research data . Dataset . 2021

The presence of a foreign accent introduces lexical integration difficulties during late semantic processing

Gosselin, Leah; Martin, Clara D.; Navarra-Barindelli, Eugenia; Caffarra, Sendy;
  • Published: 01 Jan 2021
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Previous research suggests that native listeners may be more tolerant to syntactic errors when they are produced in a foreign accent. However, studies investigating this topic within the semantic domain remain conflicting. The current study examined the effects of mispronunciations leading to semantic abnormality in foreign-accented speech. While their EEG was recorded, native speakers of Spanish listened to semantically correct and incorrect sentences produced by another native speaker and a native speaker of Chinese. The anomaly in the incorrect sentences was caused by a subtle mispronunciation (typical or atypical in Chinese-accented Spanish) during a critical word production. While initial-stage semantic processing yielded no accent-specific differences, late processing revealed a persistent N400-effect in the foreign-accent but not in the native-accent. These findings suggest that foreign-accented mispronunciations are more difficult to integrate than native-accented errors, regardless of their relative typicality. The distinction between syntactic and semantic processing of foreign-accented speech is discussed.
free text keywords: Biochemistry, Sociology, FOS: Sociology, 69999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified, FOS: Biological sciences, Science Policy, 111714 Mental Health, FOS: Health sciences
  • Science and Innovation Policy Studies
Funded by
Engaging Grammar and Visual Networks
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 837228
  • Funding stream: H2020 | MSCA-IF-GF
  • Funder: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
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