The Perception of Regional Dialects and Foreign Accents by Cochlear Implant Users

Terrin N. Tamati*, David B. Pisoni, Aaron C. Moberly

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    4 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Purpose: This preliminary research examined (a) the perception of two common sources of indexical variability in speech & mdash;regional dialects and foreign accents, and (b) the relation between indexical processing and sentence recognition among prelingually deaf, long-term cochlear implant (CI) users and normal-hearing (NH) peers. Method: Forty-three prelingually deaf adolescent and adult CI users and 44 NH peers completed a regional dialect categorization task, which consisted of identifying the region of origin of an unfamiliar talker from six dialect regions of the United States. They also completed an intelligibility rating task, which consisted of rating the intelligibility of short sentences produced by native and nonnative (foreign-accented) speakers of American English on a scale from 1 (not intelligible at all) to 7 (very intelligible). Individual performance was compared to demographic factors and sentence recognition scores. Results: Both CI and NH groups demonstrated difficulty with regional dialect categorization, but NH listeners significantly outperformed the CI users. In the intelligibility rating task, both CI and NH listeners rated foreign-accented sentences as less intelligible than native sentences; however, CI users perceived smaller differences in intelligibility between native and foreign-accented sentences. Sensitivity to accent differences was related to sentence recognition accuracy in CI users. Conclusions: Prelingually deaf, long-term CI users are sensitive to accent variability in speech, but less so than NH peers. Additionally, individual differences in CI users & rsquo; sensitivity to indexical variability was related to sentence recognition abilities, suggesting a common source of difficulty in the perception and encoding of fine acoustic & ndash; phonetic details in speech.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)683-690
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Speech Language and Hearing Research
    Volume64
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb-2021

    Keywords

    • PRELINGUALLY DEAF-CHILDREN
    • FAMILIAR VOICE RECOGNITION
    • SPECTRAL RESOLUTION
    • NORMAL-HEARING
    • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
    • TALKER DISCRIMINATION
    • SPEECH RECOGNITION
    • VARIABILITY
    • CATEGORIZATION
    • LISTENERS

    Cite this