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LINGUIST List 20.4285

Sun Dec 13 2009

Diss: Phonetics: Holm: 'Intonational and Durational Contributions...'

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        1.    Snefrid Holm, Intonational and Durational Contributions to the Perception of Foreign-accented Norwegian: An experimental phonetic investigation

Message 1: Intonational and Durational Contributions to the Perception of Foreign-accented Norwegian: An experimental phonetic investigation
Date: 11-Dec-2009
From: Snefrid Holm <snefrid.holmhf.ntnu.no>
Subject: Intonational and Durational Contributions to the Perception of Foreign-accented Norwegian: An experimental phonetic investigation
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Institution: Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Program: Department of Speech and Communication Studies
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Snefrid Holm

Dissertation Title: Intonational and Durational Contributions to the Perception of Foreign-accented Norwegian: An experimental phonetic investigation

Dissertation URL: http://ask.bibsys.no/ask/action/show?pid=082848726&kid=biblio

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics

Dissertation Director:
Willem Arie van Dommelen
Ann Rosalie Bradlow

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis presents two experiments investigating the relative
contributions of intonational and durational aspects of Norwegian as a
second language to native listeners' perceptions in terms of degree of
foreign accent and intelligibility. The speech corpus consisted of one
native Norwegian (N1) and 14 non-native (N2) speakers from various first
languages (L1s) reading the same sentences. There were two N2 speakers from
each of the 7 L1s English, French, Tamil, Chinese (Mandarin), Russian,
German, and Persian. The N2 utterances were manipulated in the Praat
program to match the intonation and duration of the N1 utterance,
generating duration manipulated utterances (D), intonation manipulated
utterances (I) and intonation-duration manipulated utterances (ID).
Manipulated and original N2 utterances were presented to native Norwegian
listeners in perception experiments. The first experiment investigated the
manipulations' impacts on degree of foreign accent. This experiment used
utterances of one sentence. 13 listeners were presented with pairs of N2
utterances, each pair consisting of a manipulated and an original utterance
from the same speaker. The results showed that the D and I manipulations
each reduced the degree of foreign accent for all L1 groups, except for the
English and German groups. Subsequent analyses showed that the duration
manipulation effect was due to articulation rate and consonant durations.
The second experiment investigated the effect of the manipulations on
native listeners' intelligibility of foreign-accented speech. In this
experiment 3 sentences from each speaker were used, amounting to a total of
6 sentences per L1 group and a total of 42 sentences across all L1 groups.
Each N2 utterance was mixed with pink noise to avoid ceiling and floor
effects. 103 listeners wrote down the words they perceived in each N2
utterance. The impact of the manipulations was measured as the difference
in word identification scores across original and manipulated forms of the
same sentence. The experiment was designed to eliminate the impact of
listener differences. The results showed that intelligibility was enhanced
only by the intonation manipulation for the English and German L1 groups,
and only by the duration manipulation for the French, Tamil and Persian
groups. Subsequent analyses showed that the intonation manipulation effects
may have been affected by the steepness of F0 slopes in unstressed
syllables. The results from both experiments were analyzed across speakers
from the same L1, based on the assumption that speakers sharing an L1 will
be similarly affected by the manipulations. However, speakers from the same
L1 did not always show the same manipulation effects. Moreover, the results
showed some indications of possible intra-speaker effects such that one
speaker from a particular L1 may consistently gain most from one
manipulation while another speaker from the same L1 consistently gain most
from a different manipulation. These findings call for future research
utilizing a greater number of speakers from each L1 as well as more
material from each speaker.



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