The effect of perceived ethnicity on spoken text comprehension under clear and adverse listening conditions

  • 1 Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Deutsches Seminar – Germanistische Linguistik, Platz der Universität 3, 79098 Freiburg, Germany
  • 2 Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), Freiburg, Germany
Adriana Hanulíková
  • Corresponding author
  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Deutsches Seminar – Germanistische Linguistik, Platz der Universität 3, 79098 Freiburg, Germany
  • Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), Freiburg, Germany
  • Email
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar

Abstract

Social information such as ethnicity affects metalinguistic judgments, speech perception and evaluation. This study tested whether previously reported negative effects of perceived East-Asian ethnicity on language comprehension and accentedness ratings would also be found for Moroccan ethnicity and in a socio-cultural environment with a population used to being and communicating with nonnative speakers. The results showed that accentedness ratings and comprehension scores do not depend upon the ethnicity of the speaker. We then tested whether the effect would change under adverse listening conditions and found an effect of perceived ethnicity on accentedness ratings but not on comprehension scores, suggesting that the effect of ethnicity on language comprehension is not altered under adverse listening conditions. Effects of ethnicity on accentedness ratings thus replicate previous findings, but only under suboptimal listening conditions. Although the effect of ethnicity on comprehension was not replicated in regards to Moroccan ethnicity and in a linguistically experienced population, negative correlations between accentedness ratings and the corresponding comprehension scores underlie the contribution of listeners’ characteristics to the comprehension and evaluation of nonnative speech.

  • Babel, Molly & Jamie Russell. 2015. Expectations and speech intelligibility. Journal of Acoustical Society of America 137(5). 2823–2833.

  • Boersma, Paul & David Weenink. 2012. Praat: Doing phonetics by computer [Computer program]. Version 5.1.29, available from http://www.praat.org/.

  • Brewer, Marilynn B. 1988. A dual process model of impression formation. In R. S. Wyer & T. K. Srull (eds.), Advances in social cognition, Vol. 1, 1–36. Hilsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

  • CBS – Statistics Netherlands. 2013. Retrieved March 8th, 2013, http://www.cbs.nl/en-GB/menu/home/default.htm.

  • CBS – Statistics Netherlands. 2017. Retrieved August 3rd, 2017, http://www.cbs.nl/en-GB/menu/home/default.htm.

  • Coenders, Marcel, Marcel Lubbers, Peer Scheepers & Maykel Verkuyten. 2008. More than two decades of changing ethnic attitudes in the Netherlands. Journal of Social Issues 64(2). 269–285.

  • Davies, Alan. 2003. The native speaker: Myth and reality. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

  • Demšar, Janez. 2006. Statistical comparisons of classifiers over multiple data sets. Journal of Machine Learning Research 7. 1–30.

  • Derwing, Tracey M. & Murray J. Munro. 1997. Accent, intelligibility, and comprehensibility. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 20. 1–16.

  • EF English Proficiency Index. 2013. Retrieved from www.ef.com/epi, November 2016.

  • EF English Proficiency Index. 2016. Retrieved from www.ef.com/epi, November 2016.

  • Fiske, Susan T., Monica Lin & Steven L. Neuberg. 1999. The continuum model ten years later. In Shelly Chaiken & Yaacov Trope (eds.), Dual-process theories in social psychology, 231–254. New York: Guilford Press.

  • Friedman, Amelia. 2015. America’s lacking language skills. The Atlantic. Retrieved from www.theatlantic.com.

  • Furman, Nelly, David Goldberg & Natalia Lusin. 2007. Enrollments in languages other than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2006. MLA: The Modern Language Association of America.

  • Glock, Sabine & Sabine Krolak-Schwerdt. 2013. Does nationality matter? The impact of stereotypical expectations on student teachers’ judgments. Social Psychology of Education 16(1). 111–127.

  • Hansen, Karolina, Tamara Rakić & Melanie C. Steffens. 2014. When actions speak louder than words: Preventing discrimination of nonstandard speakers. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 33(1). 68–77.

  • Hanulíková, Adriana & Manuel Carreiras. 2015. Electrophysiology of subject-verb agreement mediated by speaker’s gender. Frontiers in Psychology: Cognition 6. 1396.

