes: are mergers complete? Results show that mergers are complete with regards to the main acoustic cue to these vowel contrasts, that is, F1...
September 2018: Language and Speech
Yuki Asano
The present study examines how vulnerable perception of second language prosody is to increased task demands. German learners of Japanese, German non-learners without exposure to Japanese, and Japanese native listeners were tested in their ability to discriminate consonant length contrasts (compared to vowel length contrasts that served as a control condition). Memory load was increased by a longer inter-stimulus interval (2500 ms compared to 300 ms) and the demand on attention control was enhanced through the addition of the acoustic complexity of the stimuli (i...
September 2018: Language and Speech
Eun Jong Kong, Hyunjung Lee
Previous research has shown differential degrees of attention in processing hierarchical linguistic information where higher order cues require greater attention in speech processing. The current study investigated the influence of attentional resources on acoustic cue weightings in speech perception by examining Korean listeners' identifications of the three-way laryngeal stops (tense vs. lax vs. aspirated). Using a dual-task paradigm, we presented 28 adult Korean listeners with identification tasks blocked by no-distractor versus distractor conditions where arithmetic calculations distracted the listeners' speech processing...
September 2018: Language and Speech
Marco van de Ven, Mirjam Ernestus
In natural conversations, words are generally shorter and they often lack segments. It is unclear to what extent such durational and segmental reductions affect word recognition. The present study investigates to what extent reduction in the initial syllable hinders word comprehension, which types of segments listeners mostly rely on, and whether listeners use word duration as a cue in word recognition. We conducted three experiments in Dutch, in which we adapted the gating paradigm to study the comprehension of spontaneously uttered conversational speech by aligning the gates with the edges of consonant clusters or vowels...
September 2018: Language and Speech
Niamh E Kelly, Rajka Smiljanić
The perception of the lexical pitch accents was examined in the Trøndersk dialect of Norwegian. Based on a production study, a categorization of stimuli with manipulated pitch contours was conducted. The experiment tested which acoustic cues (height and alignment of fundamental frequency (F0) minimum, and alignment of F0 maximum and turning point from maximum to minimum) are necessary for the perception of the tonal contrast. The results are consistent with the production findings in that changes in all of the examined acoustic cues contributed to the shift in accent categorization...
September 2018: Language and Speech
Sha Tao, Yingyue Chen, Wenjing Wang, Qi Dong, Su-Hyun Jin, Chang Liu
The identification of English consonants in quiet and multi-talker babble was examined for three groups of young adult listeners: Chinese in China, Chinese in the USA (CNU), and English-native listeners. As expected, native listeners outperformed non-native listeners. The two non-native groups had similar performance in quiet, whereas CNU listeners performed significantly better than Chinese in China listeners in babble. It is concluded that CNU listeners may benefit from English experience, for example, better use of temporal variation in noise and better capacity against informational masking, to perceive English consonants better in babble...
August 2, 2018: Language and Speech
Hyunjung Lee, Allard Jongman
Both segmental and suprasegmental properties of the South Kyungsang dialect of Korean have changed under the influence of standard Seoul Korean. This study examines how such sound change affects acoustic cues to the three-way laryngeal contrast among Korean stops across Kyungsang generations through a comparison with Seoul Korean. Thirty-nine female Korean speakers differing in dialect (Kyungsang, Seoul) and age (older, younger) produced words varying in initial stops and lexical accent patterns, for which voice onset time and fundamental frequency (F0) at vowel onset were measured...
July 1, 2018: Language and Speech
Jeffrey J Holliday
Previous studies have shown that non-native speakers of Korean not only have difficulty producing the word-initial three-way stop contrast, but also exhibit a wide range of production patterns. Because these studies have only investigated native (L1) speakers of English and Mandarin and given the overall paucity of research on non-native Korean, it is not yet clear how dependent these findings are on the particular native language under investigation. The current paper reinforces our empirical grounding via extension to L1 speakers of Japanese...
July 1, 2018: Language and Speech
Kristin M Pelczarski, Anna Tendera, Matthew Dye, Torrey M Loucks
Stuttering is a multifactorial disorder that is characterized by disruptions in the forward flow of speech believed to be caused by differences in the motor and linguistic systems. Several psycholinguistic theories of stuttering suggest that delayed or disrupted phonological encoding contributes to stuttered speech. However, phonological encoding remains difficult to measure without controlling for the involvement of the speech-motor system. Eye-tracking is proposed to be a reliable approach for measuring phonological encoding duration while controlling for the influence of speech production...
July 1, 2018: Language and Speech
Yu-Fu Chien, Allard Jongman
Taiwanese tonal alternation is realized in a circular chain shift fashion for both smooth and checked syllables. Debate regarding the processes of less productive Taiwanese tonal alternation has centered on whether a surface tone is derived from an underlying tone, or whether a surface tone is selected without undergoing any derivation. The current study investigates this controversial issue by examining Taiwanese checked tone and smooth tone sandhi neutralization in production. In particular, we analyzed whether checked citation and sandhi tone 53 (C21→C53), checked citation and sandhi tone 21 (C53→C21), smooth citation and sandhi tone 55 (S51→S55), and smooth citation and sandhi tone 21 (S33→S21) are acoustically completely neutralized in fundamental frequency (F0) height, contour, and duration...
July 1, 2018: Language and Speech
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