Sample records for german native speakers

  1. Accent, Intelligibility, and the Role of the Listener: Perceptions of English-Accented German by Native German Speakers (United States)

    Hayes-Harb, Rachel; Watzinger-Tharp, Johanna


    We explore the relationship between accentedness and intelligibility, and investigate how listeners' beliefs about nonnative speech interact with their accentedness and intelligibility judgments. Native German speakers and native English learners of German produced German sentences, which were presented to 12 native German speakers in accentedness…

  2. Does verbatim sentence recall underestimate the language competence of near-native speakers?

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    Judith eSchweppe


    Full Text Available Verbatim sentence recall is widely used to test the language competence of native and non-native speakers since it involves comprehension and production of connected speech. However, we assume that, to maintain surface information, sentence recall relies particularly on attentional resources, which differentially affects native and non-native speakers. Since even in near-natives language processing is less automatized than in native speakers, processing a sentence in a foreign language plus retaining its surface may result in a cognitive overload. We contrasted sentence recall performance of German native speakers with that of highly proficient non-natives. Non-natives recalled the sentences significantly poorer than the natives, but performed equally well on a cloze test. This implies that sentence recall underestimates the language competence of good non-native speakers in mixed groups with native speakers. The findings also suggest that theories of sentence recall need to consider both its linguistic and its attentional aspects.

  3. Apology Strategy in English By Native Speaker

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    Mezia Kemala Sari


    Full Text Available This research discussed apology strategies in English by native speaker. This descriptive study was presented within the framework of Pragmatics based on the forms of strategies due to the coding manual as found in CCSARP (Cross-Cultural Speech Acts Realization Project.The goals of this study were to describe the apology strategies in English by native speaker and identify the influencing factors of it. Data were collected through the use of the questionnaire in the form of Discourse Completion Test, which was distributed to 30 native speakers. Data were classified based on the degree of familiarity and the social distance between speaker and hearer and then the data of native will be separated and classified by the type of strategies in coding manual. The results of this study are the pattern of apology strategies of native speaker brief with the pattern that potentially occurs IFID plus Offer of repair plus Taking on responsibility. While Alerters, Explanation and Downgrading appear with less number of percentage. Then, the factors that influence the apology utterance by native speakers are the social situation, the degree of familiarity and degree of the offence which more complicated the mistake tend to produce the most complex utterances by the speaker.

  4. Native Speakers' Perception of Non-Native English Speech (United States)

    Jaber, Maysa; Hussein, Riyad F.


    This study is aimed at investigating the rating and intelligibility of different non-native varieties of English, namely French English, Japanese English and Jordanian English by native English speakers and their attitudes towards these foreign accents. To achieve the goals of this study, the researchers used a web-based questionnaire which…

  5. Native Speakers in Linguistic Imperialism

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    Phillipson, Robert


    An investigation of Native English Speaking Teachers’ performance in schemes in six Asian contexts, commissioned by the British Council, and undertaken by three British academics, is subjected to critical evaluation. Key issues for exploration are the issue of a monolingual approach to English le...... the economic and geopolitical agenda behind this English teaching business, there is clear evidence of linguistic imperialism in the functions of this global professional service. These activities serve to strengthen Western interests.......An investigation of Native English Speaking Teachers’ performance in schemes in six Asian contexts, commissioned by the British Council, and undertaken by three British academics, is subjected to critical evaluation. Key issues for exploration are the issue of a monolingual approach to English...... learning and teaching, and the inappropriate qualifications of those sent to education systems when they are unfamiliar with the learners’ languages, cultures, and pedagogical traditions. Whether the schemes involved constitute linguistic imperialismis analysed. Whereas the need for multilingual competence...

  6. Effects of Language Background on Gaze Behavior: A Crosslinguistic Comparison Between Korean and German Speakers (United States)

    Goller, Florian; Lee, Donghoon; Ansorge, Ulrich; Choi, Soonja


    Languages differ in how they categorize spatial relations: While German differentiates between containment (in) and support (auf) with distinct spatial words—(a) den Kuli IN die Kappe stecken (”put pen in cap”); (b) die Kappe AUF den Kuli stecken (”put cap on pen”)—Korean uses a single spatial word (kkita) collapsing (a) and (b) into one semantic category, particularly when the spatial enclosure is tight-fit. Korean uses a different word (i.e., netha) for loose-fits (e.g., apple in bowl). We tested whether these differences influence the attention of the speaker. In a crosslinguistic study, we compared native German speakers with native Korean speakers. Participants rated the similarity of two successive video clips of several scenes where two objects were joined or nested (either in a tight or loose manner). The rating data show that Korean speakers base their rating of similarity more on tight- versus loose-fit, whereas German speakers base their rating more on containment versus support (in vs. auf). Throughout the experiment, we also measured the participants’ eye movements. Korean speakers looked equally long at the moving Figure object and at the stationary Ground object, whereas German speakers were more biased to look at the Ground object. Additionally, Korean speakers also looked more at the region where the two objects touched than did German speakers. We discuss our data in the light of crosslinguistic semantics and the extent of their influence on spatial cognition and perception. PMID:29362644

  7. Intelligibility of Standard German and Low German to Speakers of Dutch

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    Gooskens, C.S.; Kürschner, Sebastian; van Bezooijen, R.


    This paper reports on the intelligibility of spoken Low German and Standard German for speakers of Dutch. Two aspects are considered. First, the relative potential for intelligibility of the Low German variety of Bremen and the High German variety of Modern Standard German for speakers of Dutch is

  8. (En)countering native-speakerism global perspectives

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    Holliday, Adrian; Swan, Anne


    The book addresses the issue of native-speakerism, an ideology based on the assumption that 'native speakers' of English have a special claim to the language itself, through critical qualitative studies of the lived experiences of practising teachers and students in a range of scenarios.

  9. Defining "Native Speaker" in Multilingual Settings: English as a Native Language in Asia (United States)

    Hansen Edwards, Jette G.


    The current study examines how and why speakers of English from multilingual contexts in Asia are identifying as native speakers of English. Eighteen participants from different contexts in Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, India, Taiwan, and The Philippines, who self-identified as native speakers of English participated in hour-long interviews…

  10. Within-category variance and lexical tone discrimination in native and non-native speakers

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    Hoffmann, C.W.G.; Sadakata, M.; Chen, A.; Desain, P.W.M.; McQueen, J.M.; Gussenhove, C.; Chen, Y.; Dediu, D.


    In this paper, we show how acoustic variance within lexical tones in disyllabic Mandarin Chinese pseudowords affects discrimination abilities in both native and non-native speakers of Mandarin Chinese. Within-category acoustic variance did not hinder native speakers in discriminating between lexical

  11. The Status of Native Speaker Intuitions in a Polylectal Grammar. (United States)

    Debose, Charles E.

    A study of one speaker's intuitions about and performance in Black English is presented with relation to Saussure's "langue-parole" dichotomy. Native speakers of a language have intuitions about the static synchronic entities although the data of their speaking is variable and panchronic. These entities are in a diglossic relationship to each…

  12. Credibility of native and non-native speakers of English revisited: Do non-native listeners feel the same?


    Hanzlíková, Dagmar; Skarnitzl, Radek


    This study reports on research stimulated by Lev-Ari and Keysar (2010) who showed that native listeners find statements delivered by foreign-accented speakers to be less true than those read by native speakers. Our objective was to replicate the study with non-native listeners to see whether this effect is also relevant in international communication contexts. The same set of statements from the original study was recorded by 6 native and 6 nonnative speakers of English. 121 non-native listen...

  13. Openings and Closings in Telephone Conversations between Native Spanish Speakers. (United States)

    Coronel-Molina, Serafin M.


    A study analyzed the opening and closing sequences of 11 dyads of native Spanish-speakers in natural telephone conversations conducted in Spanish. The objective was to determine how closely Hispanic cultural patterns of conduct for telephone conversations follow the sequences outlined in previous research. It is concluded that Spanish…

  14. Teaching the Native English Speaker How to Teach English (United States)

    Odhuu, Kelli


    This article speaks to teachers who have been paired with native speakers (NSs) who have never taught before, and the feelings of frustration, discouragement, and nervousness on the teacher's behalf that can occur as a result. In order to effectively tackle this situation, teachers need to work together with the NSs. Teachers in this scenario…

  15. Reading and Vocabulary Recommendations for Spanish for Native Speakers Materials. (United States)

    Spencer, Laura Gutierrez


    Focuses on the need for appropriate materials to address the needs of native speakers of Spanish who study Spanish in American universities and high schools. The most important factors influencing the selection of readings should include the practical nature of themes for reading and vocabulary development, level of difficulty, and variety in…

  16. The effect on recognition memory of noise cancelling headphones in a noisy environment with native and nonnative speakers

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    Brett R C Molesworth


    Full Text Available Noise has the potential to impair cognitive performance. For nonnative speakers, the effect of noise on performance is more severe than their native counterparts. What remains unknown is the effectiveness of countermeasures such as noise attenuating devices in such circumstances. Therefore, the main aim of the present research was to examine the effectiveness of active noise attenuating countermeasures in the presence of simulated aircraft noise for both native and nonnative English speakers. Thirty-two participants, half native English speakers and half native German speakers completed four recognition (cued recall tasks presented in English under four different audio conditions, all in the presence of simulated aircraft noise. The results of the research indicated that in simulated aircraft noise at 65 dB(A, performance of nonnative English speakers was poorer than for native English speakers. The beneficial effects of noise cancelling headphones in improving the signal to noise ratio led to an improved performance for nonnative speakers. These results have particular importance for organizations operating in a safety-critical environment such as aviation.

  17. Application of Native Speaker Models for Identifying Deviations in Rhetorical Moves in Non-Native Speaker Manuscripts

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    Assef Khalili


    Full Text Available Introduction: Explicit teaching of generic conventions of a text genre, usually extracted from native-speaker (NS manuscripts, has long been emphasized in the teaching of Academic Writing inEnglish for Specific Purposes (henceforthESP classes, both in theory and practice. While consciousness-raising about rhetorical structure can be instrumental to non-native speakers(NNS, it has to be admitted that most works done in the field of ESP have tended to focus almost exclusively on native-speaker (NS productions, giving scant attention to non-native speaker (NNS manuscripts. That is, having outlined established norms for good writing on the basis of NS productions, few have been inclined to provide a descriptive account of NNS attempts at trying to produce a research article (RA in English. That is what we have tried to do in the present research. Methods: We randomly selected 20 RAs in dentistry and used two well-established models for results and discussion sections to try to describe the move structure of these articles and show the points of divergence from the established norms. Results: The results pointed to significant divergences that could seriously compromise the quality of an RA. Conclusion: It is believed that the insights gained on the deviations in NNS manuscripts could prove very useful in designing syllabi for ESP classes.

  18. Bilingual and Monolingual Children Prefer Native-Accented Speakers

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    Andre L. eSouza


    Full Text Available Adults and young children prefer to affiliate with some individuals rather than others. Studies have shown that monolingual children show in-group biases for individuals who speak their native language without a foreign accent (Kinzler, Dupoux, & Spelke, 2007. Some studies have suggested that bilingual children are less influenced than monolinguals by language variety when attributing personality traits to different speakers (Anisfeld & Lambert, 1964, which could indicate that bilinguals have fewer in-group biases and perhaps greater social flexibility. However, no previous studies have compared monolingual and bilingual children’s reactions to speakers with unfamiliar foreign accents. In the present study, we investigated the social preferences of 5-year-old English and French monolinguals and English-French bilinguals. Contrary to our predictions, both monolingual and bilingual preschoolers preferred to be friends with native-accented speakers over speakers who spoke their dominant language with an unfamiliar foreign accent. This result suggests that both monolingual and bilingual children have strong preferences for in-group members who use a familiar language variety, and that bilingualism does not lead to generalized social flexibility.

  19. Bilingual and monolingual children prefer native-accented speakers. (United States)

    Souza, André L; Byers-Heinlein, Krista; Poulin-Dubois, Diane


    Adults and young children prefer to affiliate with some individuals rather than others. Studies have shown that monolingual children show in-group biases for individuals who speak their native language without a foreign accent (Kinzler et al., 2007). Some studies have suggested that bilingual children are less influenced than monolinguals by language variety when attributing personality traits to different speakers (Anisfeld and Lambert, 1964), which could indicate that bilinguals have fewer in-group biases and perhaps greater social flexibility. However, no previous studies have compared monolingual and bilingual children's reactions to speakers with unfamiliar foreign accents. In the present study, we investigated the social preferences of 5-year-old English and French monolinguals and English-French bilinguals. Contrary to our predictions, both monolingual and bilingual preschoolers preferred to be friends with native-accented speakers over speakers who spoke their dominant language with an unfamiliar foreign accent. This result suggests that both monolingual and bilingual children have strong preferences for in-group members who use a familiar language variety, and that bilingualism does not lead to generalized social flexibility.

  20. Cross-linguistic vowel variation in trilingual speakers of Saterland Frisian, Low German, and High German. (United States)

    Peters, Jörg; Heeringa, Wilbert J; Schoormann, Heike E


    The present study compares the acoustic realization of Saterland Frisian, Low German, and High German vowels by trilingual speakers in the Saterland. The Saterland is a rural municipality in northwestern Germany. It offers the unique opportunity to study trilingualism with languages that differ both by their vowel inventories and by external factors, such as their social status and the autonomy of their speech communities. The objective of the study was to examine whether the trilingual speakers differ in their acoustic realizations of vowel categories shared by the three languages and whether those differences can be interpreted as effects of either the differences in the vowel systems or of external factors. Monophthongs produced in a /hVt/ frame revealed that High German vowels show the most divergent realizations in terms of vowel duration and formant frequencies, whereas Saterland Frisian and Low German vowels show small differences. These findings suggest that vowels of different languages are likely to share the same phonological space when the speech communities largely overlap, as is the case with Saterland Frisian and Low German, but may resist convergence if at least one language is shared with a larger, monolingual speech community, as is the case with High German.

  1. The Halo surrounding native English speaker teachers in Indonesia

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    Angga Kramadibrata


    Full Text Available The Native Speaker Fallacy, a commonly held belief that Native English Speaker Teachers (NESTs are inherently better than Non-NESTs, has long been questioned by ELT researchers. However, this belief still stands strong in the general public. This research looks to understand how much a teacher’s nativeness affects a student’s attitude towards them, as well as the underlying reasons for their attitudes. Sixty seven respondents in two groups were asked to watch an animated teaching video, after which they completed a questionnaire that used Likert-scales to assess comprehensibility, clarity of explanation, engagement, and preference. The videos for both groups were identical apart from the narrator; one spoke in British English, while the other, Indian English. In addition, they were also visually identified as Caucasian and Asian, respectively. The video was controlled for speed of delivery. The quantitative data were then triangulated using qualitative data collected through open questions in the questionnaire as well as from a semi-structured interview conducted with 10 respondents. The data show that there is a significant implicit preference for NEST teachers in the video, as well as in respondent’s actual classes. However, when asked explicitly, respondents didn’t rank nativeness as a very important quality in English teachers. This discrepancy between implicit and explicit attitudes might be due to a subconscious cognitive bias, namely the Halo Effect, in which humans tend to make unjustified presumptions about a person based on known but irrelevant information.

  2. Decoding speech perception by native and non-native speakers using single-trial electrophysiological data.

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    Alex Brandmeyer

    Full Text Available Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs are systems that use real-time analysis of neuroimaging data to determine the mental state of their user for purposes such as providing neurofeedback. Here, we investigate the feasibility of a BCI based on speech perception. Multivariate pattern classification methods were applied to single-trial EEG data collected during speech perception by native and non-native speakers. Two principal questions were asked: 1 Can differences in the perceived categories of pairs of phonemes be decoded at the single-trial level? 2 Can these same categorical differences be decoded across participants, within or between native-language groups? Results indicated that classification performance progressively increased with respect to the categorical status (within, boundary or across of the stimulus contrast, and was also influenced by the native language of individual participants. Classifier performance showed strong relationships with traditional event-related potential measures and behavioral responses. The results of the cross-participant analysis indicated an overall increase in average classifier performance when trained on data from all participants (native and non-native. A second cross-participant classifier trained only on data from native speakers led to an overall improvement in performance for native speakers, but a reduction in performance for non-native speakers. We also found that the native language of a given participant could be decoded on the basis of EEG data with accuracy above 80%. These results indicate that electrophysiological responses underlying speech perception can be decoded at the single-trial level, and that decoding performance systematically reflects graded changes in the responses related to the phonological status of the stimuli. This approach could be used in extensions of the BCI paradigm to support perceptual learning during second language acquisition.

  3. Reflecting on the dichotomy native-non native speakers in an EFL context


    Mariño, Claudia


    This article provides a discussion based on constructs about the dichotomy betweennative and non-native speakers. Several models and examples are displayed about thespreading of the English language with the intention of understanding its developmentin the whole world and in Colombia, specifically. Then, some possible definitions aregiven to the term “native speaker” and its conceptualization is described as both realityand myth. One of the main reasons for writing this article is grounded on...

  4. Speaker and Accent Variation Are Handled Differently: Evidence in Native and Non-Native Listeners (United States)

    Kriengwatana, Buddhamas; Terry, Josephine; Chládková, Kateřina; Escudero, Paola


    Listeners are able to cope with between-speaker variability in speech that stems from anatomical sources (i.e. individual and sex differences in vocal tract size) and sociolinguistic sources (i.e. accents). We hypothesized that listeners adapt to these two types of variation differently because prior work indicates that adapting to speaker/sex variability may occur pre-lexically while adapting to accent variability may require learning from attention to explicit cues (i.e. feedback). In Experiment 1, we tested our hypothesis by training native Dutch listeners and Australian-English (AusE) listeners without any experience with Dutch or Flemish to discriminate between the Dutch vowels /I/ and /ε/ from a single speaker. We then tested their ability to classify /I/ and /ε/ vowels of a novel Dutch speaker (i.e. speaker or sex change only), or vowels of a novel Flemish speaker (i.e. speaker or sex change plus accent change). We found that both Dutch and AusE listeners could successfully categorize vowels if the change involved a speaker/sex change, but not if the change involved an accent change. When AusE listeners were given feedback on their categorization responses to the novel speaker in Experiment 2, they were able to successfully categorize vowels involving an accent change. These results suggest that adapting to accents may be a two-step process, whereby the first step involves adapting to speaker differences at a pre-lexical level, and the second step involves adapting to accent differences at a contextual level, where listeners have access to word meaning or are given feedback that allows them to appropriately adjust their perceptual category boundaries. PMID:27309889

  5. Topic Continuity in Informal Conversations between Native and Non-Native Speakers of English (United States)

    Morris-Adams, Muna


    Topic management by non-native speakers (NNSs) during informal conversations has received comparatively little attention from researchers, and receives surprisingly little attention in second language learning and teaching. This article reports on one of the topic management strategies employed by international students during informal, social…

  6. Listening to a non-native speaker: Adaptation and generalization (United States)

    Clarke, Constance M.


    Non-native speech can cause perceptual difficulty for the native listener, but experience can moderate this difficulty. This study explored the perceptual benefit of a brief (approximately 1 min) exposure to foreign-accented speech using a cross-modal word matching paradigm. Processing speed was tracked by recording reaction times (RTs) to visual probe words following English sentences produced by a Spanish-accented speaker. In experiment 1, RTs decreased significantly over 16 accented utterances and by the end were equal to RTs to a native voice. In experiment 2, adaptation to one Spanish-accented voice improved perceptual efficiency for a new Spanish-accented voice, indicating that abstract properties of accented speech are learned during adaptation. The control group in Experiment 2 also adapted to the accented voice during the test block, suggesting adaptation can occur within two to four sentences. The results emphasize the flexibility of the human speech processing system and the need for a mechanism to explain this adaptation in models of spoken word recognition. [Research supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the University of Arizona Cognitive Science Program.] a)Currently at SUNY at Buffalo, Dept. of Psych., Park Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260,

  7. An acoustic analysis of English vowels produced by speakers of seven different native-language backgrounds

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    Heuven, van V.J.J.P.; Gooskens, C.


    We measured F1, F2 and duration of ten English monophthongs produced by American native speakers and by Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Hungarian and Chinese L2 speakers. We hypothesized that (i) L2 speakers would approximate the English vowels more closely as the phonological distance between

  8. Student perceptions of native and non-native speaker language instructors: A comparison of ESL and Spanish

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    Laura Callahan


    Full Text Available The question of the native vs. non-native speaker status of second and foreign language instructors has been investigated chiefly from the perspective of the teacher. Anecdotal evidence suggests that students have strong opinions on the relative qualities of instruction by native and non-native speakers. Most research focuses on students of English as a foreign or second language. This paper reports on data gathered through a questionnaire administered to 55 university students: 31 students of Spanish as FL and 24 students of English as SL. Qualitative results show what strengths students believe each type of instructor has, and quantitative results confirm that any gap students may perceive between the abilities of native and non-native instructors is not so wide as one might expect based on popular notions of the issue. ESL students showed a stronger preference for native-speaker instructors overall, and were at variance with the SFL students' ratings of native-speaker instructors' performance on a number of aspects. There was a significant correlation in both groups between having a family member who is a native speaker of the target language and student preference for and self-identification with a native speaker as instructor. (English text

  9. Psychophysical Boundary for Categorization of Voiced-Voiceless Stop Consonants in Native Japanese Speakers (United States)

    Tamura, Shunsuke; Ito, Kazuhito; Hirose, Nobuyuki; Mori, Shuji


    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychophysical boundary used for categorization of voiced-voiceless stop consonants in native Japanese speakers. Method: Twelve native Japanese speakers participated in the experiment. The stimuli were synthetic stop consonant-vowel stimuli varying in voice onset time (VOT) with…

  10. White Native English Speakers Needed: The Rhetorical Construction of Privilege in Online Teacher Recruitment Spaces (United States)

    Ruecker, Todd; Ives, Lindsey


    Over the past few decades, scholars have paid increasing attention to the role of native speakerism in the field of TESOL. Several recent studies have exposed instances of native speakerism in TESOL recruitment discourses published through a variety of media, but none have focused specifically on professional websites advertising programs in…

  11. Comprehending non-native speakers: theory and evidence for adjustment in manner of processing. (United States)

    Lev-Ari, Shiri


    Non-native speakers have lower linguistic competence than native speakers, which renders their language less reliable in conveying their intentions. We suggest that expectations of lower competence lead listeners to adapt their manner of processing when they listen to non-native speakers. We propose that listeners use cognitive resources to adjust by increasing their reliance on top-down processes and extracting less information from the language of the non-native speaker. An eye-tracking study supports our proposal by showing that when following instructions by a non-native speaker, listeners make more contextually-induced interpretations. Those with relatively high working memory also increase their reliance on context to anticipate the speaker's upcoming reference, and are less likely to notice lexical errors in the non-native speech, indicating that they take less information from the speaker's language. These results contribute to our understanding of the flexibility in language processing and have implications for interactions between native and non-native speakers.

