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Perception of speech rhythm in second language: the case of rhythmically similar L1 and L2.

Ordin M, Polyanskaya L - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: It was found that speech rhythm in L2 English produced by German learners becomes increasingly stress-timed as acquisition progresses.Advanced learners also deliver speech at a faster rate.However, when native speakers have to classify the timing patterns characteristic of L2 English of German learners at different proficiency levels, they attend to speech rate cues and ignore the differences in speech rhythm.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Fakultät für Linguistik und Literaturwissenschaft, Universität Bielefeld Bielefeld, Germany.

ABSTRACT
We investigated the perception of developmental changes in timing patterns that happen in the course of second language (L2) acquisition, provided that the native and the target languages of the learner are rhythmically similar (German and English). It was found that speech rhythm in L2 English produced by German learners becomes increasingly stress-timed as acquisition progresses. This development is captured by the tempo-normalized rhythm measures of durational variability. Advanced learners also deliver speech at a faster rate. However, when native speakers have to classify the timing patterns characteristic of L2 English of German learners at different proficiency levels, they attend to speech rate cues and ignore the differences in speech rhythm.

No MeSH data available.


Splitting the “sasasa” stimuli into two categories based on durational variability of vocalic and consonantal intervals and speech rate.
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Figure 8: Splitting the “sasasa” stimuli into two categories based on durational variability of vocalic and consonantal intervals and speech rate.

Mentions: Perception experiment was set up to investigate whether monolingual English use the differences in L2 speech timing between proficiency levels to group the utterances with different timing patterns into the same class. Although L2 speech indeed becomes increasingly more stress-timed with proficiency, native speakers of English, when asked to classify different timing patterns into separate groups, paid attention to the differences in speech rate and ignored the differences in speech rhythm between the utterances produced by the L2 learners at different proficiency levels. Faster utterances were grouped separately from slower utterances. Both groups included utterances with high and low durational variability of speech intervals. This trend is schematically illustrated on Figure 8. The sensitivity of the listeners to speech tempo is physiologically determined. The fact that listeners ignore rhythmic differences in classification can be explained by non-linguistic nature of the stimuli. Processing of “sasasa” stimuli in our experiment, assumingly, does not involve cognitive mechanisms that are employed in processing of linguistic material, and listeners pay attention to those features of the acoustic signal that have direct physiological correlates. Further research is necessary to understand whether the cognitive filter is not applied to processing these stimuli because they are not perceived as speech, or because the differences in rhythm between the stimuli are not sufficiently large to be linguistically relevant.


Perception of speech rhythm in second language: the case of rhythmically similar L1 and L2.

Ordin M, Polyanskaya L - Front Psychol (2015)

Splitting the “sasasa” stimuli into two categories based on durational variability of vocalic and consonantal intervals and speech rate.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4373255&req=5

Figure 8: Splitting the “sasasa” stimuli into two categories based on durational variability of vocalic and consonantal intervals and speech rate.
Mentions: Perception experiment was set up to investigate whether monolingual English use the differences in L2 speech timing between proficiency levels to group the utterances with different timing patterns into the same class. Although L2 speech indeed becomes increasingly more stress-timed with proficiency, native speakers of English, when asked to classify different timing patterns into separate groups, paid attention to the differences in speech rate and ignored the differences in speech rhythm between the utterances produced by the L2 learners at different proficiency levels. Faster utterances were grouped separately from slower utterances. Both groups included utterances with high and low durational variability of speech intervals. This trend is schematically illustrated on Figure 8. The sensitivity of the listeners to speech tempo is physiologically determined. The fact that listeners ignore rhythmic differences in classification can be explained by non-linguistic nature of the stimuli. Processing of “sasasa” stimuli in our experiment, assumingly, does not involve cognitive mechanisms that are employed in processing of linguistic material, and listeners pay attention to those features of the acoustic signal that have direct physiological correlates. Further research is necessary to understand whether the cognitive filter is not applied to processing these stimuli because they are not perceived as speech, or because the differences in rhythm between the stimuli are not sufficiently large to be linguistically relevant.

Bottom Line: It was found that speech rhythm in L2 English produced by German learners becomes increasingly stress-timed as acquisition progresses.Advanced learners also deliver speech at a faster rate.However, when native speakers have to classify the timing patterns characteristic of L2 English of German learners at different proficiency levels, they attend to speech rate cues and ignore the differences in speech rhythm.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Fakultät für Linguistik und Literaturwissenschaft, Universität Bielefeld Bielefeld, Germany.

ABSTRACT
We investigated the perception of developmental changes in timing patterns that happen in the course of second language (L2) acquisition, provided that the native and the target languages of the learner are rhythmically similar (German and English). It was found that speech rhythm in L2 English produced by German learners becomes increasingly stress-timed as acquisition progresses. This development is captured by the tempo-normalized rhythm measures of durational variability. Advanced learners also deliver speech at a faster rate. However, when native speakers have to classify the timing patterns characteristic of L2 English of German learners at different proficiency levels, they attend to speech rate cues and ignore the differences in speech rhythm.

No MeSH data available.