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Academic Paper

Title: Phonological memory, attention control, and musical ability: Effects of individual differences on rater judgments of second language speech
Author: Talia Isaacs
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Bristol
Author: Pavel Trofimovich
Institution: Concordia University
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This study examines how listener judgments of second language speech relate to individual differences in listeners’ phonological memory, attention control, and musical ability. Sixty native English listeners (30 music majors, 30 nonmusic majors) rated 40 nonnative speech samples for accentedness, comprehensibility, and fluency. The listeners were also assessed for phonological memory (serial recognition), attention control (trail making), and musical aptitude. Results showed that music majors assigned significantly lower scores than nonmusic majors solely for accentedness, particularly for low ability second language speakers. However, the ratings were not significantly affected by individual differences in listeners’ phonological memory and attention control, which implies that these factors do not bias listeners’ subjective judgments of speech. Implications for psycholinguistic research and for high-stakes speaking assessments are discussed.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 32, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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