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Modeling language-learners' errors in understanding casual speech

Ten Bosch, L., Giezenaar, G., Boves, L., & Ernestus, M. (2016). Modeling language-learners' errors in understanding casual speech. In G. Adda, V. Barbu Mititelu, J. Mariani, D. Tufiş, & I. Vasilescu (Eds.), Errors by humans and machines in multimedia, multimodal, multilingual data processing. Proceedings of Errare 2015 (pp. 107-121). Bucharest: Editura Academiei Române.
In spontaneous conversations, words are often produced in reduced form compared to formal careful speech. In English, for instance, ’probably’ may be pronounced as ’poly’ and ’police’ as ’plice’. Reduced forms are very common, and native listeners usually do not have any problems with interpreting these reduced forms in context. Non-native listeners, however, have great difficulties in comprehending reduced forms. In order to investigate the problems in comprehension that non-native listeners experience, a dictation experiment was conducted in which sentences were presented auditorily to non-natives either in full (unreduced) or reduced form. The types of errors made by the L2 listeners reveal aspects of the cognitive processes underlying this dictation task. In addition, we compare the errors made by these human participants with the type of word errors made by DIANA, a recently developed computational model of word comprehension.
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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.

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