You are here: Home Publications Relative difficulty of understanding foreign accents as a marker of proficiency

Relative difficulty of understanding foreign accents as a marker of proficiency

Lev-Ari, S., van Heugten, M., & Peperkamp, S. (2017). Relative difficulty of understanding foreign accents as a marker of proficiency. Cognitive Science, 41(4), 1106-1118. doi:10.1111/cogs.12394.
Foreign-accented speech is generally harder to understand than native-accented speech. This difficulty is reduced for non-native listeners who share their first language with the non-native speaker. It is currently unclear, however, how non-native listeners deal with foreign-accented speech produced by speakers of a different language. We show that the process of (second) language acquisition is associated with an increase in the relative difficulty of processing foreign-accented speech. Therefore, experiencing greater relative difficulty with foreign-accented speech compared with native speech is a marker of language proficiency. These results contribute to our understanding of how phonological categories are acquired during second language learning.
About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213
E-mail:   


Public Outreach Officer
Charlotte Horn