  12. During Threaded Discussions Are Non-Native English Speakers Always at a Disadvantage? (United States)

    Shafer Willner, Lynn


    When participating in threaded discussions, under what conditions might non¬native speakers of English (NNSE) be at a comparative disadvantage to their classmates who are native speakers of English (NSE)? This study compares the threaded discussion perspectives of closely-matched NNSE and NSE adult students having different levels of threaded…

  13. Promoting Communities of Practice among Non-Native Speakers of English in Online Discussions (United States)

    Kim, Hoe Kyeung


    An online discussion involving text-based computer-mediated communication has great potential for promoting equal participation among non-native speakers of English. Several studies claimed that online discussions could enhance the academic participation of non-native speakers of English. However, there is little research around participation…

  14. Visual and auditory digit-span performance in native and nonnative speakers

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    Olsthoorn, N.M.; Andringa, S.; Hulstijn, J.H.


    We compared 121 native and 114 non-native speakers of Dutch (with 35 different first languages) on four digit-span tasks, varying modality (visual/auditory) and direction (forward/backward). An interaction was observed between nativeness and modality, such that, while natives performed better than

  15. "I May Be a Native Speaker but I'm Not Monolingual": Reimagining "All" Teachers' Linguistic Identities in TESOL (United States)

    Ellis, Elizabeth M.


    Teacher linguistic identity has so far mainly been researched in terms of whether a teacher identifies (or is identified by others) as a native speaker (NEST) or nonnative speaker (NNEST) (Moussu & Llurda, 2008; Reis, 2011). Native speakers are presumed to be monolingual, and nonnative speakers, although by definition bilingual, tend to be…

  16. Infants' Selectively Pay Attention to the Information They Receive from a Native Speaker of Their Language. (United States)

    Marno, Hanna; Guellai, Bahia; Vidal, Yamil; Franzoi, Julia; Nespor, Marina; Mehler, Jacques


    From the first moments of their life, infants show a preference for their native language, as well as toward speakers with whom they share the same language. This preference appears to have broad consequences in various domains later on, supporting group affiliations and collaborative actions in children. Here, we propose that infants' preference for native speakers of their language also serves a further purpose, specifically allowing them to efficiently acquire culture specific knowledge via social learning. By selectively attending to informants who are native speakers of their language and who probably also share the same cultural background with the infant, young learners can maximize the possibility to acquire cultural knowledge. To test whether infants would preferably attend the information they receive from a speaker of their native language, we familiarized 12-month-old infants with a native and a foreign speaker, and then presented them with movies where each of the speakers silently gazed toward unfamiliar objects. At test, infants' looking behavior to the two objects alone was measured. Results revealed that infants preferred to look longer at the object presented by the native speaker. Strikingly, the effect was replicated also with 5-month-old infants, indicating an early development of such preference. These findings provide evidence that young infants pay more attention to the information presented by a person with whom they share the same language. This selectivity can serve as a basis for efficient social learning by influencing how infants' allocate attention between potential sources of information in their environment.

  17. Stuttering Characteristics of German-English Bilingual Speakers (United States)

    Schafer, Martina; Robb, Michael P.


    The purpose of this study was to examine stuttering behavior in German-English bilingual people who stutter (PWS), with particular reference to the frequency of stuttering on content and function words. Fifteen bilingual PWS were sampled who spoke German as the first language (L1) and English as a second language (L2). Conversational speech was…

  18. L2 Learners' Assessments of Accentedness, Fluency, and Comprehensibility of Native and Nonnative German Speech (United States)

    O'Brien, Mary Grantham


    In early stages of classroom language learning, many adult second language (L2) learners communicate primarily with one another, yet we know little about which speech stream characteristics learners tune into or the extent to which they understand this lingua franca communication. In the current study, 25 native English speakers learning German as…

  19. The native-speaker fever in English language teaching (ELT: Pitting pedagogical competence against historical origin

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    Anchimbe, Eric A.


    Full Text Available This paper discusses English language teaching (ELT around the world, and argues that as a profession, it should emphasise pedagogical competence rather than native-speaker requirement in the recruitment of teachers in English as a foreign language (EFL and English as a second language (ESL contexts. It establishes that being a native speaker does not make one automatically a competent speaker or, of that matter, a competent teacher of the language. It observes that on many grounds, including physical, sociocultural, technological and economic changes in the world as well as the status of English as official and national language in many post-colonial regions, the distinction between native and non-native speakers is no longer valid.

  20. Students Writing Emails to Faculty: An Examination of E-Politeness among Native and Non-Native Speakers of English (United States)

    Biesenbach-Lucas, Sigrun


    This study combines interlanguage pragmatics and speech act research with computer-mediated communication and examines how native and non-native speakers of English formulate low- and high-imposition requests to faculty. While some research claims that email, due to absence of non-verbal cues, encourages informal language, other research has…

  1. Complimenting Functions by Native English Speakers and Iranian EFL Learners: A Divergence or Convergence

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    Ali Akbar Ansarin


    Full Text Available The study of compliment speech act has been under investigation on many occasions in recent years. In this study, an attempt is made to explore appraisals performed by native English speakers and Iranian EFL learners to find out how these two groups diverge or converge from each other with regard to complimenting patterns and norms. The participants of the study were 60 advanced Iranian EFL learners who were speaking Persian as their first language and 60 native English speakers. Through a written Discourse Completion Task comprised of eight different scenarios, compliments were analyzed with regard to topics (performance, personality, possession, and skill, functions (explicit, implicit, and opt-out, gender differences and the common positive adjectives used by two groups of native and nonnative participants. The findings suggested that native English speakers praised individuals more implicitly in comparison with Iranian EFL learners and native speakers provided opt-outs more frequently than Iranian EFL learners did. The analysis of data by Chi-square showed that gender and macro functions are independent of each other among Iranian EFL learners’ compliments while for native speakers, gender played a significant role in the distribution of appraisals. Iranian EFL learners’ complimenting patterns converge more towards those of native English speakers. Moreover, both groups favored explicit compliments. However, Iranian EFL learners were more inclined to provide explicit compliments. It can be concluded that there were more similarities rather than differences between Iranian EFL learners and native English speakers regarding compliment speech act. The results of this study can benefit researchers, teachers, material developers, and EFL learners.

  2. Playfulness in Adults Revisited: The Signal Theory in German Speakers (United States)

    Proyer, René T.; Wagner, Lisa


    The authors elaborate on the role of playfulness as a preferred characteristic in potential long-term partners recently espoused by Garry Chick and others. They aim to replicate the findings of such research by studying a different culture (that of German-speaking countries) and to develop them further by taking into account the participants'…

  3. Non-Native English Speakers and Nonstandard English: An In-Depth Investigation (United States)

    Polat, Brittany


    Given the rising prominence of nonstandard varieties of English around the world (Jenkins 2007), learners of English as a second language are increasingly called on to communicate with speakers of both native and non-native nonstandard English varieties. In many classrooms around the world, however, learners continue to be exposed only to…

  4. Adding More Fuel to the Fire: An Eye-Tracking Study of Idiom Processing by Native and Non-Native Speakers (United States)

    Siyanova-Chanturia, Anna; Conklin, Kathy; Schmitt, Norbert


    Using eye-tracking, we investigate on-line processing of idioms in a biasing story context by native and non-native speakers of English. The stimuli are idioms used figuratively ("at the end of the day"--"eventually"), literally ("at the end of the day"--"in the evening"), and novel phrases ("at the end of the war"). Native speaker results…

  5. The Non-Native English Speaker Teachers in TESOL Movement (United States)

    Kamhi-Stein, Lía D.


    It has been almost 20 years since what is known as the non-native English-speaking (NNES) professionals' movement--designed to increase the status of NNES professionals--started within the US-based TESOL International Association. However, still missing from the literature is an understanding of what a movement is, and why non-native English…

  6. The Native Speaker, Identity, and the Authenticity Hierarchy. (United States)

    Myhill, John E.


    Discusses an ideology of native language and identity, which holds that native language is seen as a central element of individual identity. Argues that although this ideology can be very valuable in certain circumstances, it can also create an atmosphere of suspicion toward members of certain ethnicities who choose not to use their ancestral…


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sigrun Biesenbach-Lucas


    Full Text Available This study combines interlanguage pragmatics and speech act research with computer-mediated communication and examines how native and non-native speakers of English formulate low- and high-imposition requests to faculty. While some research claims that email, due to absence of non-verbal cues, encourages informal language, other research has claimed the opposite. However, email technology also allows writers to plan and revise messages before sending them, thus affording the opportunity to edit not only for grammar and mechanics, but also for pragmatic clarity and politeness.The study examines email requests sent by native and non-native English speaking graduate students to faculty at a major American university over a period of several semesters and applies Blum-Kulka, House, and Kasper’s (1989 speech act analysis framework – quantitatively to distinguish levels of directness, i.e. pragmatic clarity; and qualitatively to compare syntactic and lexical politeness devices, the request perspectives, and the specific linguistic request realization patterns preferred by native and non-native speakers. Results show that far more requests are realized through direct strategies as well as hints than conventionally indirect strategies typically found in comparative speech act studies. Politeness conventions in email, a text-only medium with little guidance in the academic institutional hierarchy, appear to be a work in progress, and native speakers demonstrate greater resources in creating e-polite messages to their professors than non-native speakers. A possible avenue for pedagogical intervention with regard to instruction in and acquisition of politeness routines in hierarchically upward email communication is presented.

  8. A Study on Metadiscoursive Interaction in the MA Theses of the Native Speakers of English and the Turkish Speakers of English (United States)

    Köroglu, Zehra; Tüm, Gülden


    This study has been conducted to evaluate the TM usage in the MA theses written by the native speakers (NSs) of English and the Turkish speakers (TSs) of English. The purpose is to compare the TM usage in the introduction, results and discussion, and conclusion sections by both groups' randomly selected MA theses in the field of ELT between the…

  9. Infants' preferences for native speakers are associated with an expectation of information

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Begus, Katarina; Gliga, Teodora; Southgate, Victoria


    Humans' preference for others who share our group membership is well documented, and this heightened valuation of in-group members seems to be rooted in early development. Before 12 mo of age, infants already show behavioral preferences for others who evidence cues to same-group membership...... such as race or native language, yet the function of this selectivity remains unclear. We examine one of these social biases, the preference for native speakers, and propose that this preference may result from infants' motivation to obtain information and the expectation that interactions with native speakers...... in situations when they can expect to receive information. We then used this neural measure of anticipatory theta activity to explore the expectations of 11-mo-olds when facing social partners who either speak the infants' native language or a foreign tongue (study 2). A larger increase in theta oscillations...

  10. Native Speaker Norms and China English: From the Perspective of Learners and Teachers in China (United States)

    He, Deyuan; Zhang, Qunying


    This article explores the question of whether the norms based on native speakers of English should be kept in English teaching in an era when English has become World Englishes. This is an issue that has been keenly debated in recent years, not least in the pages of "TESOL Quarterly." However, "China English" in such debates…

  11. An Evaluation of Native-speaker Judgements of Foreign-accented British and American English

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Doel, W.Z. van den


    This study is the first ever to employ a large-scale Internet survey to investigate priorities in English pronunciation training. Well over 500 native speakers from throughout the English-speaking world, including North America, the British Isles, Australia and New Zealand, were asked to detect and

  12. A Comparative Study on the Use of Compliment Response Strategies by Persian and English Native Speakers (United States)

    Shabani, Mansour; Zeinali, Maryam


    The significance of pragmatic knowledge and politeness strategies has recently been emphasized in language learning and teaching. Most communication failures originate in the lack of pragmatic awareness which is evident among EFL learners while communicating with English native speakers. The present study aimed at investigating compliment response…

  13. English Language Schooling, Linguistic Realities, and the Native Speaker of English in Hong Kong (United States)

    Hansen Edwards, Jette G.


    The study employs a case study approach to examine the impact of educational backgrounds on nine Hong Kong tertiary students' English and Cantonese language practices and identifications as native speakers of English and Cantonese. The study employed both survey and interview data to probe the participants' English and Cantonese language use at…

  14. Examining the Native Speakers' Understanding of Communicative Purposes of a Written Genre in Modern Standard Chinese. (United States)

    Yunxia, Zhu


    Examines the different attitudes of native speakers in understanding a written genre of Modern Standard Chinese--sales letters. The study focuses on the use of formulaic components appearing in real Chinese sales letters and compares these components with the advice given in textbooks. Findings reveal a gap between business teaching and business…

  15. Non-Native Speakers of the Language of Instruction: Self-Perceptions of Teaching Ability (United States)

    Samuel, Carolyn


    Given the linguistically diverse instructor and student populations at Canadian universities, mutually comprehensible oral language may not be a given. Indeed, both instructors who are non-native speakers of the language of instruction (NNSLIs) and students have acknowledged oral communication challenges. Little is known, though, about how the…

  16. Linguistic skills of adult native speakers, as a function of age and level of education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, K.; Hulstijn, J.H.


    This study assessed, in a sample of 98 adult native speakers of Dutch, how their lexical skills and their speaking proficiency varied as a function of their age and level of education and profession (EP). Participants, categorized in terms of their age (18-35, 36-50, and 51-76 years old) and the

  17. Phraseology and Frequency of Occurrence on the Web: Native Speakers' Perceptions of Google-Informed Second Language Writing (United States)

    Geluso, Joe


    Usage-based theories of language learning suggest that native speakers of a language are acutely aware of formulaic language due in large part to frequency effects. Corpora and data-driven learning can offer useful insights into frequent patterns of naturally occurring language to second/foreign language learners who, unlike native speakers, are…

  18. Native Speakers as Teachers in Turkey: Non-Native Pre-Service English Teachers' Reactions to a Nation-Wide Project (United States)

    Coskun, Abdullah


    Although English is now a recognized international language and the concept of native speaker is becoming more doubtful every day, the empowerment of the native speakers of English as language teaching professionals is still continuing (McKay, 2002), especially in Asian countries like China and Japan. One of the latest examples showing the…

  19. Semantic Categories in the Domain of Motion Verbs by Adult Speakers of Danish, German, and Turkish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessen, Moiken


    Full Text Available Languages differ in the ways they divide the world. This study applies cluster analysis to understand how and why languages differ in the way they express motion events. It further lays out what the parameters of the structure of the semantic space of motion are, based on data collected from participants who were adult speakers of Danish, German, and Turkish. The participants described 37 video clips depicting a large variety of motion events. The results of the study show that the segmentation of the semantic space displays a great deal of variation across all three groups. Turkish differs from German and Danish with respect to the features used to segment the semantic space – namely by using vector orientation. German and Danish differ greatly with respect to (a how fine-grained the distinctions made are, and (b how motion verbs with a common Germanic root are distributed across the semantic space. Consequently, this study illustrates that the parameters applied for categorization by speakers are, to some degree, related to typological membership, in relation to Talmy's typological framework for the expression of motion events. Finally, the study shows that the features applied for categorization differ across languages and that typological membership is not necessarily a predictor of elaboration of the motion verb lexicon.

  20. Mother-Tongue Diversity in the Foreign Language Classroom: Perspectives on the Experiences of Non-Native Speakers of English Studying Foreign Languages in an English-Medium University (United States)

    Bruen, Jennifer; Kelly, Niamh


    This paper considers the position of university language students whose mother tongue is other than the medium of instruction. Specifically, it investigates the attitudes and experiences of non-native English speakers studying either German or Japanese as foreign languages at an English-medium university. The findings indicate that the non-native…

  1. The Acquisition of English Focus Marking by Non-Native Speakers (United States)

    Baker, Rachel Elizabeth

    This dissertation examines Mandarin and Korean speakers' acquisition of English focus marking, which is realized by accenting particular words within a focused constituent. It is important for non-native speakers to learn how accent placement relates to focus in English because appropriate accent placement and realization makes a learner's English more native-like and easier to understand. Such knowledge may also improve their English comprehension skills. In this study, 20 native English speakers, 20 native Mandarin speakers, and 20 native Korean speakers participated in four experiments: (1) a production experiment, in which they were recorded reading the answers to questions, (2) a perception experiment, in which they were asked to determine which word in a recording was the last prominent word, (3) an understanding experiment, in which they were asked whether the answers in recorded question-answer pairs had context-appropriate prosody, and (4) an accent placement experiment, in which they were asked which word they would make prominent in a particular context. Finally, a new group of native English speakers listened to utterances produced in the production experiment, and determined whether the prosody of each utterance was appropriate for its context. The results of the five experiments support a novel predictive model for second language prosodic focus marking acquisition. This model holds that both transfer of linguistic features from a learner's native language (L1) and features of their second language (L2) affect learners' acquisition of prosodic focus marking. As a result, the model includes two complementary components: the Transfer Component and the L2 Challenge Component. The Transfer Component predicts that prosodic structures in the L2 will be more easily acquired by language learners that have similar structures in their L1 than those who do not, even if there are differences between the L1 and L2 in how the structures are realized. The L2


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lutfi Ashar Mauludin


    Full Text Available Native-English Speaker Teachers (NESTs and Non-Native English Speaker Teachers (NNESTs have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, for English Language Learners (ELLs, NNESTs have more advantages in helping students to acquire English skills. At least there are three factors that can only be performed by NNESTs in English Language Learning. The factors are knowledge of the subject, effective communication, and understanding students‘ difficulties/needs. The NNESTs can effectively provide the clear explanation of knowledge of the language because they are supported by the same background and culture. NNESTs also can communicate with the students with all levels effectively. The use of L1 is effective to help students building their knowledge. Finally, NNESTs can provide the objectives and materials that are suitable with the needs of the students.

  3. Acquiring native-like intonation in Dutch and Spanish : Comparing the L1 and L2 of native speakers and second language learners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Maastricht, L.J.; Swerts, M.G.J.; Krahmer, E.J.


    ACQUIRING NATIVE-LIKE INTONATION IN DUTCH AND SPANISH Comparing the L1 and L2 of native speakers and second language learners Introduction Learning more about the interaction between the native language (L1) and the target language (L2) has been the aim of many studies on second language acquisition

  4. Adaptive Communication: Languages with More Non-Native Speakers Tend to Have Fewer Word Forms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Bentz

    Full Text Available Explaining the diversity of languages across the world is one of the central aims of typological, historical, and evolutionary linguistics. We consider the effect of language contact-the number of non-native speakers a language has-on the way languages change and evolve. By analysing hundreds of languages within and across language families, regions, and text types, we show that languages with greater levels of contact typically employ fewer word forms to encode the same information content (a property we refer to as lexical diversity. Based on three types of statistical analyses, we demonstrate that this variance can in part be explained by the impact of non-native speakers on information encoding strategies. Finally, we argue that languages are information encoding systems shaped by the varying needs of their speakers. Language evolution and change should be modeled as the co-evolution of multiple intertwined adaptive systems: On one hand, the structure of human societies and human learning capabilities, and on the other, the structure of language.

  5. Adaptive Communication: Languages with More Non-Native Speakers Tend to Have Fewer Word Forms (United States)

    Bentz, Christian; Verkerk, Annemarie; Kiela, Douwe; Hill, Felix; Buttery, Paula


    Explaining the diversity of languages across the world is one of the central aims of typological, historical, and evolutionary linguistics. We consider the effect of language contact-the number of non-native speakers a language has-on the way languages change and evolve. By analysing hundreds of languages within and across language families, regions, and text types, we show that languages with greater levels of contact typically employ fewer word forms to encode the same information content (a property we refer to as lexical diversity). Based on three types of statistical analyses, we demonstrate that this variance can in part be explained by the impact of non-native speakers on information encoding strategies. Finally, we argue that languages are information encoding systems shaped by the varying needs of their speakers. Language evolution and change should be modeled as the co-evolution of multiple intertwined adaptive systems: On one hand, the structure of human societies and human learning capabilities, and on the other, the structure of language. PMID:26083380

  6. Teaching Arabic to Native Speakers Educational Games in a New Curriculum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alshikhabobakr, Hanan; Papadopoulos, Pantelis M.; Ibrahim, Zeinab


    This paper presents nine educational games and activities for learning the Arabic language developed for Arabiyyatii project, a three-year endeavor that involves re-conceptualization of the standard Arabic language learning curriculum as a first language for kindergarten students. The applications...... presented in this paper are developed for tabletop surface computers, which support a collaborative and interactive learning environment. These applications focus on speaking, word production, and sentence recognition of the Modern Standard Arabic to young native speakers. This work employs...... an interdisciplinary research framework, exploiting best practices used from related disciplines. Namely: computer-supported collaborative learning, language learning, teaching and learning pedagogy, instructional design and scaffolding....

  7. (Non)native Speakered: Rethinking (Non)nativeness and Teacher Identity in TESOL Teacher Education (United States)

    Aneja, Geeta A.


    Despite its imprecision, the native-nonnative dichotomy has become the dominant paradigm for examining language teacher identity development. The nonnative English speaking teacher (NNEST) movement in particular has considered the impact of deficit framings of nonnativeness on "NNEST" preservice teachers. Although these efforts have…

  8. Haunting Native Speakerism? Students' Perceptions toward Native Speaking English Teachers in Taiwan (United States)

    Wu, Kun-huei; Ke, Chung


    This paper intends to explore how Taiwanese university students perceive their native-speaking English teachers (NESTs). Mutual expectations between the NESTs and students are also investigated. Collected data include questionnaires from 107 students and interviews with three NESTs and 19 students who have filled out the questionnaire. The result…

  9. Using Audiovisual TV Interviews to Create Visible Authors that Reduce the Learning Gap between Native and Non-Native Language Speakers (United States)

    Inglese, Terry; Mayer, Richard E.; Rigotti, Francesca


    Can archives of audiovisual TV interviews be used to make authors more visible to students, and thereby reduce the learning gap between native and non-native language speakers in college classes? We examined students in a college course who learned about one scholar's ideas through watching an audiovisual TV interview (i.e., visible author format)…

  10. Learners' Perspectives on Networked Collaborative Interaction With Native Speakers of Spanish in the US

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lina Lee


    Full Text Available In this paper, I discuss a network-based collaborative project that focused on the learning conditions non-native speakers (NNSs of Spanish perceived to be necessary to satisfactoraly communicate with native speakers (NSs. Data from online discussions, end-of-semester surveys, and final oral interviews are presented and discussed. The results of this study demonstrated that the NNS and NS online collaboration promoted the scaffolding by which the NSs assisted the NNSs in composing meaning (ideas and form (grammar. In addition, the NNSs praised the unique learning condition of being exposed to a wide range of functional language discourse produced by the NSs. Students perceived that open-ended questions for two-way exchange were meaningful for them because they were encouraged to use specific vocabulary and structures during the discussions. In spite of the positive conditions and benefits created by networked collaborative interaction (NCI, it was found that there were some major issues that are crucial for NCI. This study demonstrates that learners' language proficiency, computer skills, and age differences are important factors to be considered when incorporating institutional NCI as these may linguistically and socially affect the quality of online negotiation and students' motivation toward NCI. Practical ideas for further research are suggested.

