Processing time and comprehensibility judgments in non-native listeners’ perception of L2 speech
This study investigated the relationship between processing time and comprehensibility judgments in non-native listeners’ perception of L2 speech as a function of an L1- match between speaker and listener and non-native listeners’ proficiency. Instructed L2-English learners differing in L1 (Catalan, German) and L2-proficiency (Low, High), and native-English listeners performed speeded speech processing tasks with English word and sentence stimuli spoken by L1-Catalan, L1-German and native English speakers, and rated the sentence stimuli for comprehensibility. The results showed significant moderate correlations between processing times and comprehensibility judgments mediated by an interaction between listeners’ L1 and their L2 proficiency. Non-native English was processed faster and judged to be more comprehensible by non-native listeners if produced by L1-matched speakers. When non-native English was produced by L1-matched speakers, low-proficiency listeners found it easier to process and understand than native English, whereas high-proficiency listeners showed a processing advantage over native English listeners
Keywords: processing time, comprehensibility, accent, L2 proficiency, L2 speech, non-native listeners
Published online: 04 December 2017
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