  • Hanulíková, Adriana, Petra van Alphen, Merel van Goch & Andrea Weber. 2012. When one person’s mistake is another’s standard usage: The effect of foreign accent on syntactic processing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 24(4). 878–887.

    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Hay, Jennifer, Aaron Nolan & Katie Drager. 2006a. From fush to feesh: Exemplar priming in speech perception. The Linguistic Review 23. 251–379.

  • Hay, Jennifer, Paul Warren & Katie Drager. 2006b. Factors influencing speech perception in the context of a merger-in-progress. Journal of Phonetics 34(4). 458–484.

  • Kang, Okim & Donald L. Rubin. 2009. Reverse linguistic stereotyping: Measuring the effect of listener expectations on speech evaluation. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 28. 441–456.

  • Lambert, Wallace E., Richard C. Hodgson, Robert C. Gardner & Samuel Fillenbaum. 1960. Evaluational reactions to spoken languages. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 60. 44–51.

    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Langner, Oliver, Ron Dotsch, Gijsbert Bijlstra, Ddaniel H. J. Wigboldus, Skyler T. Hawk & Ad van Knippenberg. 2010. Presentation and validation of the Radboud Faces Database. Cognition and Emotion 24(8). 1377–1388.

  • Lattner, Sonja & Angela D. Friederici. 2003. Talker’s voice and gender stereotype in human auditory sentence processing: Evidence from event-related brain potentials. Neuroscience Letters 339. 191–194.

    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Macrae, C. Neil & Galen V. Bodenhausen. 2001. Social cognition: Categorical person perception. British Journal of Psychology 92. 239–255.

  • McGowan, Kevin. B. 2015. Social expectation improves speech perception in noise. Language and Speech 58(4). 502–521.

    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Niedzielski, Nancy. 1999. The effect of social information on the perception of socio-linguistic variables. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 18(1). 62–85.

  • Rubin, Donald L. 1992. Nonlanguage factors affecting undergraduates’ judgements of nonnative English-speaking teaching assistants. Research in Higher Education 33(4). 511–531.

  • Scharinger, Mathias, Philip J. Monahan & William J. Idsardi. 2011. You had me at “Hello”: Rapid extraction of dialect information from spoken words. Neuroimage 56. 2329–2338.

    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Schalk-Soekar, Saskia R. G., Fons J. R. van de Vijver & Mariëtte Hoogsteder. 2004. Attitudes toward multiculturalism of immigrants and majority members in the Netherlands. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 28(6). 533–550.

  • Staum Casasanto, Laura. 2008. Does social information influence sentence processing? In Proceedings of 30th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Washington, D.C.

  • Sumner, Meghan, Seung Kyung Kim, Ed King & Kevin B. McGowan. 2014. The socially weighted encoding of spoken words: A dual-route approach to speech perception. Frontiers in Psychology 4. 1015.

    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Van Berkum, Jos J. A., Danielle van den Brink, Cathelijne M. J. Y. Tesink, Miriam Kos & Peter Hagoort. 2008. The neural integration of speaker and message. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 20(4). 580–591.

    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Yi, Han-Gyol, Jasmine E. B. Phelps, Rajka Smiljanic & Bharath Chandrasekaran. 2013. Reduced efficiency of audiovisual integration for nonnative speech. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 134(5). 387–393.

  • Zheng, Yi & Arthur. G. Samuel. 2017. Does seeing an Asian face make speech sound more accented? Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics 79(6). 1841–1859.

  • Zick, Andreas, Thomas F. Pettigrew & Ulrich Wagner. 2008. Ethnic prejudice and discrimination in Europe. Journal of Social Issues 64(2). 233–251.

Purchase article
Get instant unlimited access to the article.
$42.00
Log in
Already have access? Please log in.


or
Log in with your institution

Journal + Issues

Linguistics Vanguard is a new channel for high-quality articles in all major fields of linguistics. Published solely online, the multimodal journal provides an accessible platform supporting both traditional contributions as well as innovative publications featuring interactive content. Linguistics Vanguard publishes concise and up-to-date reports on the state of the art in linguistics as well as cutting-edge research papers.

Search