  11. Disadvantages of publishing biomedical research articles in English for non-native speakers of English. (United States)

    Rezaeian, Mohsen


    English has become the most frequently used language for scientific communication in the biomedical field. Therefore, scholars from all over the world try to publish their findings in English. This trend has a number of advantages, along with several disadvantages. In the current article, the most important disadvantages of publishing biomedical research articles in English for non-native speakers of English are reviewed. The most important disadvantages of publishing biomedical research articles in English for non-native speakers may include: Overlooking, either unintentionally or even deliberately, the most important local health problems; failure to carry out groundbreaking research due to limited medical research budgets; violating generally accepted codes of publication ethics and committing research misconduct and publications in open-access scam/predatory journals rather than prestigious journals. The above mentioned disadvantages could eventually result in academic establishments becoming irresponsible or, even worse, corrupt. In order to avoid this, scientists, scientific organizations, academic institutions, and scientific associations all over the world should design and implement a wider range of collaborative and comprehensive plans.

  12. Disadvantages of publishing biomedical research articles in English for non-native speakers of English

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohsen Rezaeian


    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: English has become the most frequently used language for scientific communication in the biomedical field. Therefore, scholars from all over the world try to publish their findings in English. This trend has a number of advantages, along with several disadvantages. METHODS: In the current article, the most important disadvantages of publishing biomedical research articles in English for non-native speakers of English are reviewed. RESULTS: The most important disadvantages of publishing biomedical research articles in English for non-native speakers may include: Overlooking, either unintentionally or even deliberately, the most important local health problems; failure to carry out groundbreaking research due to limited medical research budgets; violating generally accepted codes of publication ethics and committing research misconduct and publications in open-access scam/predatory journals rather than prestigious journals. CONCLUSIONS: The above mentioned disadvantages could eventually result in academic establishments becoming irresponsible or, even worse, corrupt. In order to avoid this, scientists, scientific organizations, academic institutions, and scientific associations all over the world should design and implement a wider range of collaborative and comprehensive plans.

  13. Explanatory models of addictive behaviour among native German, Russian-German, and Turkish youth. (United States)

    Penka, S; Heimann, H; Heinz, A; Schouler-Ocak, M


    In Germany, the public system of addiction treatment is used less by migrants with addictive disorders than by their non-migrant counterparts. To date, the literature has focused primarily on language, sociocultural factors, and residence status when discussing access barriers to this part of the health care system. However, little attention has been paid to cultural differences in explanatory models of addictive behaviour. This is surprising when we consider the important role played by popular knowledge in a population's perceptions of and responses to illnesses, including their causes, symptoms, and treatment. In the present study, we examined explanatory models of addictive behaviour and of mental disorders in 124 native German und Russian-German youth and compared these models to those observed in an earlier study of 144 German and Turkish youth. We employed the free listing technique German and to compile the terms that participating subjects used to describe addictive behaviour. Subsequently, we examined how a subset of our study population assigned these terms to the respective disorders by means of the pile sort method. Although the explanatory models used by the German and Russian-German youth in our study were surprisingly similar, those employed by Turkish youth did not make any fundamental distinction between illegal and legal drugs (e.g. alcohol and nicotine). German and Russian-German youth regarded eating disorders as "embarrassing" or "disgraceful", but Turkish youth did not. Unlike our German and Russian-German subjects, the Turkish youth did not classify eating disorders as being addictive in nature. Moreover, medical concepts crucial to a proper understanding of dependence disorders (e.g. the term "physical dependence") were characterised by almost half of our Turkish subjects as useless in describing addictions. These findings show that it is impossible to translate medical or everyday concepts of disease and treatment properly into a different

  14. Language contact phenomena in the language use of speakers of German descent and the significance of their language attitudes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ries, Veronika


    Full Text Available Within the scope of my investigation on language use and language attitudes of People of German Descent from the USSR, I find almost regular different language contact phenomena, such as viel bliny habn=wir gbackt (engl.: 'we cooked lots of pancakes' (cf. Ries 2011. The aim of analysis is to examine both language use with regard to different forms of language contact and the language attitudes of the observed speakers. To be able to analyse both of these aspects and synthesize them, different types of data are required. The research is based on the following two data types: everyday conversations and interviews. In addition, the individual speakers' biography is a key part of the analysis, because it allows one to draw conclusions about language attitudes and use. This qualitative research is based on morpho-syntactic and interactional linguistic analysis of authentic spoken data. The data arise from a corpus compiled and edited by myself. My being a member of the examined group allowed me to build up an authentic corpus. The natural language use is analysed from the perspective of different language contact phenomena and potential functions of language alternations. One central issue is: How do speakers use the languages available to them, German and Russian? Structural characteristics such as code switching and discursive motives for these phenomena are discussed as results, together with the socio-cultural background of the individual speaker. Within the scope of this article I present exemplarily the data and results of one speaker.

  15. Facework in Non-Face-Threatening Emails by Native and Non-Native English Speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    - Зохре Ислами Р


    Full Text Available The aim of this research is to investigate the speech act of assignment submission and presence of facework in submission emails sent to faculty members by native and nonnative English speaking graduate students. Brown and Levinson’s politeness theory (1987 and Spencer-Oatey’s (2002, 2008 rapport management framework were utilized to analyze the emails. The corpus consisted of 105 emails from 40 NES and NNES students. Drawing on speech event analysis approach (Merrison, Wilson, Davies, & Haugh, 2012, we analyze both submission head act as well as optional elements like openings, small talk and closings in an email. Our exploratory study revealed that, contrary to the argument that CMC is a lean medium (Duthler, 2006 in which it is difficult to achieve interpersonal communication, through the employment of opening, small talk and closing strategies, students attended to relational goals in their email communication.

  16. Delexical Structures Contrastively: A Common Trap for Non-Native Speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjeta Vrbinc


    Full Text Available This article deals with delexical structures and in particular with the problems non-native speakers are faced with when encoding. First, it gives reasons why it is necessary to study the structures and then it discusses the delexical structures in English (monolingual context. The second part of the article focuses on the bilingual aspect, i.e. the translation of English delexical structures into Slovene. Some problems concerning the bilingual context are presented, especially as regards aspect and the difference between the translation of English delexical structures in isolation (e.g. in a dictionary and within the context. The last part of the article concentrates on the dictionary treatment of delexical structures and provides some examples taken from the latest editions of the leading EFL monolingual dictionaries.

  17. Some features of a typical house as perceived by native speakers of English and of Serbian

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dilparić Branislava M.


    Full Text Available The paper reports findings from one of the two differently-designed surveys conducted among groups of both native speakers of English and native speakers of Serbian with a common general objective to obtain a picture of better candidates for a role of the whole (to be analyzed into its constituent elements in the contrastive study on the lexical field a house and its parts in English and Serbian. The specific objective of the survey presented here, however, was to build up the target picture with some of the features of the ideal example of the house category, such as the shape of the house, the key materials its principal structural elements (foundations, walls, a roof are made of, the number of residential units in the house and the type of the household that occupies it, the number of the house levels, the minimum of its interior spatial components and their functions, the types of systemic parts in the house, the status and position of the house relative to surround­ing buildings, etc. Also, taking into consideration that the demographic profiles of the survey participants reflected various cultural backgrounds (which significantly influence the formation of mental images of a typical sample of the category, the survey aimed to compare the similarities and differences between the 'English' and the 'Serbian' typical house, that is the features assigned to a typical house by most of the surveyed representa­tives of Anglo-American and by those of Serbian culture. Judging exclusively by the features observed and the results obtained, the study concludes that the 'English' and the 'Serbian' typical house look very similar in many aspect and that the two different cultures are not as distant as they may seem.

  18. Brain Plasticity in Speech Training in Native English Speakers Learning Mandarin Tones (United States)

    Heinzen, Christina Carolyn

    The current study employed behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures to investigate brain plasticity associated with second-language (L2) phonetic learning based on an adaptive computer training program. The program utilized the acoustic characteristics of Infant-Directed Speech (IDS) to train monolingual American English-speaking listeners to perceive Mandarin lexical tones. Behavioral identification and discrimination tasks were conducted using naturally recorded speech, carefully controlled synthetic speech, and non-speech control stimuli. The ERP experiments were conducted with selected synthetic speech stimuli in a passive listening oddball paradigm. Identical pre- and post- tests were administered on nine adult listeners, who completed two-to-three hours of perceptual training. The perceptual training sessions used pair-wise lexical tone identification, and progressed through seven levels of difficulty for each tone pair. The levels of difficulty included progression in speaker variability from one to four speakers and progression through four levels of acoustic exaggeration of duration, pitch range, and pitch contour. Behavioral results for the natural speech stimuli revealed significant training-induced improvement in identification of Tones 1, 3, and 4. Improvements in identification of Tone 4 generalized to novel stimuli as well. Additionally, comparison between discrimination of across-category and within-category stimulus pairs taken from a synthetic continuum revealed a training-induced shift toward more native-like categorical perception of the Mandarin lexical tones. Analysis of the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) responses in the ERP data revealed increased amplitude and decreased latency for pre-attentive processing of across-category discrimination as a result of training. There were also laterality changes in the MMN responses to the non-speech control stimuli, which could reflect reallocation of brain resources in processing pitch patterns

  19. Evaluation of Arabic Language Learning Program for Non-Native Speakers in Saudi Electronic University According to Total Quality Standards (United States)

    Alowaydhi, Wafa Hafez


    The current study aimed at standardizing the program of learning Arabic for non-native speakers in Saudi Electronic University according to certain standards of total quality. To achieve its purpose, the study adopted the descriptive analytical method. The author prepared a measurement tool for evaluating the electronic learning programs in light…

  20. Opening up to Native Speaker Norms: The Use of /?/ in the Speech of Canadian French Immersion Students (United States)

    Nadasdi, Terry; Vickerman, Alison


    Our study examines the extent to which French immersion students use lax /?/ in the same linguistic context as native speakers of Canadian French. Our results show that the lax variant is vanishingly rare in the speech of immersion students and is used by only a small minority of individuals. This is interpreted as a limitation of French immersion…

  1. Attitudes of Jordanian University Students towards Using Online Chat Discourse with Native Speakers of English for Improving Their Language Proficiency (United States)

    Mahfouz, Safi M.; Ihmeideh, Fathi M.


    This study aims to investigate Jordanian university students' attitudes towards using video and text chat discourse with anonymous native speakers of English to improve their English proficiency. To achieve this aim, a questionnaire was designed. The study sample consisted of 320 university students enrolled in two Jordanian universities. Results…

  2. Persian Native Speakers Reading Persian and English Texts: Their Strategic Behavior to Overcome Syntactic and Semantic Problems (United States)

    Alimorad, Zahra


    This study aimed to discover semantic and syntactic problems Persian native speakers might have while reading English and Persian texts and different strategies they use to overcome those problems. To this end, a convenient sample of 40 intermediate students studying English Literature at Shiraz University was selected. Twenty of them were asked…

  3. Components and Context: Exploring Sources of Reading Difficulties for Language Minority Learners and Native English Speakers in Urban Schools (United States)

    Kieffer, Michael J.; Vukovic, Rose K.


    Drawing on the cognitive and ecological domains within the componential model of reading, this longitudinal study explores heterogeneity in the sources of reading difficulties for language minority learners and native English speakers in urban schools. Students (N = 150) were followed from first through third grade and assessed annually on…

  4. Production of lexical stress in non-native speakers of American English: kinematic correlates of stress and transfer. (United States)

    Chakraborty, Rahul; Goffman, Lisa


    To assess the influence of second language (L2) proficiency on production characteristics of rhythmic sequences in the L1 (Bengali) and L2 (English), with emphasis on linguistic transfer. One goal was to examine, using kinematic evidence, how L2 proficiency influences the production of iambic and trochaic words, focusing on temporal and spatial aspects of prosody. A second goal was to assess whether prosodic structure influences judgment of foreign accent. Twenty Bengali-English bilingual individuals, 10 with low proficiency in English and 10 with high proficiency in English, and 10 monolingual English speakers, participated. Lip and jaw movements were recorded while the bilingual participants produced Bengali and English words embedded in sentences. Lower lip movement amplitude and duration were measured in trochaic and iambic words. Six native English listeners judged the nativeness of the bilingual speakers. Evidence of L1-L2 transfer was observed through duration but not amplitude cues. More proficient L2 speakers varied duration to mark iambic stress. Perceptually, the high-proficiency group received relatively higher native-like accent ratings. Trochees were judged as more native than iambs. Even in the face of L1-L2 lexical stress transfer, nonnative speakers demonstrated knowledge of prosodic contrasts. Movement duration appears to be more amenable than amplitude to modifications.

  5. Impact of Cyrillic on Native English Speakers' Phono-lexical Acquisition of Russian. (United States)

    Showalter, Catherine E


    We investigated the influence of grapheme familiarity and native language grapheme-phoneme correspondences during second language lexical learning. Native English speakers learned Russian-like words via auditory presentations containing only familiar first language phones, pictured meanings, and exposure to either Cyrillic orthographic forms (Orthography condition) or the sequence (No Orthography condition). Orthography participants saw three types of written forms: familiar-congruent (e.g., -[kom]), familiar-incongruent (e.g., -[rɑt]), and unfamiliar (e.g., -[fil]). At test, participants determined whether pictures and words matched according to what they saw during word learning. All participants performed near ceiling in all stimulus conditions, except for Orthography participants on words containing incongruent grapheme-phoneme correspondences. These results suggest that first language grapheme-phoneme correspondences can cause interference during second language phono-lexical acquisition. In addition, these results suggest that orthographic input effects are robust enough to interfere even when the input does not contain novel phones.

  6. The relationship between brain reaction and English reading tests for non-native English speakers. (United States)

    Cheng, Pei-Wen; Tian, Yu-Jie; Kuo, Ting-Hua; Sun, Koun-Tem


    This research analyzed the brain activity of non-native English speakers while engaged in English reading tests. The brain wave event-related potentials (ERPs) of participants were used to analyze the difference between making correct and incorrect choices on English reading test items. Three English reading tests of differing levels were designed and 20 participants, 10 males and 10 females whose ages ranged from 20 to 24, voluntarily participated in the experiment. Experimental results were analyzed by performing independent t-tests on the ERPs of participants for gender, difficulty level, and correct versus wrong options. Participants who chose incorrect options elicited a larger N600, verifying results found in the literature. Another interesting result was found: For incorrectly answered items, different areas of brain showing a significant difference in ERPs between the chosen and non-chosen options corresponded to gender differences; for males, this area was located in the right hemisphere whereas for females, it was located in the left. Experimental results imply that non-native English speaking males and females employ different areas of the brain to comprehend the meaning of difficult items. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. A Cross-Cultural Comparative Study of Apology Strategies Employed by Iranian EFL Learners and English Native Speakers

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    Elham Abedi


    Full Text Available The development of speech-act theory has provided the hearers with a better understanding of what speakers intend to perform in the act of communication. One type of speech act is apologizing. When an action or utterance has resulted in an offense, the offender needs to apologize. In the present study, an attempt was made to compare the apology strategies employed by Iranian EFL learners and those of English native speakers in order to find out the possible differences and similarities. To this end, a discourse completion test (DCT was given to 100 male and female Iranian EFL learners and English native speakers. The respondents were supposed to complete the DCTs based on nine situations, which varied in terms of power between the interlocutors and level of imposition. This study employed Cohen and Olshtain's (1981 model to classify various types of apology strategies. The obtained results revealed some similarities along with some (statistically insignificant differences between EFL learners and American English speakers in terms of their use of apology strategies. Furthermore, it was found that the illocutionary force indicating devices (IFIDs, such as request for forgiveness and an offer of apology were the strategies mostly employed by the Iranian EFL learners while taking on responsibility such as explicit self-blame, and expression of self-deficiency were found to be the strategies mostly used by English native speakers. In terms of gender, the male and female respondents more or less used the same apology strategies in response to the situations. The findings of the present research can be used by language teachers as well as sociolinguists. Keywords: Speech act theory, Speech act of apology, Apology strategies, Iranian EFL learners, English Native speakers, Gender

  8. "Would you like RED or WHITE wine? - I would like red WINE" : Native speaker perception of (non-)native intonation patterns

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Maastricht, L.J.; Swerts, M.G.J.; Krahmer, E.J.


    The importance of intonation in communication cannot be denied (Gussenhoven, 2004; Ladd, 2008). Since the goal of most foreign language learners is to successfully communicate in a language other than their mother tongue, more research on the way they are perceived by native speakers and the role of

  9. "Real Language": Combining Intermediate Spanish Language Learners and ESOL/Native Speakers for Vernacular Language Acquisition

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    Joe LaValle


    Full Text Available This paper addresses the possibilities of combining Spanish language learners and English language learners in high school and post-secondary institutions for mutual benefit to learn authentic language. Academic or "classroom" Spanish is insufficient to empower students for today's workplace. The concept behind "Real Language" is illustrated by an example of an interdisciplinary activity to facilitate communicative interaction in genuine language and promote cultural understanding between intermediate Spanish students and ESOL/native speakers at the high school and post-secondary level. Students are asked to utilize their life skills in interactive, freestyle conversation without the intervention of an instructor. The learning space for language exchange is an out-of-class venue for a non-intimidating, more authentic setting. This simple qualitative study investigates the potential value of this sort of interdisciplinary activity. The intent is to evaluate attitudes of the participants in relation to confidence in their ability to use the target language, and their willingness to use it in social and professional environments and, in addition, to facilitate cultural understanding. The positive result of the project is validated by the voice of the student participants as they reflect on their experience in "Real Language". Could this concept facilitate evolving strategies for interdisciplinary contemporary foreign language learning?


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Gutierrez Diez


    Full Text Available In this article we present part of the results of an empirical research on contrastive rhythm (English-Spanish. Of the several points dealt with in such a research (syllable compression, foot timing, syllable timing and isochrony of rhythmic units, we refer here to syllable duration in English and Spanish as well as the leaming of syllable duration by a group of advanced leamers of English whose first language is Spanish. Regarding the issue of syllable timing, a striking result is the equal duration of unstressed syllables in both languages, which challenges an opposite view underlying a teaching practice common among Spanish teachers of English to Spanish learners of that language. As for the interlanguage of the group of Spanish leamers of English, we comment on the presence of an interference error represented by a stressed/unstressed durational ratio mid way between the ratios for Spanish and English; we have also detected a developmental error related to the tempo employed by the leamers in their syllable timing, which is slower than the tempo produced by native speakers of English.

  11. Do Persian Native Speakers Prosodically Mark Wh-in-situ Questions? (United States)

    Shiamizadeh, Zohreh; Caspers, Johanneke; Schiller, Niels O


    It has been shown that prosody contributes to the contrast between declarativity and interrogativity, notably in interrogative utterances lacking lexico-syntactic features of interrogativity. Accordingly, it may be proposed that prosody plays a role in marking wh-in-situ questions in which the interrogativity feature (the wh-phrase) does not move to sentence-initial position, as, for example, in Persian. This paper examines whether prosody distinguishes Persian wh-in-situ questions from declaratives in the absence of the interrogativity feature in the sentence-initial position. To answer this question, a production experiment was designed in which wh-questions and declaratives were elicited from Persian native speakers. On the basis of the results of previous studies, we hypothesize that prosodic features mark wh-in-situ questions as opposed to declaratives at both the local (pre- and post-wh part) and global level (complete sentence). The results of the current study confirm our hypothesis that prosodic correlates mark the pre-wh part as well as the complete sentence in wh-in-situ questions. The results support theoretical concepts such as the frequency code, the universal dichotomous association between relaxation and declarativity on the one hand and tension and interrogativity on the other, the relation between prosody and pragmatics, and the relation between prosody and encoding and decoding of sentence type.

  12. Making the Transition from Non-Native Speaker to Near-Native Speaker Teachers of English: Facing Globalization Challenges in Teaching English (United States)

    Bin Mohamed Ali, Haja Mohideen


    Many job advertisements seeking teachers of English to work in Japan, China, South Korea and Thailand, for instance, specify that they are looking for native speaking teachers from USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. They do not seem to be interested even in trained non-native speaking teachers from their own countries. This situation also exists…

  13. Components and context: exploring sources of reading difficulties for language minority learners and native English speakers in urban schools. (United States)

    Kieffer, Michael J; Vukovic, Rose K


    Drawing on the cognitive and ecological domains within the componential model of reading, this longitudinal study explores heterogeneity in the sources of reading difficulties for language minority learners and native English speakers in urban schools. Students (N = 150) were followed from first through third grade and assessed annually on standardized English language and reading measures. Structural equation modeling was used to investigate the relative contributions of code-related and linguistic comprehension skills in first and second grade to third grade reading comprehension. Linguistic comprehension and the interaction between linguistic comprehension and code-related skills each explained substantial variation in reading comprehension. Among students with low reading comprehension, more than 80% demonstrated weaknesses in linguistic comprehension alone, whereas approximately 15% demonstrated weaknesses in both linguistic comprehension and code-related skills. Results were remarkably similar for the language minority learners and native English speakers, suggesting the importance of their shared socioeconomic backgrounds and schooling contexts.

  14. Racial Conflict in the United States of America : A Deconstructive Perspective on Native Speaker by Changrae Lee


    Beiranvand, Amin


    Written about the time of the Golden Venture incident, Chang-rae Lee’s Native Speaker makes a particular reference to that incident, whereby implying that particular immigrants, on the grounds of their racial identities, are mistreated and considered as aliens by some Americas. While some whites discriminate against immigrants, there is widespread ethnic tension between Korean Americans and African Americans. Significantly, racial conflict between Koreans and blacks and the racist attitude of...

  15. Iambic-Trochaic Law Effects among Native Speakers of Spanish and English

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    Megan Crowhurst


    Full Text Available The Iambic-Trochaic Law (Bolton, 1894; Hayes, 1995; Woodrow, 1909 asserts that listeners associate greater intensity with group beginnings (a loud-first preference and greater duration with group endings (a long-last preference. Hayes (1987; 1995 posits a natural connection between the prominences referred to in the ITL and the locations of stressed syllables in feet. However, not all lengthening in final positions originates with stressed syllables, and greater duration may also be associated with stress in nonfinal (trochaic positions. The research described here challenged the notion that presumptive long-last effects necessarily reflect stress-related duration patterns, and investigated the general hypothesis that the robustness of long-last effects should vary depending on the strength of the association between final positions and increased duration, whatever its source. Two ITL studies were conducted in which native speakers of Spanish and of English grouped streams of rhythmically alternating syllables in which vowel intensity and/or duration levels were varied. These languages were chosen because while they are prosodically similar, increased duration on constituent-final syllables is both more common and more salient in English than Spanish. Outcomes revealed robust loud-first effects in both language groups. Long-last effects were significantly weaker in the Spanish group when vowel duration was varied singly. However, long-last effects were present and comparable in both language groups when intensity and duration were covaried. Intensity was a more robust predictor of responses than duration. A primary conclusion was that whether or not humans’ rhythmic grouping preferences have an innate component, duration-based grouping preferences, at least, and the magnitude of intensity-based effects are shaped by listeners’ backgrounds.

