Processing changes when listening to foreign-accented speech

Romero Rivas, Carlos, Martin, C.D and Costa, A (2015) Processing changes when listening to foreign-accented speech. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9. pp. 1-15. ISSN 1662-5161 DOI https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00167

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Abstract

This study investigates the mechanisms responsible for fast changes in processing foreign-accented speech. Event Related brain Potentials (ERPs) were obtained while native speakers of Spanish listened to native and foreign-accented speakers of Spanish. We observed a less positive P200 component for foreign-accented speech relative to native speech comprehension. This suggests that the extraction of spectral information and other important acoustic features was hampered during foreign-accented speech comprehension. However, the amplitude of the N400 component for foreign-accented speech comprehension decreased across the experiment, suggesting the use of a higher level, lexical mechanism. Furthermore, during native speech comprehension, semantic violations in the critical words elicited an N400 effect followed by a late positivity. During foreign-accented speech comprehension, semantic violations only elicited an N400 effect. Overall, our results suggest that, despite a lack of improvement in phonetic discrimination, native listeners experience changes at lexical-semantic levels of processing after brief exposure to foreign-accented speech. Moreover, these results suggest that lexical access, semantic integration and linguistic re-analysis processes are permeable to external factors, such as the accent of the speaker.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article 167
Uncontrolled Keywords: ERPs, foreign-accented speech, adaptation, perceptual learning, lexical-semantic processing, P200, N400, P600
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Psychology
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2017 15:23
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/9614

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