14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Perception of Casual Speech in a Foreign Language

Linda Shockey

The University of Reading, UK

Previous experiments with gated speech have shown that native speakers of English are very skillful at interpreting informal English phrases containing conversational speech reductions. Results suggest that they have (at least) two modes of parsing an incoming signal: a local mode in which immediate phonetic/ phonological environment is taken into account and a global mode in which the entire utterance is scanned for coherence. The former is used most frequently when perceiving one's own language, but the latter is available for interpretation of unclear input. When non-native speakers of English are presented with the same gated English sentences, their interpretations are surprisingly inaccurate and appear to reflect much greater use of global scanning than is found in the native speakers. The present paper asks ‘Do nonnatives do better on natural speech containing only simple vocabulary?’

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Shockey, Linda (1999): "Perception of casual speech in a foreign language", In ICPhS-14, 1441-1442.