  16. Localization of the native Chinese speakers language cortex by magnetic source imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun Jilin; Wu Jie; Li Sumin; Wu Jing; Zhao Huadong; Wu Yujin; Liu Lianxiang


    Objective: To localize the language cortex associated with Chinese word processing by magnetic source imaging (MSI). Methods: Eight right handed and one left handed healthy native Chinese speakers, including 5 men and 4 women, aged from 14 to 32 years, were examined by magnetoencephalography (MEG) and 1.5 T MR unit. All subjects were given 50 times pure tone stimuli (intensity was 80 dB sound pressure level), then 150 pairs of Chinese words (the meaning of the words was related or not related) auditory stimuli (intensity was 80 dB sound pressure level), and then 50 times pure tone stimuli at last (intensity was 80 dB sound pressure level). Evoked response fields (ERFs) time locked to the pure tone and Chinese words were recorded in a magnetically shielded room using a whole-head neuromagnetometer (Model Vectorview 306, made by 4-D Neuroimaging company, Finland) in real-time. The acquired data were averaged by the acquisition computer according to the response to the pure tone, related pairs of words and not related pairs of words. The data obtained by the MEG could be superimposed on MRI. Results: There were two obvious higher magnetic waves named M50 and M100 (two peaks occurred about 50 ms and 100 ms after giving the subjects binaurally stimuli). M50 and M100 in all subjects were localized in the bilateral transverse temporal gyri. The responses to the pairs of Chinese words (the meaning of the words was related or not related) were similar in the same hemisphere of the same subjects. There was a higher peak during 300-600 ms in the right hemisphere in the left handed subject, but there was no peak during 300-600 ms in his left hemisphere. It indicated that the language dominant hemisphere localized in the right hemisphere. Superimposing the MEG data on MRI, the language area was localized in the Wernicke's areas. There were two 300-600 ms response peaks in the bilateral hemispheres (the amplitude of the 300-600 ms response peaks in the bilateral hemisphere was

  17. The role of the phonological loop in English word learning: a comparison of Chinese ESL learners and native speakers. (United States)

    Hamada, Megumi; Koda, Keiko


    Although the role of the phonological loop in word-retention is well documented, research in Chinese character retention suggests the involvement of non-phonological encoding. This study investigated whether the extent to which the phonological loop contributes to learning and remembering visually introduced words varies between college-level Chinese ESL learners (N = 20) and native speakers of English (N = 20). The groups performed a paired associative learning task under two conditions (control versus articulatory suppression) with two word types (regularly spelled versus irregularly spelled words) differing in degree of phonological accessibility. The results demonstrated that both groups' recall declined when the phonological loop was made less available (with irregularly spelled words and in the articulatory suppression condition), but the decline was greater for the native group. These results suggest that word learning entails phonological encoding uniformly across learners, but the contribution of phonology varies among learners with diverse linguistic backgrounds.

  18. Ethical Considerations in Conducting Research with Non-Native Speakers of English (United States)

    Koulouriotis, Joanna


    The ethical considerations of three education researchers working with non-native English-speaking participants were examined from a critical theory stand-point in the light of the literature on research ethics in various disciplines. Qualitative inquiry and data analysis were used to identify key themes, which centered around honor and respect…

  19. Cross-cultural differences in adult Theory of Mind abilities: A comparison of native-English speakers and native-Chinese speakers on the Self/Other Differentiation task. (United States)

    Bradford, Elisabeth Ef; Jentzsch, Ines; Gomez, Juan-Carlos; Chen, Yulu; Zhang, Da; Su, Yanjie


    Theory of Mind (ToM) refers to the ability to compute and attribute mental states to ourselves and other people. It is currently unclear whether ToM abilities are universal or whether they can be culturally influenced. To address this question, this research explored potential differences in engagement of ToM processes between two different cultures, Western (individualist) and Chinese (collectivist), using a sample of healthy adults. Participants completed a computerised false-belief task, in which they attributed beliefs to either themselves or another person, in a matched design, allowing direct comparison between "Self"- and "Other"-oriented conditions. Results revealed that both native-English speakers and native-Chinese individuals responded significantly faster to self-oriented than other-oriented questions. Results also showed that when a trial required a "perspective-shift," participants from both cultures were slower to shift from Self-to-Other than from Other-to-Self. Results indicate that despite differences in collectivism scores, culture does not influence task performance, with similar results found for both Western and non-Western participants, suggesting core and potentially universal similarities in the ToM mechanism across these two cultures.

  20. Learning for Life, a Structured and Motivational Process of Knowledge Construction in the Acquisition/Learning of English as a Foreign Language in Native Spanish Speakers (United States)

    Mino-Garces, Fernando


    As language learning theory has shifted from a highly guided to a more open learning process, this paper presents the teaching/learning philosophy called Learning for Life (L for L) as a great way to motivate native Spanish speaker students learning English as a foreign language, and to help them be the constructors of their own knowledge. The…

  1. The Interactive Modes of Non-Native Speakers in International Chinese Language Distance Class Discussions: An Analysis of Smiling as a Facial Cue (United States)

    Sunaoka, Kazuko


    The focus of this research is on an international distance discussion class carried out in Chinese between university students in Japan, China and Taiwan using videoconferencing. Smiling was used as an interactional index in an analysis of the archival footage of the recordings of the discussion between native speakers (NS) of Chinese and…


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danutė Balšaitytė


    Full Text Available This article analyses the absolute duration (ms of stressed Russian vowels /a/, /o/ (graphs: “a”, “o” and their allophones in unstressed positions after the hard consonants in the pronunciation of native and non-native Russian speakers in Lithuania. The results of the conducted spectral analysis reveal the specificities of quantitative reduction in the speech of the Russian speakers in Lithuania and the Lithuanian speakers that are learning the Russian language. These specificities are influenced by the two phonetic systems interaction. The speakers of both languages by the realisation of “a” and “o” violates the relation of unstressed vowel duration that is peculiar to the contemporary Russian language: the post-stressed vowels in closed syllables are shorter than the pre-stressed vowels; the first pre-stressed syllable differs from the second pre-stressed and post-stressed syllables by a longer voice duration. Both Russians and Lithuanians pronounce vowels longer in post-stressed syllables than in the pre-stressed syllables. This corresponds to the qualitative reduction of the Lithuanian language vowels /a:/ and /o:/. There are certain differences between the pronunciation of qualitative vowels “a” and “o” reduction among the native and non-native Russian speakers in Lithuania. The Russian speakers in Lithuania pronounce the second pre-stressed vowel longer than the first pre-stressed vowel; this corresponds to the degree of reduction of pre-stressed vowels “a” and “o” in the standardised Russian language. These degrees of quantitative reduction in the Lithuanian pronunciation are peculiar only for “a” in the Russian language. According to the duration ratio, the unstressed allophones “a” and “o” in the Russian language are closer to the unstressed /a:/ and /o:/ in the Lithuanian language in the pronunciation of Russian-Lithuanian bilinguals than in the pronunciation Lithuanian speakers.

  3. Optimizing Automatic Speech Recognition for Low-Proficient Non-Native Speakers

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    Catia Cucchiarini


    Full Text Available Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL applications for improving the oral skills of low-proficient learners have to cope with non-native speech that is particularly challenging. Since unconstrained non-native ASR is still problematic, a possible solution is to elicit constrained responses from the learners. In this paper, we describe experiments aimed at selecting utterances from lists of responses. The first experiment on utterance selection indicates that the decoding process can be improved by optimizing the language model and the acoustic models, thus reducing the utterance error rate from 29–26% to 10–8%. Since giving feedback on incorrectly recognized utterances is confusing, we verify the correctness of the utterance before providing feedback. The results of the second experiment on utterance verification indicate that combining duration-related features with a likelihood ratio (LR yield an equal error rate (EER of 10.3%, which is significantly better than the EER for the other measures in isolation.

  4. Teaching in the Foreign Language Classroom: How Being a Native or Non-Native Speaker of German Influences Culture Teaching (United States)

    Ghanem, Carla


    The study explores the complexities associated with graduate language instructors' NS/NNS identities and teaching of culture. Researchers, who work mainly in the English as a Second/Foreign Language field, have been discussing this divide and have examined the advantages and disadvantages each group brings to the profession, but not the influence…

  5. Composition Medium Comparability in a Direct Writing Assessment of Non-Native English Speakers

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    Edward W. Wolfe


    Full Text Available The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL contains a direct writing assessment, and examinees are given the option of composing their responses at a computer terminal using a keyboard or composing their responses in handwriting. This study sought to determine whether performance on a direct writing assessment is comparable for examinees when given the choice to compose essays in handwriting versus word processing. We examined this relationship controlling for English language proficiency and several demographic characteristics of examinees using linear models. We found a weak two-way interaction between composition medium and English language proficiency with examinees with weaker English language scores performing better on handwritten essays while examinees with better English language scores performing comparably on the two testing media. We also observed predictable differences associated with geographic region, native language, gender, and age.

  6. The Usage of Loanwords by Japanese Learners and Their Background : case of English Native Speakers (Dedicated to the Memory of Dr. SASAKI Yoshinori)


    堀切, 友紀子


    In the field of Teaching Japanese as a Second Language, the study of Japanese loanwords has focused on their acquisition, and Japanese loanwords tend to be an obstacle for Japanese learners. However, actual situations about loanword usage by English native speakers need to be identical. The purpose of this research is to understand the process involved in the cognition, emotion and usage of loanwords by Japanese learners. An investigatory interview was conducted with 11 Japanese learners who ...

  7. The comparative analysis of English and Lithuanian transport terms and some methods of developing effective science writing strategies by non-native speakers of English

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    V. Marina


    Full Text Available The paper addresses the problem of developing more effective strategies and skills of writing scientific and technical texts by non-native speakers of English. The causes of poor writing are identified and general guidelines for developing effective science writing strategies are outlined. The analysis of difficulties faced by non-native speakers of English in writing research papers is made by examining transport terms and international words which are based on different nomination principles in English and Lithuanian. Case study of various names given to a small vehicle used for passenger transportation in many countries is provided, illustrating the alternative ways of naming the same object of reality in different languages. The analysis is based on the theory of linguistic relativity. Differences in the use of similar international terms in English and Lithuanian, which often cause errors and misunderstanding, are also demonstrated. The recommendations helping non-native speakers of English to avoid errors and improve skills of writing scientific and technical texts are given.

  8. Gender differences in the prosody of German questions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niebuhr, Oliver


    Based on enacted dialogues of 60 native speakers, the present study shows that males and females differ in their prosodic realization of lexically and syntactically marked questions in German. Frequency counts of final rises and falls, as well as measurements of mean F0, speaking rate, and intens......Based on enacted dialogues of 60 native speakers, the present study shows that males and females differ in their prosodic realization of lexically and syntactically marked questions in German. Frequency counts of final rises and falls, as well as measurements of mean F0, speaking rate...

  9. A Cross-Cultural Comparative Study of Apology Strategies Employed by Iranian EFL Learners and English Native Speakers (United States)

    Abedi, Elham


    The development of speech-act theory has provided the hearers with a better understanding of what speakers intend to perform in the act of communication. One type of speech act is apologizing. When an action or utterance has resulted in an offense, the offender needs to apologize. In the present study, an attempt was made to compare the apology…

  10. Assessing the Performance of Automatic Speech Recognition Systems When Used by Native and Non-Native Speakers of Three Major Languages in Dictation Workflows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zapata, Julián; Kirkedal, Andreas Søeborg


    In this paper, we report on a two-part experiment aiming to assess and compare the performance of two types of automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems on two different computational platforms when used to augment dictation workflows. The experiment was performed with a sample of speakers...

  11. Improving Speaking Skill Of The Tenth Grade Students Of SMK 17 Agustus 1945 Muncar Through Direct Practice With The Native Speaker

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    Mohamad Nor Shodiq


    Full Text Available The Classroom Action Research (CAR aims to invent teaching and learning strategy which fits the learners’ style and to solve the teachers’ problem in finding the appropriate technique in teaching. The researcher took SMK 17 Agustus 1945 Muncar Banyuwangi on 35 students of the tenth grade of AK 1 and was conducted in one cycle with the phases of planning, implementing, observing, and reflecting. The researcher found that the implementation of Direct Practice with the Native Speaker could improve the students’ speaking skill. It was proved by the result of the students’ speaking score. The average classical score in preliminary study was 50. 00. They had improvement from the third meeting but did not all of students meet the criteria of success and were still below the KKM. In the fourth meeting was found that all of the students could reach criteria of success and KKM score as 70. 00. Direct Practice with the Native Speaker creates the teaching and learning process fun, and good atmosphere of competition among the students.

  12. Wem gehort die deutsche Sprache (To Whom Does the German Language Belong)? (United States)

    Kramsch, Claire


    The authority of the monolingual native speaker, unchallenged until now, has been questioned recently because of postmodern and postcolonialist trends. It is now valid to view learners of German as border-crossers between cultures, as bilingual/bicultural individuals. Ownership of the German language is neither a birthright nor an acquired right,…

  13. An Investigation of Native and Nonnative English Speakers' Levels of Written Syntactic Complexity in Asynchronous Online Discussions (United States)

    Mancilla, Rae L.; Polat, Nihat; Akcay, Ahmet O.


    This manuscript reports on a corpus-based comparison of native and nonnative graduate students' language production in an asynchronous learning environment. Using 486 discussion board postings from a five-year period (2009-2013), we analyzed the extent to which native and nonnative university students' writing differed in 10 measures of syntactic…

  14. Reorientando a identidade nacional em Native speaker, de Chang-rae Lee, e O sol se põe em São Paulo, de Bernardo Carvalho

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    Rex P. Nielson


    Full Text Available A comparative reading of the novels Native speaker (1995, by the North American writer Chang-rae Lee, and O sol se põe em São Paulo (2007, by Bernardo Carvalho, allows for a reevaluation of how minority identities have been constructed in the two American megalopolises New York and São Paulo. The plotlines of both nove ls hinge on the identity crisis of a second-generation Asian immigrant (from Korea in one case and Japan in the other who is seeking to negotiate his American identity (speaking in hemispheric terms in terms of his family‟s origin and language. However, despite the similar anxieties over assimilation present in both novels, they both reveal significant differences regarding the ways in which the United States and Brazil have responded to cultural difference even as they challenge national myths of inclusi on and belonging.

  15. School of German Language

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    Sergei V. Evteev


    Full Text Available Department of German is one of the oldest language departments at MGIMO. Since its foundation in 1944 the military experienced teachers of the department, most of whom were native speakers, have begun to develop a unique method of teaching the German language, thereby revolutionize learning this foreign language. The first steps made under the supervision of the Department of Antonina V. Celica. The department refused to conventional time and is still used in universities such as the Moscow Linguistic University, separate teaching phonetics, grammar and vocabulary, which was due to the specific objectives set for the teaching staff: prepare for short term specialists in international relations, active Germanspeaking. The department can be proud of its graduates, many of whom continue his career in the walls of native high school. Many graduates have dedicated their lives to serving the State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  16. Recognition of English and German Borrowings in the Russian Language (Based on Lexical Borrowings in the Field of Economics) (United States)

    Ashrapova, Alsu; Alendeeva, Svetlana


    This article is the result of a study of the influence of English and German on the Russian language during the English learning based on lexical borrowings in the field of economics. This paper discusses the use and recognition of borrowings from the English and German languages by Russian native speakers. The use of lexical borrowings from…

  17. Learning to Recognize Speakers of a Non-Native Language: Implications for the Functional Organization of Human Auditory Cortex (United States)

    Perrachione, Tyler K.; Wong, Patrick C. M.


    Brain imaging studies of voice perception often contrast activation from vocal and verbal tasks to identify regions uniquely involved in processing voice. However, such a strategy precludes detection of the functional relationship between speech and voice perception. In a pair of experiments involving identifying voices from native and foreign…

  18. The Sound of Voice: Voice-Based Categorization of Speakers' Sexual Orientation within and across Languages.

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    Simone Sulpizio

    Full Text Available Empirical research had initially shown that English listeners are able to identify the speakers' sexual orientation based on voice cues alone. However, the accuracy of this voice-based categorization, as well as its generalizability to other languages (language-dependency and to non-native speakers (language-specificity, has been questioned recently. Consequently, we address these open issues in 5 experiments: First, we tested whether Italian and German listeners are able to correctly identify sexual orientation of same-language male speakers. Then, participants of both nationalities listened to voice samples and rated the sexual orientation of both Italian and German male speakers. We found that listeners were unable to identify the speakers' sexual orientation correctly. However, speakers were consistently categorized as either heterosexual or gay on the basis of how they sounded. Moreover, a similar pattern of results emerged when listeners judged the sexual orientation of speakers of their own and of the foreign language. Overall, this research suggests that voice-based categorization of sexual orientation reflects the listeners' expectations of how gay voices sound rather than being an accurate detector of the speakers' actual sexual identity. Results are discussed with regard to accuracy, acoustic features of voices, language dependency and language specificity.

  19. Speaker Recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mølgaard, Lasse Lohilahti; Jørgensen, Kasper Winther


    Speaker recognition is basically divided into speaker identification and speaker verification. Verification is the task of automatically determining if a person really is the person he or she claims to be. This technology can be used as a biometric feature for verifying the identity of a person...

  20. Learning for life, a structured and motivational process of knowledge construction in the acquisition/learning of English as a foreign language in native Spanish speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Miño-Garcés


    Full Text Available As language learning theory has shifted from a highly guided to a more open learning process, this paper presents the teaching/learning philosophy called Learning for Life (L for L as a great way to motivate native Spanish speaker students learning English as a foreign language, and to help them be the constructors of their own knowledge. The Learning for Life philosophy was created by Patricia López de Jaramillo, M.A. and Fernando Miño-Garcés, Ph.D. at the Andean Center for Latin American Studies (ACLAS in Quito – Ecuador. In the Learning for Life philosophy, the learner is the center of the process and becomes the creator of his/her own knowledge. To get to this new dimension in learning, acquisition is emphasized, and the principles of this philosophy are applied in the EFL classroom. The definition of the philosophy and its principles are presented, and explained in detail as to how they can be applied in the teaching of a foreign language. This paper also explains the difference between acquisition versus learning, and what process should be applied in the classroom to emphasize on acquisition, and not so much on learning.

  1. Speaker Authentication

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Qi (Peter)


    This book focuses on use of voice as a biometric measure for personal authentication. In particular, "Speaker Recognition" covers two approaches in speaker authentication: speaker verification (SV) and verbal information verification (VIV). The SV approach attempts to verify a speaker’s identity based on his/her voice characteristics while the VIV approach validates a speaker’s identity through verification of the content of his/her utterance(s). SV and VIV can be combined for new applications. This is still a new research topic with significant potential applications. The book provides with a broad overview of the recent advances in speaker authentication while giving enough attention to advanced and useful algorithms and techniques. It also provides a step by step introduction to the current state of the speaker authentication technology, from the fundamental concepts to advanced algorithms. We will also present major design methodologies and share our experience in developing real and successful speake...

  2. The influence of language deprivation in early childhood on L2 processing: An ERP comparison of deaf native signers and deaf signers with a delayed language acquisition. (United States)

    Skotara, Nils; Salden, Uta; Kügow, Monique; Hänel-Faulhaber, Barbara; Röder, Brigitte


    To examine which language function depends on early experience, the present study compared deaf native signers, deaf non-native signers and hearing German native speakers while processing German sentences. The participants watched simple written sentences while event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. At the end of each sentence they were asked to judge whether the sentence was correct or not. Two types of violations were introduced in the middle of the sentence: a semantically implausible noun or a violation of subject-verb number agreement. The results showed a similar ERP pattern after semantic violations (an N400 followed by a positivity) in all three groups. After syntactic violations, native German speakers and native signers of German sign language (DGS) with German as second language (L2) showed a left anterior negativity (LAN) followed by a P600, whereas no LAN but a negativity over the right hemisphere instead was found in deaf participants with a delayed onset of first language (L1) acquisition. The P600 of this group had a smaller amplitude and a different scalp distribution as compared to German native speakers. The results of the present study suggest that language deprivation in early childhood alters the cerebral organization of syntactic language processing mechanisms for L2. Semantic language processing instead was unaffected.

  3. ERP correlates of German Sign Language processing in deaf native signers. (United States)

    Hänel-Faulhaber, Barbara; Skotara, Nils; Kügow, Monique; Salden, Uta; Bottari, Davide; Röder, Brigitte


    The present study investigated the neural correlates of sign language processing of Deaf people who had learned German Sign Language (Deutsche Gebärdensprache, DGS) from their Deaf parents as their first language. Correct and incorrect signed sentences were presented sign by sign on a computer screen. At the end of each sentence the participants had to judge whether or not the sentence was an appropriate DGS sentence. Two types of violations were introduced: (1) semantically incorrect sentences containing a selectional restriction violation (implausible object); (2) morphosyntactically incorrect sentences containing a verb that was incorrectly inflected (i.e., incorrect direction of movement). Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 74 scalp electrodes. Semantic violations (implausible signs) elicited an N400 effect followed by a positivity. Sentences with a morphosyntactic violation (verb agreement violation) elicited a negativity followed by a broad centro-parietal positivity. ERP correlates of semantic and morphosyntactic aspects of DGS clearly differed from each other and showed a number of similarities with those observed in other signed and oral languages. These data suggest a similar functional organization of signed and oral languages despite the visual-spacial modality of sign language.

  4. Life satisfaction and health-related quality of life in immigrants and native-born Germans: the role of immigration-related factors. (United States)

    Nesterko, Yuriy; Braehler, Elmar; Grande, Gesine; Glaesmer, Heide


    There is a lack of population-based studies on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and satisfaction with life (SWL) of immigrants compared to the native populations. Findings of previous research are inconclusive. Our study compares HRQoL and SWL in immigrants and native-born Germans, investigating immigration-related factors as suspected determinants of HRQoL and SWL in immigrants. In the German Socio-economic panel from 2006, HRQoL (measured with the SF-12v2) and SWL as well as immigration-related factors were assessed in 21,079 subjects (including 2,971 immigrants). Analyses of variance were applied as statistical tests in our study. Native-born Germans report a higher amount of SWL and of HRQoL on the physical health component compared to the immigrants. With effect sizes ranging from E² = 0.001 to 0.111, these findings are of minimal practical relevance. In immigrants, the physical health component of HRQoL is significantly associated with younger age at migration and with country of origin. As the effect sizes are extremely low, these findings have limited practical relevance. There are small differences in SWL and HRQoL of immigrants and native-born Germans. Some immigration-related factors are related to HRQoL, but not to SWL. As immigrants are a quite heterogeneous group, it seems useful to focus on immigration-related factors, not simply comparing immigrants and the native-born. Our findings suggest that research on the association of immigration-related factors with quality of life in immigrants seems a promising approach to better identify subgroups of immigrants with lower levels of quality of life.

