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Lecture | LACG Meetings

Listening in a non-native language in the presence of background noise

  • Odette Scharenborg (TU Delft)
Thursday 14 November 2019
LACG Meetings
Van Wijkplaats
Van Wijkplaats 3
2311 BX Leiden


Most people will have noticed that communication in the presence of background noise is more difficult in a non-native than in the native language - even for those who have a high proficiency in the non-native language involved. Why is that? I will present results of several experiments investigating the effect of background noise on the multiple activation, competition and recognition processes in non-native spoken-word recognition, and the perception of sentence accent in non-native listening. The results support the hypothesis that the performance differences between native and non-native listeners in the presence of background noise is, at least partially, caused by a reduced flexibility of the perceptual system during non-native listening and a reduced exploitation of higher-level information during speech processing by non-native listeners.

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