Effects of room acoustics on comprehension of foreign-accented speech by native and non-native English-speaking listeners

Zhao Peng, Kristin E. Hanna, Brenna N. Boyd, Lily M. Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

In a previous study by the authors, reverberation time (RT) and background noise level (BNL) were both found to have negative effects on native and non-native English-speaking listeners in comprehending English speech produced by native American-English-speaking talkers. Comprehension scores were adjusted for listeners' baseline English proficiency levels. In the present study, instead of native English-speaking talkers, two native Mandarin Chinese talkers (one male, one female) with similar English spoken proficiency were recruited to produce the same speech materials used in the previous study. A similar methodology was adopted to conduct speech comprehension tests on three groups of listeners: 1) native American-English, 2) native Mandarin Chinese and 3) other non-native English. The listeners' performance on foreign-accented speech comprehension is investigated under 15 acoustic conditions, created from five levels of RT (0.4 to 1.2 seconds) and three levels of BNL (RC-30, 40 and 50). Does a talker having a foreign accent change the results amongst the different listener groups in comprehending English speech under adverse acoustic conditions? Comparisons are made with the previous study, which showed that the negative impacts of RT and BNL varied between native and non-native listener groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationINTERNOISE 2014 - 43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationImproving the World Through Noise Control
EditorsJohn Davy, Marion Burgess, Charles Don, Liz Dowsett, Terry McMinn, Norm Broner
PublisherAustralian Acoustical Society
ISBN (Electronic)9780909882037
StatePublished - 2014
Event43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering: Improving the World Through Noise Control, INTERNOISE 2014 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: Nov 16 2014Nov 19 2014

Publication series

NameINTERNOISE 2014 - 43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering: Improving the World Through Noise Control

Conference

Conference43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering: Improving the World Through Noise Control, INTERNOISE 2014
CountryAustralia
CityMelbourne
Period11/16/1411/19/14

Keywords

  • Background noise
  • Classroom acoustics
  • Foreign-accent
  • Non-native
  • Reverberation
  • Speech comprehension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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