  5. Extending research on the influence of grammatical gender on object classification: A cross-linguistic study comparing Estonian, Italian and Lithuanian native speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Vernich


    Full Text Available Using different experimental tasks, researchers have pointed to a possible correlation between grammatical gender and classification behaviour. Such effects, however, have been found comparing speakers of a relatively small set of languages. Therefore, it’s not clear whether evidence gathered can be generalized and extended to languages that are typologically different from those studied so far. To the best of our knowledge, Baltic and Finno-Ugric languages have never been examined in this respect. While most previous studies have used English as an example of gender-free languages, we chose Estonian because – contrary to English and like all Finno-Ugric languages – it does not use gendered pronouns (‘he’ vs. ‘she’ and is therefore more suitable as a baseline. We chose Lithuanian because the gender system of Baltic languages is interestingly different from the system of Romance and German languages tested so far. Taken together, our results support and extend previous findings and suggest that they are not restricted to a small group of languages. "Grammatiline sugu objektide kategoriseerimise mõjutajana: eesti, itaalia ja leedu keele võrdlev uurimus" Eri tüüpi eksperimente kasutades on uurijad osutanud grammatilise soo ja objektide klassifitseerimise võimalikele seostele. Senised tulemused on saadud siiski suhteliselt väheste keelte andmete võrdlemisel. Seetõttu ei ole teada, kas need järeldused on üldistatavad ka nendele keeltele, mille struktuur erineb siiani uuritud keeltest. Probleemi uurimiseks laiendasime vaadeldavate keelte hulka ja tegime grammatilise soo ja objektide kategoriseerimise seoste katse läbi balti ja soome-ugri keelte hulka kuuvate keeltega, mida ei ole kõnealusest vaatenurgast uuritud. Enamik seniseid uuringuid on seadnud nn lähtepunktiks ehk grammatilise soota keeleks inglise keele. Siinses uuringus valisime aga selliseks lähtepunktiks hoopis eesti keele, kus erinevalt inglise keelest ei ole ka

  6. Native listeners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cutler, A.


    Becoming a native listener is the necessary precursor to becoming a native speaker. Babies in the first year of life undertake a remarkable amount of work; by the time they begin to speak, they have perceptually mastered the phonological repertoire and phoneme co-occurrence probabilities of the

  7. Exploring Native and Non-Native Intuitions of Word Frequency. (United States)

    Schmitt, Norbert; Dunham, Bruce


    Asked native and nonnative speakers to give judgments of frequency for near synonyms in second-language lexical sets and compared those responses to modern corpus word counts. Native speakers were able to discern the core word in lexical sets either 77% or 85%, and nonnative speakers at 71% or 79%. (Author/VWL)

  8. Speaker segmentation and clustering


    Kotti, M; Moschou, V; Kotropoulos, C


    07.08.13 KB. Ok to add the accepted version to Spiral, Elsevier says ok whlile mandate not enforced. This survey focuses on two challenging speech processing topics, namely: speaker segmentation and speaker clustering. Speaker segmentation aims at finding speaker change points in an audio stream, whereas speaker clustering aims at grouping speech segments based on speaker characteristics. Model-based, metric-based, and hybrid speaker segmentation algorithms are reviewed. Concerning speaker...

  9. Prosody-Syntax Integration in a Second Language: Contrasting Event-Related Potentials from German and Chinese Learners of English Using Linear Mixed Effect Models (United States)

    Nickels, Stefanie; Steinhauer, Karsten


    The role of prosodic information in sentence processing is not usually addressed in second language (L2) instruction, and neurocognitive studies on prosody-syntax interactions are rare. Here we compare event-related potentials (ERP) of Chinese and German learners of English L2 to those of native English speakers and show how first language (L1)…

  10. English Speakers Attend More Strongly than Spanish Speakers to Manner of Motion when Classifying Novel Objects and Events (United States)

    Kersten, Alan W.; Meissner, Christian A.; Lechuga, Julia; Schwartz, Bennett L.; Albrechtsen, Justin S.; Iglesias, Adam


    Three experiments provide evidence that the conceptualization of moving objects and events is influenced by one's native language, consistent with linguistic relativity theory. Monolingual English speakers and bilingual Spanish/English speakers tested in an English-speaking context performed better than monolingual Spanish speakers and bilingual…

  11. “It’s Not the Way We Use English”—Can We Resist the Native Speaker Stranglehold on Academic Publications?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pat Strauss


    Full Text Available English dominates the academic publishing world, and this dominance can, and often does, lead to the marginalisation of researchers who are not first-language speakers of English. There are different schools of thought regarding this linguistic domination; one approach is pragmatic. Proponents believe that the best way to empower these researchers in their bid to publish is to assist them to gain mastery of the variety of English most acceptable to prestigious journals. Another perspective, however, is that traditional academic English is not necessarily the best medium for the dissemination of research, and that linguistic compromises need to be made. They contend that the stranglehold that English holds in the publishing world should be resisted. This article explores these different perspectives, and suggests ways in which those of us who do not wield a great deal of influence may yet make a small contribution to the levelling of the linguistic playing field, and pave the way for an English lingua franca that better serves the needs of twenty-first century academics.

  12. The online application of binding condition B in native and non-native pronoun resolution

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    Clare ePatterson


    Full Text Available Previous research has shown that anaphor resolution in a non-native language may be more vulnerable to interference from structurally inappropriate antecedents compared to native anaphor resolution. To test whether previous findings on reflexive anaphors generalise to non-reflexive pronouns, we carried out an eye-movement monitoring study investigating the application of binding condition B during native and non-native sentence processing. In two online reading experiments we examined when during processing local and/or non-local antecedents for pronouns were considered in different types of syntactic environment. Our results demonstrate that both native English speakers and native German-speaking learners of English showed online sensitivity to binding condition B in that they did not consider syntactically inappropriate antecedents. For pronouns thought to be exempt from condition B (so-called 'short-distance pronouns', the native readers showed a weak preference for the local antecedent during processing. The non-native readers, on the other hand, showed a preference for the matrix subject even where local coreference was permitted, and despite demonstrating awareness of short-distance pronouns' referential ambiguity in a complementary offline task. This indicates that non-native comprehenders are less sensitive during processing to structural cues that render pronouns exempt from condition B, and prefer to link a pronoun to a salient subject antecedent instead.

  13. Native-language phonetic and phonological influences on perception of American English approximants by Danish and German listeners

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bohn, Ocke-Schwen; Best, Catherine T.


    / but lack /w/, thus employing /r/-/l/ but lacking /w/-/j/ and /w/-/r/ as phonological contrasts. However, while the three languages realize /j/ identically, Danish/German “light” alveolar [l] differ modestly from English “velarized” [ɫ], Danish pharyngeal and labiodental approximant realizations of /r, v......, but discrimination was poorer than English and Danish listeners for /w/-/r/ and /r/-/l/, and intermediate for /w/-/j/. Thus, cross-language phonetic relationships among “the same” (or neighboring) phonemes strongly influence perception. These findings, together with systemic consideration of English, Danish...

  14. Negation in Near-Native French: Variation and Sociolinguistic Competence (United States)

    Donaldson, Bryan


    This study investigated how adult second language (L2) speakers of French with near-native proficiency realize verbal negation, a well-known sociolinguistic variable in contemporary spoken French. Data included 10 spontaneous informal conversations between near-native speakers of French and native speakers (NSs) closely acquainted with them.…

  15. Working with Speakers. (United States)

    Pestel, Ann


    The author discusses working with speakers from business and industry to present career information at the secondary level. Advice for speakers is presented, as well as tips for program coordinators. (CH)

  16. Non-Native & Native English Teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    İrfan Tosuncuoglu


    Full Text Available In many countries the primary (mother tongue language is not English but there is a great demand for English language teachers all over the world. The demand in this field is try to be filled largely by non-native English speaking teachers who have learned English in the country or abroad, or from another non native English peaking teachers. In some countries, particularly those where English speaking is a a sign of status, the students prefer to learn English from a native English speaker. The perception is that a non-native English speaking teacher is a less authentic teacher than a native English speaker and their instruction is not satifactory in some ways. This paper will try to examine the literature to explore whether there is a difference in instructional effectiveness between NNESTs and native English teachers.

  17. How can the English-language scientific literature be made more accessible to non-native speakers? Journals should allow greater use of referenced direct quotations in 'component-oriented' scientific writing. (United States)

    Charlton, Bruce G


    In scientific writing, although clarity and precision of language are vital to effective communication, it seems undeniable that content is more important than form. Potentially valuable knowledge should not be excluded from the scientific literature merely because the researchers lack advanced language skills. Given that global scientific literature is overwhelmingly in the English-language, this presents a problem for non-native speakers. My proposal is that scientists should be permitted to construct papers using a substantial number of direct quotations from the already-published scientific literature. Quotations would need to be explicitly referenced so that the original author and publication should be given full credit for creating such a useful and valid description. At the extreme, this might result in a paper consisting mainly of a 'mosaic' of quotations from the already existing scientific literature, which are linked and extended by relatively few sentences comprising new data or ideas. This model bears some conceptual relationship to the recent trend in computing science for component-based or component-oriented software engineering - in which new programs are constructed by reusing programme components, which may be available in libraries. A new functionality is constructed by linking-together many pre-existing chunks of software. I suggest that journal editors should, in their instructions to authors, explicitly allow this 'component-oriented' method of constructing scientific articles; and carefully describe how it can be accomplished in such a way that proper referencing is enforced, and full credit is allocated to the authors of the reused linguistic components.

  18. Visual speaker gender affects vowel identification in Danish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Charlotte; Tøndering, John


    The experiment examined the effect of visual speaker gender on the vowel perception of 20 native Danish-speaking subjects. Auditory stimuli consisting of a continuum between /muːlə/ ‘muzzle’ and /moːlə/ ‘pier’ generated using TANDEM-STRAIGHT matched with video clips of a female and a male speaker...

  19. Teaching Portuguese to Spanish Speakers: A Case for Trilingualism (United States)

    Carvalho, Ana M.; Freire, Juliana Luna; da Silva, Antonio J. B.


    Portuguese is the sixth-most-spoken native language in the world, with approximately 240,000,000 speakers. Within the United States, there is a growing demand for K-12 language programs to engage the community of Portuguese heritage speakers. According to the 2000 U.S. census, 85,000 school-age children speak Portuguese at home. As a result, more…

  20. Benefit and adherence of the disease management program "diabetes 2": a comparison of Turkish immigrants and German natives with diabetes. (United States)

    Makowski, Anna Christin; Kofahl, Christopher


    There is an ongoing debate about equity and equality in health care, and whether immigrants benefit equally from services as the non-immigrant population. The study focuses on benefits from and adherence to the diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM 2) disease management program (DMP) among Turkish immigrants in Germany. So far, it has not been researched whether this group benefits from enrollment in the DMP as well as diabetics from the non-immigrant population. Data on the non-immigrant sample (N = 702) stem from a survey among members of a German health insurance, the Turkish immigrant sample (N = 102) was recruited in the area of Hamburg. Identical questions in both surveys enable comparing major components. Regarding process quality, Turkish diabetics do not differ from the non-immigrant sample; moreover, they have significantly more often received documentation and diabetes training. In terms of outcome quality however, results display a greater benefit on behalf of the non-immigrant sample (e.g., blood parameters and body mass index), and they also met more of the DMP criteria. This underlines the need of diabetics with Turkish background for further education and information in order to become the empowered patient as is intended by the DMP as well as to prevent comorbidities.

  1. Compiling a Monolingual Dictionary for Native Speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Hanks


    Full Text Available

    ABSTRACT: This article gives a survey of the main issues confronting the compilers of monolingual dictionaries in the age of the Internet. Among others, it discusses the relationship between a lexical database and a monolingual dictionary, the role of corpus evidence, historical principles in lexicography vs. synchronic principles, the instability of word meaning, the need for full vocabulary coverage, principles of definition writing, the role of dictionaries in society, and the need for dictionaries to give guidance on matters of disputed word usage. It concludes with some questions about the future of dictionary publishing.

    OPSOMMING: Die samestelling van 'n eentalige woordeboek vir moedertaalsprekers. Hierdie artikel gee 'n oorsig van die hoofkwessies waarmee die samestellers van eentalige woordeboeke in die eeu van die Internet te kampe het. Dit bespreek onder andere die verhouding tussen 'n leksikale databasis en 'n eentalige woordeboek, die rol van korpusgetuienis, historiese beginsels vs sinchroniese beginsels in die leksikografie, die onstabiliteit van woordbetekenis, die noodsaak van 'n volledige woordeskatdekking, beginsels van die skryf van definisies, die rol van woordeboeke in die maatskappy, en die noodsaak vir woordeboeke om leiding te gee oor sake van betwiste woordgebruik. Dit sluit af met 'n aantal vrae oor die toekoms van die publikasie van woordeboeke.


  2. Word Durations in Non-Native English (United States)

    Baker, Rachel E.; Baese-Berk, Melissa; Bonnasse-Gahot, Laurent; Kim, Midam; Van Engen, Kristin J.; Bradlow, Ann R.


    In this study, we compare the effects of English lexical features on word duration for native and non-native English speakers and for non-native speakers with different L1s and a range of L2 experience. We also examine whether non-native word durations lead to judgments of a stronger foreign accent. We measured word durations in English paragraphs read by 12 American English (AE), 20 Korean, and 20 Chinese speakers. We also had AE listeners rate the `accentedness' of these non-native speakers. AE speech had shorter durations, greater within-speaker word duration variance, greater reduction of function words, and less between-speaker variance than non-native speech. However, both AE and non-native speakers showed sensitivity to lexical predictability by reducing second mentions and high frequency words. Non-native speakers with more native-like word durations, greater within-speaker word duration variance, and greater function word reduction were perceived as less accented. Overall, these findings identify word duration as an important and complex feature of foreign-accented English. PMID:21516172

  3. L2 speakers decompose morphologically complex verbs: fMRI evidence from priming of transparent derived verbs

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    Sophie eDe Grauwe


    Full Text Available In this fMRI long-lag priming study, we investigated the processing of Dutch semantically transparent, derived prefix verbs. In such words, the meaning of the word as a whole can be deduced from the meanings of its parts, e.g. wegleggen ‘put aside’. Many behavioral and some fMRI studies suggest that native (L1 speakers decompose transparent derived words. The brain region usually implicated in morphological decomposition is the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG. In non-native (L2 speakers, the processing of transparent derived words has hardly been investigated, especially in fMRI studies, and results are contradictory: Some studies find more reliance on holistic (i.e. non-decompositional processing by L2 speakers; some find no difference between L1 and L2 speakers. In this study, we wanted to find out whether Dutch transparent derived prefix verbs are decomposed or processed holistically by German L2 speakers of Dutch. Half of the derived verbs (e.g. omvallen ‘fall down’ were preceded by their stem (e.g. vallen ‘fall’ with a lag of 4 to 6 words (‘primed’; the other half (e.g. inslapen ‘fall asleep’ were not (‘unprimed’. L1 and L2 speakers of Dutch made lexical decisions on these visually presented verbs. Both ROI analyses and whole-brain analyses showed that there was a significant repetition suppression effect for primed compared to unprimed derived verbs in the LIFG. This was true both for the analyses over L2 speakers only and for the analyses over the two language groups together. The latter did not reveal any interaction with language group (L1 vs. L2 in the LIFG. Thus, L2 speakers show a clear priming effect in the LIFG, an area that has been associated with morphological decomposition. Our findings are consistent with the idea that L2 speakers engage in decomposition of transparent derived verbs rather than processing them holistically.

  4. Listen to the Natives (United States)

    Prensky, Marc


    "Digital natives" refer to today's students because they are native speakers of technology, fluent in the digital language of computers, video games, and the Internet. Those who were not born into the digital world are referred to as digital immigrants. Educators, considered digital immigrants, have slid into the 21st century--and into the digital…

  5. Aspects of Linguistic Politeness in Serbian. A Data-based Comparison with German

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrin Schlund


    Full Text Available The article investigates forms of address and request behaviour in Serbian as compared to German. It is based on an empirical study with authentic speech data and a survey among na-tive speakers of the two languages. While the corpora of authentic speech data document mainly service encounters and other minimal everyday interactions, the survey aims at reveal-ing the judgements and attitudes of native speakers towards different request strategies. The results point towards the well-known distinction between "solidarity cultures" in the East and "distance cultures" in the West. However, such findings must be treated with caution as other factors seem to influence the range of strategies available in the two languages as well.

  6. When speaker identity is unavoidable: Neural processing of speaker identity cues in natural speech. (United States)

    Tuninetti, Alba; Chládková, Kateřina; Peter, Varghese; Schiller, Niels O; Escudero, Paola


    Speech sound acoustic properties vary largely across speakers and accents. When perceiving speech, adult listeners normally disregard non-linguistic variation caused by speaker or accent differences, in order to comprehend the linguistic message, e.g. to correctly identify a speech sound or a word. Here we tested whether the process of normalizing speaker and accent differences, facilitating the recognition of linguistic information, is found at the level of neural processing, and whether it is modulated by the listeners' native language. In a multi-deviant oddball paradigm, native and nonnative speakers of Dutch were exposed to naturally-produced Dutch vowels varying in speaker, sex, accent, and phoneme identity. Unexpectedly, the analysis of mismatch negativity (MMN) amplitudes elicited by each type of change shows a large degree of early perceptual sensitivity to non-linguistic cues. This finding on perception of naturally-produced stimuli contrasts with previous studies examining the perception of synthetic stimuli wherein adult listeners automatically disregard acoustic cues to speaker identity. The present finding bears relevance to speech normalization theories, suggesting that at an unattended level of processing, listeners are indeed sensitive to changes in fundamental frequency in natural speech tokens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Sensitivity to phonological context in L2 spelling: evidence from Russian ESL speakers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dich, Nadya


    The study attempts to investigate factors underlying the development of spellers’ sensitivity to phonological context in English. Native English speakers and Russian speakers of English as a second language (ESL) were tested on their ability to use information about the coda to predict the spelling...... on the information about the coda when spelling vowels in nonwords. In both native and non-native speakers, context sensitivity was predicted by English word spelling; in Russian ESL speakers this relationship was mediated by English proficiency. L1 spelling proficiency did not facilitate L2 context sensitivity...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masrizal Masrizal


    Full Text Available Although the majority of English language teachers worldwide are non-native English speakers (NNS, no research was conducted on these teachers until recently. A pioneer research by Peter Medgyes in 1994 took quite a long time until the other researchers found their interests in this issue. There is a widespread stereotype that a native speaker (NS is by nature the best person to teach his/her foreign language. In regard to this assumption, we then see a very limited room and opportunities for a non native teacher to teach language that is not his/hers. The aim of this article is to analyze the differences among these teachers in order to prove that non-native teachers have equal advantages that should be taken into account. The writer expects that the result of this short article could be a valuable input to the area of teaching English as a foreign language in Indonesia.

  9. Native and Nonnative Interpretation of Pronominal Forms: Evidence from French and Turkish (United States)

    Schimke, Sarah; Colonna, Saveria


    This study investigates the influence of grammatical role and discourse-level cues on the interpretation of different pronominal forms in native speakers of French, native speakers of Turkish, and Turkish learners of French. In written questionnaires, we found that native speakers of French were influenced by discourse-level cues when interpreting…

  10. Forensic speaker recognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meuwly, Didier


    The aim of forensic speaker recognition is to establish links between individuals and criminal activities, through audio speech recordings. This field is multidisciplinary, combining predominantly phonetics, linguistics, speech signal processing, and forensic statistics. On these bases, expert-based

  11. Nativization Processes in L1 Esperanto. (United States)

    Bergen, Benjamin K.


    Describes characteristics of the Native Esperanto of eight speakers, ranging from age 6 to 14 years. Found bilingualism and nativization effects, differentiating native from non-native Esperanto speech. Among these effects are loss or modification of the accusative case, phonological reduction, attrition of tense/aspect system, and pronominal…

  12. Acquisition of speech rhythm in a second language by learners with rhythmically different native languages. (United States)

    Ordin, Mikhail; Polyanskaya, Leona


    The development of speech rhythm in second language (L2) acquisition was investigated. Speech rhythm was defined as durational variability that can be captured by the interval-based rhythm metrics. These metrics were used to examine the differences in durational variability between proficiency levels in L2 English spoken by French and German learners. The results reveal that durational variability increased as L2 acquisition progressed in both groups of learners. This indicates that speech rhythm in L2 English develops from more syllable-timed toward more stress-timed patterns irrespective of whether the native language of the learner is rhythmically similar to or different from the target language. Although both groups showed similar development of speech rhythm in L2 acquisition, there were also differences: German learners achieved a degree of durational variability typical of the target language, while French learners exhibited lower variability than native British speakers, even at an advanced proficiency level.

  13. A comparative linguistic study on onomatopoeia in Portuguese/German comics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raoni Naraoka de Caldas


    Full Text Available This study investigates the peculiar use of onomatopoeia in the language of comics as well as how the process of creation of new expressions in this context respects the phonetic and phonotactic systems of each language. An empirical investigation was conducted, in which native speakers of both German and Portuguese were asked to suggest or create the onomatopoeia that they judged adequate for several edited comic panels, in which the original onomatopoeia had deliberately been omitted. The analysis of the data made it possible to identify some specific characteristics regarding the phonetic sequence and the syllabic organization of the onomatopoeia in these languages.

  14. Why pitch sensitivity matters: Event-related potential evidence of metric and syntactic violation detection among Spanish late learners of German.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maren eSchmidt-Kassow


    Full Text Available Event-related potential (ERP data in monolingual German speakers have shown that sentential metric expectancy violations elicit a biphasic ERP pattern consisting of an anterior negativity and a posterior positivity (P600. This pattern is comparable to that elicited by syntactic violations. However, proficient French late learners of German do not detect violations of metric expectancy in German. They also show qualitatively and quantitatively different ERP responses to metric and syntactic violations. We followed up the questions whether (1 latter evidence results from a potential pitch cue insensitivity in speech segmentation in French speakers, or (2 if the result is founded in rhythmic language differences. Therefore, we tested Spanish late learners of German, as Spanish, contrary to French, uses pitch as a segmentation cue even though the basic segmentation unit is the same in French and Spanish (i.e., the syllable. We report ERP responses showing that Spanish L2 learners are sensitive to syntactic as well as metric violations in German sentences independent of attention to task in a P600 response. Overall, the behavioral performance resembles that of German native speakers. The current data suggest that Spanish L2 learners are able to extract metric units (trochee in their L2 (German even though their basic segmentation unit in Spanish is the syllable. In addition Spanish in contrast to French L2 learners of German are sensitive to syntactic violations indicating a tight link between syntactic and metric competence. This finding emphasizes the relevant role of metric cues not only in L2 prosodic but also in syntactic processing.

  15. Determinants of Success in Native and Non-Native Listening Comprehension: An Individual Differences Approach (United States)

    Andringa, Sible; Olsthoorn, Nomi; van Beuningen, Catherine; Schoonen, Rob; Hulstijn, Jan


    The goal of this study was to explain individual differences in both native and non-native listening comprehension; 121 native and 113 non-native speakers of Dutch were tested on various linguistic and nonlinguistic cognitive skills thought to underlie listening comprehension. Structural equation modeling was used to identify the predictors of…

  16. Determinants of success in native and non-native listening comprehension: an individual differences approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andringa, S.; Olsthoorn, N.; van Beuningen, C.; Schoonen, R.; Hulstijn, J.


