Faculty Publications

Title

Age and understanding speakers with Spanish or Taiwanese accents

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Perceptual and Motor Skills

Volume

97

Issue

1

First Page

11

Last Page

20

Abstract

This pilot study concerned the intelligibility of accented speech for listeners of different ages. 72 native speakers of English, representing three age groups (20-39, 40-59, 60 and older) listened to words and sentences produced by native speakers of English, Taiwanese, and Spanish. Listeners transcribed words and sentences. Listeners also rated speakers' comprehensibility, i.e., listeners' perceptions of difficulty in understanding utterances, and accentedness, i.e., how strong a speaker's foreign accent is perceived to be. On intelligibility measures, older adults had significantly greater difficulty in understanding individuals with accented speech than the other two age groups. Listeners, regardless of age, were more likely to provide correct responses if they perceived the speaker easier to understand. Ratings of comprehensibility were highly correlated with ratings of accentedness.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2003

DOI of published version

10.2466/pms.2003.97.1.11

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