Non-native accented speech is typically less intelligible and less fluent than native speech, but it is unclear how these factors interact to influence perceived speech quality. To investigate this question, the speech of 20 non-native speakers of English varying in proficiency and native language was evaluated. Subjective measures of speech quality (listening effort, acceptability, and intelligibility) were compared to objective measures of word recognition by native listeners, and to acoustic measures of fluency and of segmental and suprasegmental properties related to intelligibility. Results showed that subjective quality measures were highly related to one another and to word recognition and were most strongly predicted by measures of fluency. Segmental and suprasegmental measures did not predict word recognition or subjective speech quality. There was also an interaction between the effects of proficiency and speaker's native language on word recognition, but this did not extend to subjective measures. Finally, listeners who first heard high-proficiency speakers gave overall lower subjective quality ratings but there was no interaction between proficiency and presentation order. Multivariate analyses suggest that factors related to speaking rate, including pause duration, have the greatest effect on measures of acceptability, intelligibility, and listening effort. [Work supported by Purdue Linguistics and Purdue Research Foundation.]
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April 01 2014
The relationship between fluency, intelligibility, and acceptability of non-native spoken English
J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 135, 2227 (2014)
Mengxi Lin, Alexander L. Francis; The relationship between fluency, intelligibility, and acceptability of non-native spoken English. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 April 2014; 135 (4_Supplement): 2227. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4877285
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