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  • georgiougeorgos

Check my latest published study on the role of L1 dialect on nonnative speech perception

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Previous evidence suggests that nonnative speech perception is modulated by the speakers’ first language (L1) dialect. This study aims (a) to examine the discrimination of Dutch vowel contrasts by Greek listeners , and (b) to determine whether listeners' L1 Greek dialectal background, namely, Standard Modern Greek (SMG) and Cypriot Greek (CG), affects the discrimination of nonnative contrasts. It has been proposed that crosslinguistic similarity between L1 and nonnative sounds can predict the perception of the latter sounds. For that purpose, discrimination predictions were developed using a linear discriminant analysis (LDA), which was based on the acoustic similarity between SMG/CG and Dutch vowels and which provided quantification of the classification of nonnative vowels in terms of the listeners' L1 categories. The participants of the perceptual study were adult Greek (SMG and CG) listeners of Dutch who completed an AXB test on a PC script. The results of the discrimination test showed that three out of four contrasts signaled good discrimination, while one contrast signaled less good discrimination. Although crosslinguistic acoustic similarity was a relatively good predictor of the listeners’ nonnative discrimination patterns, it failed to provide accurate predictions for some contrasts. Another important finding was that SMG listeners did not differ from CG listeners in the discrimination of Dutch vowel contrasts. Probably, the high acoustic proximity between the vowel systems of the two varieties led listeners to employ similar acoustic properties to discriminate nonnative sounds.

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