Identification and discrimination of bilingual talkers across languages

Stephen J. Winters, Susannah V. Levi, David Pisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated the extent to which language familiarity affects the perception of the indexical properties of speech by testing listeners' identification and discrimination of bilingual talkers across two different languages. In one experiment, listeners were trained to identify bilingual talkers speaking in only one language and were then tested on their ability to identify the same talkers speaking in another language. In the second experiment, listeners discriminated between bilingual talkers across languages in an AX discrimination paradigm. The results of these experiments indicate that there is sufficient language-independent indexical information in speech for listeners to generalize knowledge of talkers' voices across languages and to successfully discriminate between bilingual talkers regardless of the language they are speaking. However, the results of these studies also revealed that listeners do not solely rely on language-independent information when performing these tasks. Listeners use language-dependent indexical cues to identify talkers who are speaking a familiar language. Moreover, the tendency to perceive two talkers as the "same" or "different" depends on whether the talkers are speaking in the same language. The combined results of these experiments thus suggest that indexical processing relies on both language-dependent and language-independent information in the speech signal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4524-4538
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume123
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

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discrimination
Language
Talkers
Discrimination
cues
Listeners
tendencies
Indexicals
Experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

Cite this

Identification and discrimination of bilingual talkers across languages. / Winters, Stephen J.; Levi, Susannah V.; Pisoni, David.

In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 123, No. 6, 2008, p. 4524-4538.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Winters, Stephen J. ; Levi, Susannah V. ; Pisoni, David. / Identification and discrimination of bilingual talkers across languages. In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 2008 ; Vol. 123, No. 6. pp. 4524-4538.
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