Age and understanding speakers with Spanish or Taiwanese accents
Perceptual and Motor Skills
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
DOI of published version
Burda, Angela N.; Hageman, Carlin F.; Scherz, Julie A.; and Edwards, Harold T., "Age and understanding speakers with Spanish or Taiwanese accents" (2003). Faculty Publications. 3309.