Beyond rating data
What do listeners believe underlies their accentedness judgments?
The accentedness judgment task is widely used in the study of second language speech, and has proven to elicit remarkably reliable ratings across listeners. Despite this reliability, however, we know little about how listeners arrive at accentedness ratings. In the present study we seek to illuminate the role that listener attitudes and expectations play in assessments of accentedness by probing listeners’ explicit criteria for the judgments. We asked ten native English listeners to rate the accentedness of five native Bosnian and five native English speakers, and then to justify their ratings in a semi-structured interview. Analysis of the interview data indicates that despite the elegance of quantitative accentedness data and its remarkable reliability, it appears that when making accentedness judgments, listeners may activate a complex set of attitudes and expectations about speakers that go far beyond a straightforward bottom-up analysis of the speech signal.
Keywords: Non-native accent, English as a second language, Bosnian, accentedness judgments
Published online: 30 March 2015
Cited by 13 other publications
Bent, Tessa, Eriko Atagi, Amal Akbik & Emma Bonifield
Crowther, Dustin, Pavel Trofimovich & Talia Isaacs
Foote, Jennifer A. & Pavel Trofimovich
Mok, Peggy Pik Ki, Albert Lee, Joanne Jingwen Li & Robert Bo Xu
O’Brien, Mary Grantham
Susan, Spezzini, Franks Suzanne & Diane Carter
Tsunemoto, Aki, Rachael Lindberg, Pavel Trofimovich & Kim Mcdonough
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