L2 Speech Perception
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I recently posted a question about L2 speech perception in noise. (In
Linguist 11.587) Due to our local system failure which lasted for some time,
some of the response mails were bounced back to the senders or simply lost.
Please accept my apologies if your name, even if you sent me a message, is
not included in the list of those who replied to me:
Carol M. Johnson (email@example.com)
Ron Sheen (Ronald_Sheen@uqtr.uquebec.ca)
Michelle Minnick Fox (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mikael Parkvall (email@example.com)
Herman Li (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ewa Latecka (email@example.com)
Debra M. Hardison(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Robert H. McAllister (email@example.com)
I am really grateful to everyone!
First this phenomenon has been investigated and confirmed in several papers
and dissertations; certainly it was not our imagination. James Jenkins
suggests that the phenomenon presumably reflects the tenuous grasp that L2
listeners have on the signal (i.e., the fact that they do not have full
access to ALL of the covariation [redundancy] in the signal that helps the
normal listener when listening to his/her own language.) , and this view is
shared by other people, such as Ron Sheen and Ewa Latecka.
The main papers (and the papers dealing with relevant topics) whose full
reference I managed to trace are as follows:
Takata, Y. & Nabelek, A. (1990) "English consonant recognition in noise and
in reverberation by Japanese and American listeners." JASA 88, 663-666
Florentine, M. (1985) "Speech perception in noise by fluent, non-native
listeners." Proceedings of Inter-noise 1985, 1021-1024
Mayo, L., Florentine, M., & Buus, S. (1997). "Age of Second Language
Acquisition and Perception of Speech in Noise." Journal of speech, Language,
and Hearing Research, 40, 686-693
Munro, M. (1998) "The effects of Noise on the Intelligibility of
Foreign-Accented Speech" Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 20, 139-154.
Hardison, D.M. (1996) "Bimodal Speech Perception by Native and Nonnative
Speakers of English: Factors Influencing the McGurk Effect." Language
Learning, 46, 3-73
Furthermore, there are unconfirmed papers/studies. Robert H. McAllister has
recently done the research on the very topic, using native AmeE/Spanish
speakers learning Swedish as L2 and found that comprehension S/N ratio
threshold was different between L2 learners and native speakers. We asked him
to send us his latest paper by snail airmail, and unfortunately it has not
arrived to me so far (probably, being a snail mail, it is now on the way)
Please mail me later if you want to know the full reference of this paper.
Carol M Johnson just completed a study for her PhD dissertation (1999) that
included L2 perception in noise, but her dissertation is being hard-bound by
UMI now and I could not obtain it. Also Amee Shah suggested that one of her
colleagues at CUNY studies the same topic for her unpublished Ph.D
dissertation, and that I should check the reference in Dissertation Abstracts,
Levine 1999, City University of New York.
James Jenkins and Amee Shah suggested some study done by A. Boothroyd (or
Boothroid), probably published in 1997/1998, although I could not find out
Finally I thank those who send their personal experience / anecdotal evidence.
I do not have a space here to discuss them, but they are very interesting.
I hope this summary will be useful to those who are interested in this
Shinichi TOKUMA (Dr)
Dept of English Language and Literature,
Sagami Women's University,
2-1-1, Bunkyo, Sagami-hara, 228-8533,
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