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Faces can trick your ears: Speaker identity affects native-accented but not foreign-accented speech

Faces can trick your ears: Speaker identity affects native-accented but not foreign-accented speech
When: November 15, 2019
Where: Montreal, Canada

PIRE fellow Carly Danielson presents at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society.

Research shows that native-accented speech is easier to comprehend than foreign-accented speech. Most studies presented speech in isolation. We examined how faces cuing the speaker’s ethnicity create expectations about upcoming speech, and how this impacts the comprehension of American- and Chinese-accented English. Caucasian American monolinguals listened to American-accented and Chinese-accented sentences, preceded by a picture of an Asian face or a Caucasian face, yielding two congruent face-accent conditions (Caucasian face/American accent; Asian face/Chinese accent) and two incongruent face-accent conditions (Asian face/American-accent; Caucasian face/Chinese-accent). Immediately after hearing the sentence, listeners transcribed the sentence. For American-accented sentences, transcription accuracy was lower when preceded by an Asian face than by a Caucasian face. For Chinese-accented sentences, transcription accuracy did not differ for Caucasian and Asian faces. This indicates that faces cuing ethnicity only trick our ears in native- accented,  but  not  in  foreign-accented  speech.  Results  will  be discussed in terms of reverse linguistic stereotyping and accent-driven asymmetries in face-accent processing.

Citation: Danielson, C., Fernandez, C. B., & Van Hell, J. G. (2019). Faces can trick your ears: Speaker identity affects native-accented but not foreign-accented speech. Poster presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Montreal, Canada, November 14-17.