    The goal of this study was to explain individual differences in both native and non-native listening comprehension; 121 native and 113 non-native speakers of Dutch were tested on various linguistic and nonlinguistic cognitive skills thought to underlie listening comprehension. Structural equation

  17. Chinese College Students' Views on Native English and Non-Native English in EFL Classrooms (United States)

    Qian, Yang; Jingxia, Liu


    With the development of globalization, English is clearly spoken by many more non-native than native speakers, which raises the discussion of English varieties and the debate regarding the conformity to Standard English. Although a large number of studies have shown scholars' attitudes towards native English and non-native English, little research…

  18. Multimodal Speaker Diarization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noulas, A.; Englebienne, G.; Kröse, B.J.A.


    We present a novel probabilistic framework that fuses information coming from the audio and video modality to perform speaker diarization. The proposed framework is a Dynamic Bayesian Network (DBN) that is an extension of a factorial Hidden Markov Model (fHMM) and models the people appearing in an

  19. Listening Natively across Perceptual Domains? (United States)

    Langus, Alan; Seyed-Allaei, Shima; Uysal, Ertugrul; Pirmoradian, Sahar; Marino, Caterina; Asaadi, Sina; Eren, Ömer; Toro, Juan M.; Peña, Marcela; Bion, Ricardo A. H.; Nespor, Marina


    Our native tongue influences the way we perceive other languages. But does it also determine the way we perceive nonlinguistic sounds? The authors investigated how speakers of Italian, Turkish, and Persian group sequences of syllables, tones, or visual shapes alternating in either frequency or duration. We found strong native listening effects…

  20. Processing Interrogative Sentence Mood at the Semantic-Syntactic Interface: An Electrophysiological Research in Chinese, German, and Polish (United States)

    Kao, Chung-Shan; Dietrich, Rainer; Sommer, Werner


    Background Languages differ in the marking of the sentence mood of a polar interrogative (yes/no question). For instance, the interrogative mood is marked at the beginning of the surface structure in Polish, whereas the marker appears at the end in Chinese. In order to generate the corresponding sentence frame, the syntactic specification of the interrogative mood is early in Polish and late in Chinese. In this respect, German belongs to an interesting intermediate class. The yes/no question is expressed by a shift of the finite verb from its final position in the underlying structure into the utterance initial position, a move affecting, hence, both the sentence's final and the sentence's initial constituents. The present study aimed to investigate whether during generation of the semantic structure of a polar interrogative, i.e., the processing preceding the grammatical formulation, the interrogative mood is encoded according to its position in the syntactic structure at distinctive time points in Chinese, German, and Polish. Methodology/Principal Findings In a two-choice go/nogo experimental design, native speakers of the three languages responded to pictures by pressing buttons and producing utterances in their native language while their brain potentials were recorded. The emergence and latency of lateralized readiness potentials (LRP) in nogo conditions, in which speakers asked a yes/no question, should indicate the time point of processing the interrogative mood. The results revealed that Chinese, German, and Polish native speakers did not differ from each other in the electrophysiological indicator. Conclusions/Significance The findings suggest that the semantic encoding of the interrogative mood is temporally consistent across languages despite its disparate syntactic specification. The consistent encoding may be ascribed to economic processing of interrogative moods at various sentential positions of the syntactic structures in languages or, more

  1. A fundamental residue pitch perception bias for tone language speakers (United States)

    Petitti, Elizabeth

    A complex tone composed of only higher-order harmonics typically elicits a pitch percept equivalent to the tone's missing fundamental frequency (f0). When judging the direction of residue pitch change between two such tones, however, listeners may have completely opposite perceptual experiences depending on whether they are biased to perceive changes based on the overall spectrum or the missing f0 (harmonic spacing). Individual differences in residue pitch change judgments are reliable and have been associated with musical experience and functional neuroanatomy. Tone languages put greater pitch processing demands on their speakers than non-tone languages, and we investigated whether these lifelong differences in linguistic pitch processing affect listeners' bias for residue pitch. We asked native tone language speakers and native English speakers to perform a pitch judgment task for two tones with missing fundamental frequencies. Given tone pairs with ambiguous pitch changes, listeners were asked to judge the direction of pitch change, where the direction of their response indicated whether they attended to the overall spectrum (exhibiting a spectral bias) or the missing f0 (exhibiting a fundamental bias). We found that tone language speakers are significantly more likely to perceive pitch changes based on the missing f0 than English speakers. These results suggest that tone-language speakers' privileged experience with linguistic pitch fundamentally tunes their basic auditory processing.

  2. Multimodal Speaker Diarization. (United States)

    Noulas, A; Englebienne, G; Krose, B J A


    We present a novel probabilistic framework that fuses information coming from the audio and video modality to perform speaker diarization. The proposed framework is a Dynamic Bayesian Network (DBN) that is an extension of a factorial Hidden Markov Model (fHMM) and models the people appearing in an audiovisual recording as multimodal entities that generate observations in the audio stream, the video stream, and the joint audiovisual space. The framework is very robust to different contexts, makes no assumptions about the location of the recording equipment, and does not require labeled training data as it acquires the model parameters using the Expectation Maximization (EM) algorithm. We apply the proposed model to two meeting videos and a news broadcast video, all of which come from publicly available data sets. The results acquired in speaker diarization are in favor of the proposed multimodal framework, which outperforms the single modality analysis results and improves over the state-of-the-art audio-based speaker diarization.

  3. The Acquisition of Clitic Pronouns in the Spanish Interlanguage of Peruvian Quechua Speakers. (United States)

    Klee, Carol A.


    Analysis of four adult Quechua speakers' acquisition of clitic pronouns in Spanish revealed that educational attainment and amount of contact with monolingual Spanish speakers were positively related to native-like norms of competence in the use of object pronouns in Spanish. (CB)

  4. Evidential Uses in the Spanish of Quechua Speakers in Peru. (United States)

    Escobar, Anna Maria


    Analysis of recordings of spontaneous speech of native speakers of Quechua speaking Spanish as a second language reveals that, using verbal morphological resources of Spanish, they have grammaticalized an epistemic marking system resembling that of Quechua. Sources of this process in both Quechua and Spanish are analyzed. (MSE)

  5. Proficiency in English sentence stress production by Cantonese speakers who speak English as a second language (ESL). (United States)

    Ng, Manwa L; Chen, Yang


    The present study examined English sentence stress produced by native Cantonese speakers who were speaking English as a second language (ESL). Cantonese ESL speakers' proficiency in English stress production as perceived by English-speaking listeners was also studied. Acoustical parameters associated with sentence stress including fundamental frequency (F0), vowel duration, and intensity were measured from the English sentences produced by 40 Cantonese ESL speakers. Data were compared with those obtained from 40 native speakers of American English. The speech samples were also judged by eight native listeners who were native speakers of American English for placement, degree, and naturalness of stress. Results showed that Cantonese ESL speakers were able to use F0, vowel duration, and intensity to differentiate sentence stress patterns. Yet, both female and male Cantonese ESL speakers exhibited consistently higher F0 in stressed words than English speakers. Overall, Cantonese ESL speakers were found to be proficient in using duration and intensity to signal sentence stress, in a way comparable with English speakers. In addition, F0 and intensity were found to correlate closely with perceptual judgement and the degree of stress with the naturalness of stress.

  6. Autochthonous Heritage Languages and Social Media: Writing and Bilingual Practices in Low German on Facebook (United States)

    Reershemius, Gertrud


    This article analyses how speakers of an autochthonous heritage language (AHL) make use of digital media, through the example of Low German, a regional language used by a decreasing number of speakers mainly in northern Germany. The focus of the analysis is on Web 2.0 and its interactive potential for individual speakers. The study therefore…

  7. Fifth German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None


    The agenda book for the Fifth German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium contains abstracts of the 16 presentations as well as information on the program, bios of the speakers, contact information for all attendees, and background on the activity.

  8. Differences in the Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies among Native and Non-Native Readers. (United States)

    Sheorey, R.; Mokhtari, K.


    Examines the differences in the reported use of reading strategies of native and non-native English speakers when reading academic materials. Participants were native English speaking and English-as-a-Second-Language college students who completed a survey of reading strategies aimed at discerning the strategies readers report using when coping…

  9. Baltic, Slavic, Germanic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederik Kortlandt


    Full Text Available The western Indo-European vocabulary in Baltic and Slavic is the result of an Indo-European substratum which contained an older non-Indo-European layer and was part of the Corded Ware horizon. The numbers show that a considerable part of the vocabulary was borrowed after the split between Baltic and Slavic, which came about when their speakers moved westwards north and south of the Pripet marshes. Germanic and Balto-Slavic were never contiguous Indo-European dialects at any stage of their prehistory.

  10. The effects of L2 proficiency level on the processing of wh-questions among Dutch second language speakers of English

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jackson, C.N.; Hell, J.G. van


    Using a self-paced reading task, the present study explores how Dutch-English L2 speakers parse English wh-subject-extractions and wh-object-extractions. Results suggest that English native speakers and highly-proficient Dutch–English L2 speakers do not always exhibit measurable signs of on-line

  11. Is the superior verbal memory span of Mandarin speakers due to faster rehearsal? (United States)

    Mattys, Sven L; Baddeley, Alan; Trenkic, Danijela


    It is well established that digit span in native Chinese speakers is atypically high. This is commonly attributed to a capacity for more rapid subvocal rehearsal for that group. We explored this hypothesis by testing a group of English-speaking native Mandarin speakers on digit span and word span in both Mandarin and English, together with a measure of speed of articulation for each. When compared to the performance of native English speakers, the Mandarin group proved to be superior on both digit and word spans while predictably having lower spans in English. This suggests that the Mandarin advantage is not limited to digits. Speed of rehearsal correlated with span performance across materials. However, this correlation was more pronounced for English speakers than for any of the Chinese measures. Further analysis suggested that speed of rehearsal did not provide an adequate account of differences between Mandarin and English spans or for the advantage of digits over words. Possible alternative explanations are discussed.

  12. Discriminating native from non-native speech using fusion of visual cues

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Georgakis, Christos; Petridis, Stavros; Pantic, Maja


    The task of classifying accent, as belonging to a native language speaker or a foreign language speaker, has been so far addressed by means of the audio modality only. However, features extracted from the visual modality have been successfully used to extend or substitute audio-only approaches

  13. Discrimination Between Native and Non-Native Speech Using Visual Features Only

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Georgakis, Christos; Petridis, Stavros; Pantic, Maja


    Accent is a soft biometric trait that can be inferred from pronunciation and articulation patterns characterizing the speaking style of an individual. Past research has addressed the task of classifying accent, as belonging to a native language speaker or a foreign language speaker, by means of the

  14. The time course of emotion effects in first and second language processing: A cross cultural ERP study with German-Spanish bilinguals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus eConrad


    Full Text Available To investigate whether second language processing is characterized by the same sensitivity to the emotional content of language – as compared to native language processing – we conducted an EEG study manipulating word emotional valence in a visual lexical decision task. Two groups of late bilinguals – native speakers of German and Spanish with sufficient proficiency in their respective second language - performed each a German and a Spanish version of the task containing identical semantic material: translations of words in the two languages.In contrast to theoretical proposals assuming attenuated emotionality of second language processing, a highly similar pattern of results was obtained across L1 and L2 processing: ERP waves generally reflected an early posterior negativity plus a late positive complex for words with positive or negative valence compared to neutral words regardless of the respective test language and its L1 or L2 status. These results clearly suggest that the coupling between cognition and emotion does not qualitatively differ between L1 and L2 although latencies of respective effects differed about 50ms.Only Spanish native speakers currently living in the L2 country showed no effects for negative as compared to neutral words presented in L2 potentially reflecting a predominant positivity bias in second language processing when currently being exposed to a new culture.

  15. Shhh… I Need Quiet! Children's Understanding of American, British, and Japanese-accented English Speakers. (United States)

    Bent, Tessa; Holt, Rachael Frush


    Children's ability to understand speakers with a wide range of dialects and accents is essential for efficient language development and communication in a global society. Here, the impact of regional dialect and foreign-accent variability on children's speech understanding was evaluated in both quiet and noisy conditions. Five- to seven-year-old children ( n = 90) and adults ( n = 96) repeated sentences produced by three speakers with different accents-American English, British English, and Japanese-accented English-in quiet or noisy conditions. Adults had no difficulty understanding any speaker in quiet conditions. Their performance declined for the nonnative speaker with a moderate amount of noise; their performance only substantially declined for the British English speaker (i.e., below 93% correct) when their understanding of the American English speaker was also impeded. In contrast, although children showed accurate word recognition for the American and British English speakers in quiet conditions, they had difficulty understanding the nonnative speaker even under ideal listening conditions. With a moderate amount of noise, their perception of British English speech declined substantially and their ability to understand the nonnative speaker was particularly poor. These results suggest that although school-aged children can understand unfamiliar native dialects under ideal listening conditions, their ability to recognize words in these dialects may be highly susceptible to the influence of environmental degradation. Fully adult-like word identification for speakers with unfamiliar accents and dialects may exhibit a protracted developmental trajectory.

  16. The speaker's formant. (United States)

    Bele, Irene Velsvik


    The current study concerns speaking voice quality in two groups of professional voice users, teachers (n = 35) and actors (n = 36), representing trained and untrained voices. The voice quality of text reading at two intensity levels was acoustically analyzed. The central concept was the speaker's formant (SPF), related to the perceptual characteristics "better normal voice quality" (BNQ) and "worse normal voice quality" (WNQ). The purpose of the current study was to get closer to the origin of the phenomenon of the SPF, and to discover the differences in spectral and formant characteristics between the two professional groups and the two voice quality groups. The acoustic analyses were long-term average spectrum (LTAS) and spectrographical measurements of formant frequencies. At very high intensities, the spectral slope was rather quandrangular without a clear SPF peak. The trained voices had a higher energy level in the SPF region compared with the untrained, significantly so in loud phonation. The SPF seemed to be related to both sufficiently strong overtones and a glottal setting, allowing for a lowering of F4 and a closeness of F3 and F4. However, the existence of SPF also in LTAS of the WNQ voices implies that more research is warranted concerning the formation of SPF, and concerning the acoustic correlates of the BNQ voices.

  17. Arctic Visiting Speakers Series (AVS) (United States)

    Fox, S. E.; Griswold, J.


    The Arctic Visiting Speakers (AVS) Series funds researchers and other arctic experts to travel and share their knowledge in communities where they might not otherwise connect. Speakers cover a wide range of arctic research topics and can address a variety of audiences including K-12 students, graduate and undergraduate students, and the general public. Host applications are accepted on an on-going basis, depending on funding availability. Applications need to be submitted at least 1 month prior to the expected tour dates. Interested hosts can choose speakers from an online Speakers Bureau or invite a speaker of their choice. Preference is given to individuals and organizations to host speakers that reach a broad audience and the general public. AVS tours are encouraged to span several days, allowing ample time for interactions with faculty, students, local media, and community members. Applications for both domestic and international visits will be considered. Applications for international visits should involve participation of more than one host organization and must include either a US-based speaker or a US-based organization. This is a small but important program that educates the public about Arctic issues. There have been 27 tours since 2007 that have impacted communities across the globe including: Gatineau, Quebec Canada; St. Petersburg, Russia; Piscataway, New Jersey; Cordova, Alaska; Nuuk, Greenland; Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania; Oslo, Norway; Inari, Finland; Borgarnes, Iceland; San Francisco, California and Wolcott, Vermont to name a few. Tours have included lectures to K-12 schools, college and university students, tribal organizations, Boy Scout troops, science center and museum patrons, and the general public. There are approximately 300 attendees enjoying each AVS tour, roughly 4100 people have been reached since 2007. The expectations for each tour are extremely manageable. Hosts must submit a schedule of events and a tour summary to be posted online

  18. Native and Non-native English Teachers' Perceptions of their Professional Identity: Convergent or Divergent?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zia Tajeddin


    Full Text Available There is still a preference for native speaker teachers in the language teaching profession, which is supposed to influence the self-perceptions of native and nonnative teachers. However, the status of English as a globalized language is changing the legitimacy of native/nonnative teacher dichotomy. This study sought to investigate native and nonnative English-speaking teachers’ perceptions about native and nonnative teachers’ status and the advantages and disadvantages of being a native or nonnative teacher. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. A total of 200 native and nonnative teachers of English from the UK and the US, i.e. the inner circle, and Turkey and Iran, the expanding circle, participated in this study. A significant majority of nonnative teachers believed that native speaker teachers have better speaking proficiency, better pronunciation, and greater self-confidence. The findings also showed nonnative teachers’ lack of self-confidence and awareness of their role and status compared with native-speaker teachers, which could be the result of existing inequities between native and nonnative English-speaking teachers in ELT. The findings also revealed that native teachers disagreed more strongly with the concept of native teachers’ superiority over nonnative teachers. Native teachers argued that nonnative teachers have a good understanding of teaching methodology whereas native teachers are more competent in correct language. It can be concluded that teacher education programs in the expanding-circle countries should include materials for teachers to raise their awareness of their own professional status and role and to remove their misconception about native speaker fallacy.

  19. Processing advantage for emotional words in bilingual speakers. (United States)

    Ponari, Marta; Rodríguez-Cuadrado, Sara; Vinson, David; Fox, Neil; Costa, Albert; Vigliocco, Gabriella


    Effects of emotion on word processing are well established in monolingual speakers. However, studies that have assessed whether affective features of words undergo the same processing in a native and nonnative language have provided mixed results: Studies that have found differences between native language (L1) and second language (L2) processing attributed the difference to the fact that L2 learned late in life would not be processed affectively, because affective associations are established during childhood. Other studies suggest that adult learners show similar effects of emotional features in L1 and L2. Differences in affective processing of L2 words can be linked to age and context of learning, proficiency, language dominance, and degree of similarity between L2 and L1. Here, in a lexical decision task on tightly matched negative, positive, and neutral words, highly proficient English speakers from typologically different L1s showed the same facilitation in processing emotionally valenced words as native English speakers, regardless of their L1, the age of English acquisition, or the frequency and context of English use. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marija Turk


    Full Text Available This paper deals with Germanisms in some local idioms of the North Čakavian dialect. Phonological, morphological and word-formation variants of Germanisms are identified. Special attention is paid to the semantic fields and to the spatial, temporal, functional and stylistic stratification of the Germanisms, and to the degree to which they are recognized and used by speakers who belong to different generations.

  1. Ordered short-term memory differs in signers and speakers: Implications for models of short-term memory


    Bavelier, Daphne; Newport, Elissa L.; Hall, Matt; Supalla, Ted; Boutla, Mrim


    Capacity limits in linguistic short-term memory (STM) are typically measured with forward span tasks in which participants are asked to recall lists of words in the order presented. Using such tasks, native signers of American Sign Language (ASL) exhibit smaller spans than native speakers (Boutla, Supalla, Newport, & Bavelier, 2004). Here, we test the hypothesis that this population difference reflects differences in the way speakers and signers maintain temporal order information in short-te...

  2. The Wildcat Corpus of Native- and Foreign-Accented English: Communicative Efficiency across Conversational Dyads with Varying Language Alignment Profiles (United States)

    Van Engen, Kristin J.; Baese-Berk, Melissa; Baker, Rachel E.; Choi, Arim; Kim, Midam; Bradlow, Ann R.


    This paper describes the development of the Wildcat Corpus of native- and foreign-accented English, a corpus containing scripted and spontaneous speech recordings from 24 native speakers of American English and 52 non-native speakers of English. The core element of this corpus is a set of spontaneous speech recordings, for which a new method of…

  3. Communication Interface for Mexican Spanish Dysarthric Speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gladys Bonilla-Enriquez


    Full Text Available La disartria es una discapacidad motora del habla caracterizada por debilidad o poca coordinación de los músculos del habla. Esta condición puede ser causada por un infarto, parálisis cerebral, o por una lesión severa en el cerebro. Para mexicanos con esta condición hay muy pocas, si es que hay alguna, tecnologías de asistencia para mejorar sus habilidades sociales de interacción. En este artículo presentamos nuestros avances hacia el desarrollo de una interfazde comunicación para hablantes con disartria cuya lengua materna sea el español mexicano. La metodología propuesta depende de (1 diseño especial de un corpus de entrenamiento con voz normal y recursos limitados, (2 adaptación de usuario estándar, y (3 control de la perplejidad del modelo de lenguaje para lograr alta precisión en el Reconocimiento Automático del Habla (RAH. La interfaz permite al usuario y terapéuta el realizar actividades como adaptación dinámica de usuario, adaptación de vocabulario, y síntesis de texto a voz. Pruebas en vivo fueron realizadas con un usuario con disartria leve, logrando precisiones de 93%-95% para habla espontánea.Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder due to weakness or poor coordination of the speechmuscles. This condition can be caused by a stroke, cerebral palsy, or by a traumatic braininjury. For Mexican people with this condition there are few, if any, assistive technologies to improve their social interaction skills. In this paper we present our advances towards the development of a communication interface for dysarthric speakers whose native language is Mexican Spanish. We propose a methodology that relies on (1 special design of a training normal-speech corpus with limited resources, (2 standard speaker adaptation, and (3 control of language model perplexity, to achieve high Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR accuracy. The interface allows the user and therapist to perform tasks such as dynamic speaker adaptation, vocabulary

  4. Does training make French speakers more able to identify lexical stress?


    Schwab, Sandra; Llisterri, Joaquim


    This research takes the stress deafness hypothesis as a starting point (e.g. Dupoux et al., 2008), and, more specifically, the fact that French speakers present difficulties in perceiving lexical stress in a free-stress language. In this framework, we aim at determining whether a prosodic training could improve the ability of French speakers to identify the stressed syllable in Spanish words. Three groups of participants took part in this experiment. The Native group was composed of 16 speake...

  5. Speaker Recognition from Emotional Speech Using I-vector Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MACKOVÁ Lenka


    Full Text Available In recent years the concept of i-vectors become very popular and successful in the field of the speaker verification. The basic principle of i-vectors is that each utterance is represented by fixed-length feature vector of low-dimension. In the literature for purpose of speaker verification various recordings obtained from telephones or microphones were used. The aim of this experiment was to perform speaker verification using speaker model trained with emotional recordings on i-vector basis. The Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC, log energy, their deltas and acceleration coefficients were used in process of features extraction. As the classification methods of the verification system Mahalanobis distance metric in combination with Eigen Factor Radial normalization was used and in the second approach Cosine Distance Scoring (CSS metric with Within-class Covariance Normalization as a channel compensation was employed. This verification system used emotional recordings of male subjects from freely available German emotional database (Emo-DB.

