Identification and response latencies for Mandarin-accented isolated words in quiet and in noise

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Source

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America




4, Pt 2

Inclusive pages



doi 10.1121/1.4900026


This study compared the intelligibility of native and foreign-accented American English speechpresented in quiet and mixed with two different levels of background noise. Two native American English speakers and two native Mandarin Chinese speakers for whom English is a second language read three 50-word lists of phonetically balanced words (Stuart, 2004). The words were mixed with noise at three different signal-to-noise levels—no noise (quiet), SNR + 10 dB (signal 10 dB louder than noise) and SNR 0 (signal and noise at equal loudness). These stimuli were presented to ten native American English listeners who were simply asked to repeat the words they heard the speakers say. Listener response latencies were measured. The results showed that for both native and accented speech, response latencies increased as the noise level increased. For words identified correctly, response times to accented speech were longer than for native speech but the noise conditions affected both types equally. For words judged incorrectly, however, the noise conditions increased latencies for accented speech more than for native speech. Overall, these results support the notion that processing accentedspeech requires more cognitive effort than processing native speech.


Communication Sciences and Disorders | Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology


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