Adapting to lexical stress in a foreign accent

Reinisch, E., & Weber, A. (2011). Adapting to lexical stress in a foreign accent. In W.-S. Lee, & E. Zee (Eds.), Proceedings of the 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences 2011 [ICPhS XVII] (pp. 1678-1681). Hong Kong: Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong.
An exposure-test paradigm was used to examine whether Dutch listeners can adapt their perception to non-canonical marking of lexical stress in Hungarian-accented Dutch. During exposure, one group of listeners heard only words with correct initial stress, while another group also heard examples of unstressed initial syllables that were marked by high pitch, a possible stress cue in Dutch. Subsequently, listeners’ eye movements to target-competitor pairs with segmental overlap but different stress patterns were tracked while hearing Hungarian-accented Dutch. Listeners who had heard non-canonically produced words previously distinguished target-competitor pairs faster than listeners who had only been exposed to canonical forms before. This suggests that listeners can adapt quickly to speaker-specific realizations of non-canonical lexical stress.
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