  6. A general auditory bias for handling speaker variability in speech? Evidence in humans and songbirds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buddhamas eKriengwatana


    Full Text Available Different speakers produce the same speech sound differently, yet listeners are still able to reliably identify the speech sound. How listeners can adjust their perception to compensate for speaker differences in speech, and whether these compensatory processes are unique only to humans, is still not fully understood. In this study we compare the ability of humans and zebra finches to categorize vowels despite speaker variation in speech in order to test the hypothesis that accommodating speaker and gender differences in isolated vowels can be achieved without prior experience with speaker-related variability. Using a behavioural Go/No-go task and identical stimuli, we compared Australian English adults’ (naïve to Dutch and zebra finches’ (naïve to human speech ability to categorize /ɪ/ and /ɛ/ vowels of an novel Dutch speaker after learning to discriminate those vowels from only one other speaker. Experiment 1 and 2 presented vowels of two speakers interspersed or blocked, respectively. Results demonstrate that categorization of vowels is possible without prior exposure to speaker-related variability in speech for zebra finches, and in non-native vowel categories for humans. Therefore, this study is the first to provide evidence for what might be a species-shared auditory bias that may supersede speaker-related information during vowel categorization. It additionally provides behavioural evidence contradicting a prior hypothesis that accommodation of speaker differences is achieved via the use of formant ratios. Therefore, investigations of alternative accounts of vowel normalization that incorporate the possibility of an auditory bias for disregarding inter-speaker variability are warranted.

  7. When the Native Is Also a Non-Native: "Retrodicting" the Complexity of Language Teacher Cognition (United States)

    Aslan, Erhan


    The impact of native (NS) and non-native speaker (NNS) identities on second or foreign language teachers' cognition and practices in the classroom has mainly been investigated in ESL/EFL contexts. Using complexity theory as a framework, this case study attempts to fill the gap in the literature by presenting a foreign language teacher in the…

  8. The NNEST lens non native english speakers in TESOL

    CERN Document Server

    Mahboob, Ahmar


    The NNEST Lens invites you to imagine how the field of TESOL and applied linguistics can develop if we use the multilingual, multicultural, and multinational perspectives of an NNEST lens to re-examine our assumptions, practices, and theories in the field

  9. Encouraging Students to Engage with Native Speakers during Study Abroad (United States)

    Cadd, Marc


    Students, their parents, and educators trust that a study-abroad experience is the best way to increase linguistic proficiency. The professional literature, however, shows a much more complex picture. Gains in linguistic proficiency appear to depend on variables such as whether the students experience a homestay or dormitory, the length of time…

  10. Compiling a monolingual dictionary for native speakers. | Hanks ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Phraseology, Syntagmatic Patterns, Problems Of Compositionality, Linguistic Prescriptivism, Lexical Evidence **This article is an edited version of a plenary address delivered at the conference on 'Dictionaries, More Than Words', which took place at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia ...

  11. Native-Speakerism, Stereotyping and the Collusion of Applied Linguistics (United States)

    Kabel, Ahmed


    Although, in recent years there have been several advances in critical applied linguistics which have attempted to problematize the ideological underpinnings of language practices, there have in parallel been resistances mounted on the part of traditional applied linguistics that adamantly oppose any form of coming to terms with the political and…

  12. Expression and recognition of emotion in native and foreign speech : the case of Mandarin and Dutch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhu, Yinyin


    This study investigates the perception and production of emotional prosody by native and non-native listeners and speakers, i.e. Chinese and Dutch listeners and speakers, including Dutch L2 learners of Chinese. There is an acoustic analysis in this dissertation which shows the differences between

  13. Perception of English palatal codas by Korean speakers of English (United States)

    Yeon, Sang-Hee


    This study aimed at looking at perception of English palatal codas by Korean speakers of English to determine if perception problems are the source of production problems. In particular, first, this study looked at the possible first language effect on the perception of English palatal codas. Second, a possible perceptual source of vowel epenthesis after English palatal codas was investigated. In addition, individual factors, such as length of residence, TOEFL score, gender and academic status, were compared to determine if those affected the varying degree of the perception accuracy. Eleven adult Korean speakers of English as well as three native speakers of English participated in the study. Three sets of a perception test including identification of minimally different English pseudo- or real words were carried out. The results showed that, first, the Korean speakers perceived the English codas significantly worse than the Americans. Second, the study supported the idea that Koreans perceived an extra /i/ after the final affricates due to final release. Finally, none of the individual factors explained the varying degree of the perceptional accuracy. In particular, TOEFL scores and the perception test scores did not have any statistically significant association.

  14. Cheater's Guide to Speaking English Like a Native

    CERN Document Server

    De Mente, Boye


    Native English-speakers use a large number of proverbs and colloquial expressions in their daily conversations. These common sayings, which evolved over the centuries, are like "codes" that reveal the cultural values and attitudes of the speakers. To fully understand and communicate in English, it's necessary to be familiar with these expressions and know how and when to use them. The Cheater's Guide to Speaking English like a Native is a shortcut to achieving that goal.

  15. Affective processing in bilingual speakers: disembodied cognition? (United States)

    Pavlenko, Aneta


    A recent study by Keysar, Hayakawa, and An (2012) suggests that "thinking in a foreign language" may reduce decision biases because a foreign language provides a greater emotional distance than a native tongue. The possibility of such "disembodied" cognition is of great interest for theories of affect and cognition and for many other areas of psychological theory and practice, from clinical and forensic psychology to marketing, but first this claim needs to be properly evaluated. The purpose of this review is to examine the findings of clinical, introspective, cognitive, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging studies of affective processing in bilingual speakers in order to identify converging patterns of results, to evaluate the claim about "disembodied cognition," and to outline directions for future inquiry. The findings to date reveal two interrelated processing effects. First-language (L1) advantage refers to increased automaticity of affective processing in the L1 and heightened electrodermal reactivity to L1 emotion-laden words. Second-language (L2) advantage refers to decreased automaticity of affective processing in the L2, which reduces interference effects and lowers electrodermal reactivity to negative emotional stimuli. The differences in L1 and L2 affective processing suggest that in some bilingual speakers, in particular late bilinguals and foreign language users, respective languages may be differentially embodied, with the later learned language processed semantically but not affectively. This difference accounts for the reduction of framing biases in L2 processing in the study by Keysar et al. (2012). The follow-up discussion identifies the limits of the findings to date in terms of participant populations, levels of processing, and types of stimuli, puts forth alternative explanations of the documented effects, and articulates predictions to be tested in future research.

  16. German Vocabulary. (United States)

    Coombs, Virginia M.

    This article discusses in general terms derivational aspects of English vocabulary. Citing examples of Anglo-Saxon origin, the author provides a glimpse into the nature of the interrelatedness of English, German, and French vocabulary. (RL)

  17. The Impact of Non-Native English Teachers' Linguistic Insecurity on Learners' Productive Skills (United States)

    Daftari, Giti Ehtesham; Tavil, Zekiye Müge


    The discrimination between native and non-native English speaking teachers is reported in favor of native speakers in literature. The present study examines the linguistic insecurity of non-native English speaking teachers (NNESTs) and investigates its influence on learners' productive skills by using SPSS software. The eighteen teachers…

  18. German Orientalism


    Margaret Olin


    Review of: Suzanne L. Marchand, German Orientalism in the Age of Empire: Religion, Race and Scholarship, Cambridge and Washington, D.C.: Cambridge University Press, 2009. This analysis of Suzanne L. Marchand’s German Orientalism in the Age of Empire: Religion, Race and Scholarship reads her contribution in part against the background of Edward Said’s path breaking book Orientalism. Differences lie in her more expansive understanding of the term ‘Oriental’ to include the Far East and her conce...

  19. Ordered Short-Term Memory Differs in Signers and Speakers: Implications for Models of Short-Term Memory (United States)

    Bavelier, Daphne; Newport, Elissa L.; Hall, Matt; Supalla, Ted; Boutla, Mrim


    Capacity limits in linguistic short-term memory (STM) are typically measured with forward span tasks in which participants are asked to recall lists of words in the order presented. Using such tasks, native signers of American Sign Language (ASL) exhibit smaller spans than native speakers ([Boutla, M., Supalla, T., Newport, E. L., & Bavelier, D.…

  20. Do We All Apologize the Same?--An Empirical Study on the Act of Apologizing by Spanish Speakers Learning English. (United States)

    Mir, Montserrat


    A study examined the production of English apology strategies by Spanish speakers learning English, by analyzing the remedial move in native and non-native social interactions. To restore harmony when an offensive act has been committed, remedial exchanges are performed according to the rules of speaking and the social norms of the speech…

  1. Recently learned foreign abstract and concrete nouns are represented in distinct cortical networks similar to the native language. (United States)

    Mayer, Katja M; Macedonia, Manuela; von Kriegstein, Katharina


    In the native language, abstract and concrete nouns are represented in distinct areas of the cerebral cortex. Currently, it is unknown whether this is also the case for abstract and concrete nouns of a foreign language. Here, we taught adult native speakers of German 45 abstract and 45 concrete nouns of a foreign language. After learning the nouns for 5 days, participants performed a vocabulary translation task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Translating abstract nouns in contrast to concrete nouns elicited responses in regions that are also responsive to abstract nouns in the native language: the left inferior frontal gyrus and the left middle and superior temporal gyri. Concrete nouns elicited larger responses in the angular gyri bilaterally and the left parahippocampal gyrus than abstract nouns. The cluster in the left angular gyrus showed psychophysiological interaction (PPI) with the left lingual gyrus. The left parahippocampal gyrus showed PPI with the posterior cingulate cortex. Similar regions have been previously found for concrete nouns in the native language. The results reveal similarities in the cortical representation of foreign language nouns with the representation of native language nouns that already occur after 5 days of vocabulary learning. Furthermore, we showed that verbal and enriched learning methods were equally suitable to teach foreign abstract and concrete nouns. Hum Brain Mapp 38:4398-4412, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. English exposed common mistakes made by Chinese speakers

    CERN Document Server

    Hart, Steve


    Having analysed the most common English errors made in over 600 academic papers written by Chinese undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers, Steve Hart has written an essential, practical guide specifically for the native Chinese speaker on how to write good academic English. English Exposed: Common Mistakes Made by Chinese Speakers is divided into three main sections. The first section examines errors made with verbs, nouns, prepositions, and other grammatical classes of words. The second section focuses on problems of word choice. In addition to helping the reader find the right word, it provides instruction for selecting the right style too. The third section covers a variety of other areas essential for the academic writer, such as using punctuation, adding appropriate references, referring to tables and figures, and selecting among various English date and time phrases. Using English Exposed will allow a writer to produce material where content and ideas-not language mistakes-speak the loudest.

  3. The 2016 NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluation (United States)


    impact on system performance. Index Terms: NIST evaluation, NIST SRE, speaker detection, speaker recognition, speaker verification 1. Introduction NIST... self -reported. Second, there were two training conditions in SRE16, namely fixed and open. In the fixed training condition, par- ticipants were only

  4. [German translation of Suicidal Patient Observation Chart (SPOC) - an instrument for practice]. (United States)

    Löhr, Michael; Schulz, Michael; Hemkendreis, Bruno; Björkdahl, Anna; Nienaber, André


    Nursing of suicidal in-patients is a complex and responsible task. A direct and immediate intensive caring and therapeutic supervision, also known as special observation is still recommended in guidelines (DGPPN, 2012) and maybe one of the most used interventions in the caring of suicidal patients in inpatient settings. It involves many kinds to develop the relationship between the observer and the patient. The original SPOC was developed in Sweden with the aim to increase the quality of a systematically documentation during the supervision of suicidal patients. It is an instrument to ensure systematic documentation of observational behavior or noticeable mood during acute suicidal crisis, for example feelings like "worried, anxious" or other possible influencing factors like "sudden mood variation". By this means the SPOC can ensure the process of systematic documentation of special observation and increase its quality, i. e. who documented what at what time. Furthermore SPOC can facilitate a better communication of the observation process to the multidisciplinary team and to the patient as well. The SPOC includes the 28 items and covers 24 separate observation periods. The aim of this paper is to constitute the translation process from the English to the German SPOC version. The translation process followed a five step model. In the first step the English version was translated from two German native speakers. In the second step, the first two translation results where discussed by the Expert group (authors) and a new version was developed. In the third step the first german version was translated back (two English native Speakers) into English. The fourth step was taken, to review the results by the expert groups (authors) and set up the so called "pre version". The last step includes the proof of content validity by 52 nurses. The proof was able to identify a few misunderstandings and helped to enhance the tool in its final version. With the translation, the

  5. Musical Sophistication and the Effect of Complexity on Auditory Discrimination in Finnish Speakers (United States)

    Dawson, Caitlin; Aalto, Daniel; Šimko, Juraj; Vainio, Martti; Tervaniemi, Mari


    Musical experiences and native language are both known to affect auditory processing. The present work aims to disentangle the influences of native language phonology and musicality on behavioral and subcortical sound feature processing in a population of musically diverse Finnish speakers as well as to investigate the specificity of enhancement from musical training. Finnish speakers are highly sensitive to duration cues since in Finnish, vowel and consonant duration determine word meaning. Using a correlational approach with a set of behavioral sound feature discrimination tasks, brainstem recordings, and a musical sophistication questionnaire, we find no evidence for an association between musical sophistication and more precise duration processing in Finnish speakers either in the auditory brainstem response or in behavioral tasks, but they do show an enhanced pitch discrimination compared to Finnish speakers with less musical experience and show greater duration modulation in a complex task. These results are consistent with a ceiling effect set for certain sound features which corresponds to the phonology of the native language, leaving an opportunity for music experience-based enhancement of sound features not explicitly encoded in the language (such as pitch, which is not explicitly encoded in Finnish). Finally, the pattern of duration modulation in more musically sophisticated Finnish speakers suggests integrated feature processing for greater efficiency in a real world musical situation. These results have implications for research into the specificity of plasticity in the auditory system as well as to the effects of interaction of specific language features with musical experiences. PMID:28450829

  6. Musical Sophistication and the Effect of Complexity on Auditory Discrimination in Finnish Speakers. (United States)

    Dawson, Caitlin; Aalto, Daniel; Šimko, Juraj; Vainio, Martti; Tervaniemi, Mari


    Musical experiences and native language are both known to affect auditory processing. The present work aims to disentangle the influences of native language phonology and musicality on behavioral and subcortical sound feature processing in a population of musically diverse Finnish speakers as well as to investigate the specificity of enhancement from musical training. Finnish speakers are highly sensitive to duration cues since in Finnish, vowel and consonant duration determine word meaning. Using a correlational approach with a set of behavioral sound feature discrimination tasks, brainstem recordings, and a musical sophistication questionnaire, we find no evidence for an association between musical sophistication and more precise duration processing in Finnish speakers either in the auditory brainstem response or in behavioral tasks, but they do show an enhanced pitch discrimination compared to Finnish speakers with less musical experience and show greater duration modulation in a complex task. These results are consistent with a ceiling effect set for certain sound features which corresponds to the phonology of the native language, leaving an opportunity for music experience-based enhancement of sound features not explicitly encoded in the language (such as pitch, which is not explicitly encoded in Finnish). Finally, the pattern of duration modulation in more musically sophisticated Finnish speakers suggests integrated feature processing for greater efficiency in a real world musical situation. These results have implications for research into the specificity of plasticity in the auditory system as well as to the effects of interaction of specific language features with musical experiences.

  7. Similar speaker recognition using nonlinear analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seo, J.P.; Kim, M.S.; Baek, I.C.; Kwon, Y.H.; Lee, K.S.; Chang, S.W.; Yang, S.I.


    Speech features of the conventional speaker identification system, are usually obtained by linear methods in spectral space. However, these methods have the drawback that speakers with similar voices cannot be distinguished, because the characteristics of their voices are also similar in spectral space. To overcome the difficulty in linear methods, we propose to use the correlation exponent in the nonlinear space as a new feature vector for speaker identification among persons with similar voices. We show that our proposed method surprisingly reduces the error rate of speaker identification system to speakers with similar voices

  8. Reanalysis and semantic persistence in native and non-native garden-path recovery. (United States)

    Jacob, Gunnar; Felser, Claudia


    We report the results from an eye-movement monitoring study investigating how native and non-native speakers of English process temporarily ambiguous sentences such as While the gentleman was eating the burgers were still being reheated in the microwave, in which an initially plausible direct-object analysis is first ruled out by a syntactic disambiguation (were) and also later on by semantic information (being reheated). Both participant groups showed garden-path effects at the syntactic disambiguation, with native speakers showing significantly stronger effects of ambiguity than non-native speakers in later eye-movement measures but equally strong effects in first-pass reading times. Ambiguity effects at the semantic disambiguation and in participants' end-of-trial responses revealed that for both participant groups, the incorrect direct-object analysis was frequently maintained beyond the syntactic disambiguation. The non-native group showed weaker reanalysis effects at the syntactic disambiguation and was more likely to misinterpret the experimental sentences than the native group. Our results suggest that native language (L1) and non-native language (L2) parsing are similar with regard to sensitivity to syntactic and semantic error signals, but different with regard to processes of reanalysis.

  9. Hybrid Speaker Recognition Using Universal Acoustic Model (United States)

    Nishimura, Jun; Kuroda, Tadahiro

    We propose a novel speaker recognition approach using a speaker-independent universal acoustic model (UAM) for sensornet applications. In sensornet applications such as “Business Microscope”, interactions among knowledge workers in an organization can be visualized by sensing face-to-face communication using wearable sensor nodes. In conventional studies, speakers are detected by comparing energy of input speech signals among the nodes. However, there are often synchronization errors among the nodes which degrade the speaker recognition performance. By focusing on property of the speaker's acoustic channel, UAM can provide robustness against the synchronization error. The overall speaker recognition accuracy is improved by combining UAM with the energy-based approach. For 0.1s speech inputs and 4 subjects, speaker recognition accuracy of 94% is achieved at the synchronization error less than 100ms.

  10. Identifying Core Vocabulary for Urdu Language Speakers Using Augmentative Alternative Communication (United States)

    Mukati, Abdul Samad


    The purpose of this research is to identify a core set of vocabulary used by native Urdu language (UL) speakers during dyadic conversation for social interaction and relationship building. This study was conducted in Karachi, Pakistan at an institution of higher education. This research seeks to distinguish between general (nonspecific…

  11. Processing ser and estar to locate objects and events: An ERP study with L2 speakers of Spanish. (United States)

    Dussias, Paola E; Contemori, Carla; Román, Patricia


    In Spanish locative constructions, a different form of the copula is selected in relation to the semantic properties of the grammatical subject: sentences that locate objects require estar while those that locate events require ser (both translated in English as 'to be'). In an ERP study, we examined whether second language (L2) speakers of Spanish are sensitive to the selectional restrictions that the different types of subjects impose on the choice of the two copulas. Twenty-four native speakers of Spanish and two groups of L2 Spanish speakers (24 beginners and 18 advanced speakers) were recruited to investigate the processing of 'object/event + estar/ser ' permutations. Participants provided grammaticality judgments on correct (object + estar ; event + ser ) and incorrect (object + ser ; event + estar ) sentences while their brain activity was recorded. In line with previous studies (Leone-Fernández, Molinaro, Carreiras, & Barber, 2012; Sera, Gathje, & Pintado, 1999), the results of the grammaticality judgment for the native speakers showed that participants correctly accepted object + estar and event + ser constructions. In addition, while 'object + ser ' constructions were considered grossly ungrammatical, 'event + estar ' combinations were perceived as unacceptable to a lesser degree. For these same participants, ERP recording time-locked to the onset of the critical word ' en ' showed a larger P600 for the ser predicates when the subject was an object than when it was an event (*La silla es en la cocina vs. La fiesta es en la cocina). This P600 effect is consistent with syntactic repair of the defining predicate when it does not fit with the adequate semantic properties of the subject. For estar predicates (La silla está en la cocina vs. *La fiesta está en la cocina), the findings showed a central-frontal negativity between 500-700 ms. Grammaticality judgment data for the L2 speakers of Spanish showed that beginners were significantly less accurate than

  12. Revisiting the role of language in spatial cognition: Categorical perception of spatial relations in English and Korean speakers. (United States)

    Holmes, Kevin J; Moty, Kelsey; Regier, Terry


    The spatial relation of support has been regarded as universally privileged in nonlinguistic cognition and immune to the influence of language. English, but not Korean, obligatorily distinguishes support from nonsupport via basic spatial terms. Despite this linguistic difference, previous research suggests that English and Korean speakers show comparable nonlinguistic sensitivity to the support/nonsupport distinction. Here, using a paradigm previously found to elicit cross-language differences in color discrimination, we provide evidence for a difference in sensitivity to support/nonsupport between native English speakers and native Korean speakers who were late English learners and tested in a context that privileged Korean. Whereas the former group showed categorical perception (CP) when discriminating spatial scenes capturing the support/nonsupport distinction, the latter did not. An additional group of native Korean speakers-relatively early English learners tested in an English-salient context-patterned with the native English speakers in showing CP for support/nonsupport. These findings suggest that obligatory marking of support/nonsupport in one's native language can affect nonlinguistic sensitivity to this distinction, contra earlier findings, but that such sensitivity may also depend on aspects of language background and the immediate linguistic context.

  13. Germanic heritage languages in North America: Acquisition, attrition and change


    Johannessen, Janne Bondi; Salmons, Joseph C.; Westergaard, Marit; Anderssen, Merete; Arnbjörnsdóttir, Birna; Allen, Brent; Pierce, Marc; Boas, Hans C.; Roesch, Karen; Brown, Joshua R.; Putnam, Michael; Åfarli, Tor A.; Newman, Zelda Kahan; Annear, Lucas; Speth, Kristin


    This book presents new empirical findings about Germanic heritage varieties spoken in North America: Dutch, German, Pennsylvania Dutch, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, West Frisian and Yiddish, and varieties of English spoken both by heritage speakers and in communities after language shift. The volume focuses on three critical issues underlying the notion of ‘heritage language’: acquisition, attrition and change. The book offers theoretically-informed discussions of heritage language processe...

  14. The Big Four Skills: Teachers’ Assumptions on Measurement of Cognition and Academic Skills for Non-Native Students.


    Figueiredo, Sandra; Silva, Carlos Fernandes da; Nunes, Odete; Martins, Maria Margarida Alves d'Orey


    The four-skills on tests for young native speakers commonly do not generate correlation incongruency concerning the cognitive strategies frequently reported. Considering the non-native speakers there are parse evidence to determine which tasks are important to assess properly the cognitive and academic language proficiency (Cummins, 1980; 2012). Research questions: It is of high probability that young students with origin in immigration ...

  15. Examining Test Speededness by Native Language (United States)

    Talento-Miller, Eileen; Guo, Fanmin; Han, Kyung T.


    When power tests include a time limit, it is important to assess the possibility of speededness for examinees. Past research on differential speededness has examined gender and ethnic subgroups in the United States on paper and pencil tests. When considering the needs of a global audience, research regarding different native language speakers is…

  16. What makes a charismatic speaker?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niebuhr, Oliver; Voße, Jana; Brem, Alexander


    The former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was one of the most charismatic speakers of the past decades. However, there is, as yet, no detailed quantitative profile of his way of speaking. We used state-of-the-art computer techniques to acoustically analyze his speech behavior and relate it to reference...... samples. Our paper provides the first-ever acoustic profile of Steve Jobs, based on about 4000 syllables and 12,000 individual speech sounds from his two most outstanding and well-known product presentations: the introductions of the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2. Our results show that Steve Jobs stands out...

