Sentence Context Influences the Subjective Perception of Foreign Accents
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We examined whether sentence context (the predictability of the final word) influences listeners' ratings of foreign-accented words. Previous work has demonstrated that accent manipulations affect listeners' processing of spoken language. We examined the converse of this relationship; whether context manipulations affect listeners' perceptions of accents. If there is a bidirectional relationship, listeners should be more likely to rate an accent as strong when the accented word is not predicted by the sentence. In Experiment 1, the results revealed that participants were significantly more likely to rate words spoken by foreign-accented speakers as “Strong Accent” in the unpredictable sentences when compared to the predictable sentences. Moreover, in Experiment 2, this effect was replicated and extended to a native speaker. These results support the idea that there is a bidirectional relationship between language processing and perceptions of accents. We discuss the practical implications for foreign-accented speakers.
Incera, Sara; Shah, Amee P.; McLennan, Conor T.; and Wetzel, Matthew T., "Sentence Context Influences the Subjective Perception of Foreign Accents" (2017). EKU Faculty and Staff Scholarship. 604.