The non-native consonant challenge for European languages

GarcĂ­a Lecumberri, M. L., Cooke, M., Cutugno, F., Giurgiu, M., Meyer, B. T., Scharenborg, O., Van Dommelen, W., & Volin, J. (2008). The non-native consonant challenge for European languages. In INTERSPEECH 2008 - 9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 1781-1784). ISCA Archive.
This paper reports on a multilingual investigation into the effects of different masker types on native and non-native perception in a VCV consonant recognition task. Native listeners outperformed 7 other language groups, but all groups showed a similar ranking of maskers. Strong first language (L1) interference was observed, both from the sound system and from the L1 orthography. Universal acoustic-perceptual tendencies are also at work in both native and non-native sound identifications in noise. The effect of linguistic distance, however, was less clear: in large multilingual studies, listener variables may overpower other factors.
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