  17. Speaker Segmentation and Clustering Using Gender Information (United States)


    used in the first stages of segmentation forder information in the clustering of the opposite-gender speaker diarization of news broadcasts. files, the...AFRL-HE-WP-TP-2006-0026 AIR FORCE RESEARCH LABORATORY Speaker Segmentation and Clustering Using Gender Information Brian M. Ore General Dynamics...COVERED (From - To) February 2006 ProceedinLgs 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Speaker Segmentation and Clustering Using Gender Information 5b

  18. Encoding, rehearsal, and recall in signers and speakers: shared network but differential engagement. (United States)

    Bavelier, D; Newman, A J; Mukherjee, M; Hauser, P; Kemeny, S; Braun, A; Boutla, M


    Short-term memory (STM), or the ability to hold verbal information in mind for a few seconds, is known to rely on the integrity of a frontoparietal network of areas. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to ask whether a similar network is engaged when verbal information is conveyed through a visuospatial language, American Sign Language, rather than speech. Deaf native signers and hearing native English speakers performed a verbal recall task, where they had to first encode a list of letters in memory, maintain it for a few seconds, and finally recall it in the order presented. The frontoparietal network described to mediate STM in speakers was also observed in signers, with its recruitment appearing independent of the modality of the language. This finding supports the view that signed and spoken STM rely on similar mechanisms. However, deaf signers and hearing speakers differentially engaged key structures of the frontoparietal network as the stages of STM unfold. In particular, deaf signers relied to a greater extent than hearing speakers on passive memory storage areas during encoding and maintenance, but on executive process areas during recall. This work opens new avenues for understanding similarities and differences in STM performance in signers and speakers.

  19. Supervised and Unsupervised Speaker Adaptation in the NIST 2005 Speaker Recognition Evaluation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hansen, Eric G; Slyh, Raymond E; Anderson, Timothy R


    Starting in 2004, the annual NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluation (SRE) has added an optional unsupervised speaker adaptation track where test files are processed sequentially and one may update the target model...

  20. When emotions are expressed figuratively: Psycholinguistic and Affective Norms of 619 Idioms for German (PANIG). (United States)

    Citron, Francesca M M; Cacciari, Cristina; Kucharski, Michael; Beck, Luna; Conrad, Markus; Jacobs, Arthur M


    Despite flourishing research on the relationship between emotion and literal language, and despite the pervasiveness of figurative expressions in communication, the role of figurative language in conveying affect has been underinvestigated. This study provides affective and psycholinguistic norms for 619 German idiomatic expressions and explores the relationships between affective and psycholinguistic idiom properties. German native speakers rated each idiom for emotional valence, arousal, familiarity, semantic transparency, figurativeness, and concreteness. They also described the figurative meaning of each idiom and rated how confident they were about the attributed meaning. The results showed that idioms rated high in valence were also rated high in arousal. Negative idioms were rated as more arousing than positive ones, in line with results from single words. Furthermore, arousal correlated positively with figurativeness (supporting the idea that figurative expressions are more emotionally engaging than literal expressions) and with concreteness and semantic transparency. This suggests that idioms may convey a more direct reference to sensory representations, mediated by the meanings of their constituting words. Arousal correlated positively with familiarity. In addition, positive idioms were rated as more familiar than negative idioms. Finally, idioms without a literal counterpart were rated as more emotionally valenced and arousing than idioms with a literal counterpart. Although the meanings of ambiguous idioms were less correctly defined than those of unambiguous idioms, ambiguous idioms were rated as more concrete than unambiguous ones. We also discuss the relationships between the various psycholinguistic variables characterizing idioms, with reference to the literature on idiom structure and processing.

  1. Speaker's presentations. Energy supply security

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pierret, Ch.


    This document is a collection of most of the papers used by the speakers of the European Seminar on Energy Supply Security organised in Paris (at the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry) on 24 November 2000 by the General Direction of Energy and Raw Materials, in co-operation with the European Commission and the French Planning Office. About 250 attendees were present, including a lot of high level Civil Servants from the 15 European State members, and their questions have allowed to create a rich debate. It took place five days before the publication, on 29 November 2000, by the European Commission, of the Green Paper 'Towards a European Strategy for the Security of Energy Supply'. This French initiative, which took place within the framework of the European Presidency of the European Union, during the second half-year 2000. will bring a first impetus to the brainstorming launched by the Commission. (author)

  2. Processing lexical semantic and syntactic information in first and second language: fMRI evidence from German and Russian. (United States)

    Rüschemeyer, Shirley-Ann; Fiebach, Christian J; Kempe, Vera; Friederici, Angela D


    We introduce two experiments that explored syntactic and semantic processing of spoken sentences by native and non-native speakers. In the first experiment, the neural substrates corresponding to detection of syntactic and semantic violations were determined in native speakers of two typologically different languages using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The results show that the underlying neural response of participants to stimuli across different native languages is quite similar. In the second experiment, we investigated how non-native speakers of a language process the same stimuli presented in the first experiment. First, the results show a more similar pattern of increased activation between native and non-native speakers in response to semantic violations than to syntactic violations. Second, the non-native speakers were observed to employ specific portions of the frontotemporal language network differently from those employed by native speakers. These regions included the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), superior temporal gyrus (STG), and subcortical structures of the basal ganglia.

  3. Constraining second language word order optionality : scrambling in advanced English-German and Japanese-German interlanguage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hopp, Holger


    This study documents knowledge of UG-mediated aspects of optionality in word order in the second language (L2) German of advanced English and Japanese speakers (n = 39). A bimodal grammaticality judgement task, which controlled for context and intonation, was administered to probe judgements on a

  4. The importance of a near-native accent. : Do the Dutch speak English or Double Dutch?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    drs. Frans Hermans


    The importance of a near-native accent. This talk will discuss whether or not it is important for EFL-teachers to try and achieve a near-native generally accepted accent for their students. The focus will be on the credibility of non-native speakers of English while speaking English in a

  5. Phoneme Error Pattern by Heritage Speakers of Spanish on an English Word Recognition Test. (United States)

    Shi, Lu-Feng


    Heritage speakers acquire their native language from home use in their early childhood. As the native language is typically a minority language in the society, these individuals receive their formal education in the majority language and eventually develop greater competency with the majority than their native language. To date, there have not been specific research attempts to understand word recognition by heritage speakers. It is not clear if and to what degree we may infer from evidence based on bilingual listeners in general. This preliminary study investigated how heritage speakers of Spanish perform on an English word recognition test and analyzed their phoneme errors. A prospective, cross-sectional, observational design was employed. Twelve normal-hearing adult Spanish heritage speakers (four men, eight women, 20-38 yr old) participated in the study. Their language background was obtained through the Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire. Nine English monolingual listeners (three men, six women, 20-41 yr old) were also included for comparison purposes. Listeners were presented with 200 Northwestern University Auditory Test No. 6 words in quiet. They repeated each word orally and in writing. Their responses were scored by word, word-initial consonant, vowel, and word-final consonant. Performance was compared between groups with Student's t test or analysis of variance. Group-specific error patterns were primarily descriptive, but intergroup comparisons were made using 95% or 99% confidence intervals for proportional data. The two groups of listeners yielded comparable scores when their responses were examined by word, vowel, and final consonant. However, heritage speakers of Spanish misidentified significantly more word-initial consonants and had significantly more difficulty with initial /p, b, h/ than their monolingual peers. The two groups yielded similar patterns for vowel and word-final consonants, but heritage speakers made significantly

  6. A Mouse with a Roof? Effects of Phonological Neighbors on Processing of Words in Sentences in a Non-Native Language (United States)

    Ruschemeyer, Shirley-Ann; Nojack, Agnes; Limbach, Maxi


    The architecture of the language processing system for speakers of more than one language remains an intriguing topic of research. A common finding is that speakers of multiple languages are slower at responding to language stimuli in their non-native language (L2) than monolingual speakers. This may simply reflect participants' unfamiliarity with…

  7. Native excellence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bower, T.


    Syncrude Canada Ltd., operator of the oil sands mine and processing plant near Fort McMurray, Alberta, produces 11% of Canada's crude oil and is the country's largest private-sector employer of native Canadians. Syncrude has the goal of employing about 10% native Canadians, which is about the percentage of natives in the regional population. Examples are presented of successful native employment and entrepreneurship at Syncrude. Doreen Janvier, once employed at Syncrude's mine wash bays, was challenged to form her own company to contract out labor services. Her company, DJM Enterprises, now has a 2-year contract to operate three highly sophisticated wash bays used to clean mining equipment, and is looking to bid on other labor contracts. Mabel Laviolette serves as liaison between the oil containment and recovery team, who recover oil skimmed off Syncrude's tailings basin, and the area manager. The team approach and the seasonal nature of the employment fit in well with native cultural patterns. The excellence of native teamwork is also illustrated in the mine rescue team, one unit of which is entirely native Canadian. Part of Syncrude's aboriginal policy is to encourage development of aboriginal enterprises, such as native-owned Clearwater Welding and Fabricating Ltd., which has held welding and fabricating contracts with most major companies in the region and is a major supplier of skilled tradesmen to Syncrude. Syncrude also provides employment and training, encourages natives to continue their education, and promotes local community development. 4 figs

  8. Speaker-specific variability of phoneme durations

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Heerden, CJ


    Full Text Available The durations of phonemes varies for different speakers. To this end, the correlations between phonemes across different speakers are studied and a novel approach to predict unknown phoneme durations from the values of known phoneme durations for a...

  9. A New Database for Speaker Recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Ling; Hansen, Lars Kai


    In this paper we discuss properties of speech databases used for speaker recognition research and evaluation, and we characterize some popular standard databases. The paper presents a new database called ELSDSR dedicated to speaker recognition applications. The main characteristics of this database...

  10. Patterns of (negotiated) interaction during telecollaboration between native and advanced non-native speakers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Zwaard, R.


    The digital platforms that are now available within most educational contexts in many parts of the world facilitate communication and collaboration beyond institutional constraints and national boundaries and provide educators with the possibility to create digital communication environments and

  11. Utterance Verification for Text-Dependent Speaker Recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kinnunen, Tomi; Sahidullah, Md; Kukanov, Ivan


    Text-dependent automatic speaker verification naturally calls for the simultaneous verification of speaker identity and spoken content. These two tasks can be achieved with automatic speaker verification (ASV) and utterance verification (UV) technologies. While both have been addressed previously...

  12. Teaching German-Americana (United States)

    Tolzmann, Don Heinrich


    A university course entitled "The German-Americans" attempted to study and evaluate German culture in the U. S. Lecture topics and term paper theses are listed and a selected annotated bibliography of German-American culture is included. (CHK)

  13. A Computer Text Analysis of Four Cohesion Devices in English Discourse by Native and Nonnative Writers. (United States)

    Reid, Joy


    In a contrastive rhetoric study of nonnative English speakers, 768 essays written in English by native speakers of Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and English were examined using the Writer's Workbench program to determine whether distinctive, quantifiable differences in the use of 4 cohesion devices existed among the 4 language backgrounds. (Author/LB)

  14. Syntactic constraints and individual differences in native and non-native processing of wh-movement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrienne eJohnson


    Full Text Available There is a debate as to whether second language (L2 learners show qualitatively similar processing profiles as native speakers or whether L2 learners are restricted in their ability to use syntactic information during online processing. In the realm of wh-dependency resolution, research has examined whether learners, similar to native speakers, attempt to resolve wh-dependencies in grammatically licensed contexts but avoid positing gaps in illicit contexts such as islands. Also at issue is whether the avoidance of gap filling in islands is due to adherence to syntactic constraints or whether islands simply present processing bottlenecks. One approach has been to examine the relationship between processing abilities and the establishment of wh-dependencies in islands. Grammatical accounts of islands do not predict such a relationship as the parser should simply not predict gaps in illicit contexts. In contrast, a pattern of results showing that individuals with more processing resources are better able to establish wh-dependencies in islands could conceivably be compatible with certain processing accounts. In a self-paced reading experiment which examines the processing of wh- dependencies, we address both questions, examining whether native English speakers and Korean learners of English show qualitatively similar patterns and whether there is a relationship between working memory, as measured by counting span and reading span, and processing in both island and non-island contexts. The results of the self-paced reading experiment suggest that learners can use syntactic information on the same timecourse as native speakers, showing qualitative similarity between the two groups. Results of regression analyses did not reveal a significant relationship between working memory and the establishment of wh-dependencies in islands but we did observe significant relationships between working memory and the processing of licit wh-dependencies. As the

  15. The Understanding of English Emotion Words by Chinese and Japanese Speakers of English as a Lingua Franca

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mosekjær, Stine

    In this thesis I investigate the understanding and use of the English emotion words guilty, ashamed, and proud by Japanese and Chinese speakers of English as a lingua franca. By exploring empirical data I examine (1) how Japanese and Chinese participants understand and use the three stimulus words......, (2) if their understanding and use differ from that of native English speakers, and (3) if so, what these differences are. In the thesis 65 participants are investigated. The participants consist of 20 native Japanese and 23 native Chinese. For comparison, a group of 22 British native English....... The framework, which is based on the theoretical notion of the word as an image-idea pair as suggested by the theory of linguistic supertypes, consists of three tests each addressing three different aspects of the understanding and use of the stimulus words: the Free Association test (FA test), the Context...

  16. Islands and non-islands in native and heritage Korean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boyoung eKim


    Full Text Available To a large extent, island phenomena are cross-linguistically invariable, but English and Korean present some striking differences in this domain. English has wh-movement and Korean does not, and while both languages show sensitivity to wh-islands, only English has island effects for adjunct clauses. Given this complex set of differences, one might expect Korean/English bilinguals, and especially heritage Korean speakers (i.e. early bilinguals whose L2 became their dominant language during childhood to be different from native speakers, since heritage speakers have had more limited exposure to Korean, may have had incomplete acquisition and/or attrition, and may show significant transfer effects from the L2. Here we examine islands in heritage speakers of Korean in the U.S. Through a series of four formal acceptability experiments comparing these heritage speakers with native speakers residing in Korea, we show that the two groups are remarkably similar. Both show clear evidence for wh-islands and an equally clear lack of adjunct island effects. Given the very different linguistic environment that the heritage speakers have had since early childhood, this result lends support to the idea that island phenomena are largely immune to environmental influences and stem from deeper properties of the processor and/or grammar. Similarly, it casts some doubt on recent proposals that islands are learned from the input.

  17. Robust speaker recognition in noisy environments

    CERN Document Server

    Rao, K Sreenivasa


    This book discusses speaker recognition methods to deal with realistic variable noisy environments. The text covers authentication systems for; robust noisy background environments, functions in real time and incorporated in mobile devices. The book focuses on different approaches to enhance the accuracy of speaker recognition in presence of varying background environments. The authors examine: (a) Feature compensation using multiple background models, (b) Feature mapping using data-driven stochastic models, (c) Design of super vector- based GMM-SVM framework for robust speaker recognition, (d) Total variability modeling (i-vectors) in a discriminative framework and (e) Boosting method to fuse evidences from multiple SVM models.

  18. Robustness-related issues in speaker recognition

    CERN Document Server

    Zheng, Thomas Fang


    This book presents an overview of speaker recognition technologies with an emphasis on dealing with robustness issues. Firstly, the book gives an overview of speaker recognition, such as the basic system framework, categories under different criteria, performance evaluation and its development history. Secondly, with regard to robustness issues, the book presents three categories, including environment-related issues, speaker-related issues and application-oriented issues. For each category, the book describes the current hot topics, existing technologies, and potential research focuses in the future. The book is a useful reference book and self-learning guide for early researchers working in the field of robust speech recognition.

  19. Are Cantonese-speakers really descriptivists? Revisiting cross-cultural semantics. (United States)

    Lam, Barry


    In an article in Cognition [Machery, E., Mallon, R., Nichols, S., & Stich, S. (2004). Semantics cross-cultural style. Cognition, 92, B1-B12] present data which purports to show that East Asian Cantonese-speakers tend to have descriptivist intuitions about the referents of proper names, while Western English-speakers tend to have causal-historical intuitions about proper names. Machery et al. take this finding to support the view that some intuitions, the universality of which they claim is central to philosophical theories, vary according to cultural background. Machery et al. conclude from their findings that the philosophical methodology of consulting intuitions about hypothetical cases is flawed vis a vis the goal of determining truths about some philosophical domains like philosophical semantics. In the following study, three new vignettes in English were given to Western native English-speakers, and Cantonese translations were given to native Cantonese-speaking immigrants from a Cantonese community in Southern California. For all three vignettes, questions were given to elicit intuitions about the referent of a proper name and the truth-value of an uttered sentence containing a proper name. The results from this study reveal that East Asian Cantonese-speakers do not differ from Western English-speakers in ways that support Machery et al.'s conclusions. This new data concerning the intuitions of Cantonese-speakers raises questions about whether cross-cultural variation in answers to questions on certain vignettes reveal genuine differences in intuitions, or whether such differences stem from non-intuitional differences, such as differences in linguistic competence. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. German Studies in America. German Studies Notes. (United States)

    Sander, Volkmar; Osterle, Heinz D.

    This volume contains two papers, "German Studies in America," by Volkmar Sander, and "Historicism, Marxism, Structuralism: Ideas for German Culture Courses," by Heinz D. Osterle. The first paper discusses the position of German studies in the United States today. The greatest challenge comes from low enrollments; therefore,…

  1. On the optimization of a mixed speaker array in an enclosed space using the virtual-speaker weighting method (United States)

    Peng, Bo; Zheng, Sifa; Liao, Xiangning; Lian, Xiaomin


    In order to achieve sound field reproduction in a wide frequency band, multiple-type speakers are used. The reproduction accuracy is not only affected by the signals sent to the speakers, but also depends on the position and the number of each type of speaker. The method of optimizing a mixed speaker array is investigated in this paper. A virtual-speaker weighting method is proposed to optimize both the position and the number of each type of speaker. In this method, a virtual-speaker model is proposed to quantify the increment of controllability of the speaker array when the speaker number increases. While optimizing a mixed speaker array, the gain of the virtual-speaker transfer function is used to determine the priority orders of the candidate speaker positions, which optimizes the position of each type of speaker. Then the relative gain of the virtual-speaker transfer function is used to determine whether the speakers are redundant, which optimizes the number of each type of speaker. Finally the virtual-speaker weighting method is verified by reproduction experiments of the interior sound field in a passenger car. The results validate that the optimum mixed speaker array can be obtained using the proposed method.

  2. Data requirements for speaker independent acoustic models

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Badenhorst, JAC


    Full Text Available When developing speech recognition systems in resource-constrained environments, careful design of the training corpus can play an important role in compensating for data scarcity. One of the factors to consider relates to the speaker composition...

  3. Role of Speaker Cues in Attention Inference


    Jin Joo Lee; Cynthia Breazeal; David DeSteno


    Current state-of-the-art approaches to emotion recognition primarily focus on modeling the nonverbal expressions of the sole individual without reference to contextual elements such as the co-presence of the partner. In this paper, we demonstrate that the accurate inference of listeners’ social-emotional state of attention depends on accounting for the nonverbal behaviors of their storytelling partner, namely their speaker cues. To gain a deeper understanding of the role of speaker cues in at...

  4. Pitch perception and production in congenital amusia: Evidence from Cantonese speakers


    Liu, Fang; Chan, Alice H. D.; Ciocca, Valter; Roquet, Catherine; Peretz, Isabelle; Wong, Patrick C. M.


    This study investigated pitch perception and production in speech and music in individuals with congenital amusia (a disorder of musical pitch processing) who are native speakers of Cantonese, a tone language with a highly complex tonal system. Sixteen Cantonese-speaking congenital amusics and 16 controls performed a set of lexical tone perception, production, singing, and psychophysical pitch threshold tasks. Their tone production accuracy and singing proficiency were subsequently judged by ...

  5. Pitch Correlogram Clustering for Fast Speaker Identification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nitin Jhanwar


    Full Text Available Gaussian mixture models (GMMs are commonly used in text-independent speaker identification systems. However, for large speaker databases, their high computational run-time limits their use in online or real-time speaker identification situations. Two-stage identification systems, in which the database is partitioned into clusters based on some proximity criteria and only a single-cluster GMM is run in every test, have been suggested in literature to speed up the identification process. However, most clustering algorithms used have shown limited success, apparently because the clustering and GMM feature spaces used are derived from similar speech characteristics. This paper presents a new clustering approach based on the concept of a pitch correlogram that captures frame-to-frame pitch variations of a speaker rather than short-time spectral characteristics like cepstral coefficient, spectral slopes, and so forth. The effectiveness of this two-stage identification process is demonstrated on the IVIE corpus of 110 speakers. The overall system achieves a run-time advantage of 500% as well as a 10% reduction of error in overall speaker identification.

  6. Speakers' choice of frame in binary choice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc van Buiten


    Full Text Available A distinction is proposed between extit{recommending for} preferred choice options and extit{recommending against} non-preferred choice options. In binary choice, both recommendation modes are logically, though not psychologically, equivalent. We report empirical evidence showing that speakers recommending for preferred options predominantly select positive frames, which are less common when speakers recommend against non-preferred options. In addition, option attractiveness is shown to affect speakers' choice of frame, and adoption of recommendation mode. The results are interpreted in terms of three compatibility effects, (i extit{recommendation mode---valence framing compatibility}: speakers' preference for positive framing is enhanced under extit{recommending for} and diminished under extit{recommending against} instructions, (ii extit{option attractiveness---valence framing compatibility}: speakers' preference for positive framing is more pronounced for attractive than for unattractive options, and (iii extit{recommendation mode---option attractiveness compatibility}: speakers are more likely to adopt a extit{recommending for} approach for attractive than for unattractive binary choice pairs.

  7. Audiovisual perceptual learning with multiple speakers. (United States)

    Mitchel, Aaron D; Gerfen, Chip; Weiss, Daniel J


    One challenge for speech perception is between-speaker variability in the acoustic parameters of speech. For example, the same phoneme (e.g. the vowel in "cat") may have substantially different acoustic properties when produced by two different speakers and yet the listener must be able to interpret these disparate stimuli as equivalent. Perceptual tuning, the use of contextual information to adjust phonemic representations, may be one mechanism that helps listeners overcome obstacles they face due to this variability during speech perception. Here we test whether visual contextual cues to speaker identity may facilitate the formation and maintenance of distributional representations for individual speakers, allowing listeners to adjust phoneme boundaries in a speaker-specific manner. We familiarized participants to an audiovisual continuum between /aba/ and /ada/. During familiarization, the "b-face" mouthed /aba/ when an ambiguous token was played, while the "D-face" mouthed /ada/. At test, the same ambiguous token was more likely to be identified as /aba/ when paired with a stilled image of the "b-face" than with an image of the "D-face." This was not the case in the control condition when the two faces were paired equally with the ambiguous token. Together, these results suggest that listeners may form speaker-specific phonemic representations using facial identity cues.

  8. Faithful Imitator, Legitimate Speaker, Playful Creator and Dialogical Communicator: Shift in English Learners' Identity Prototypes (United States)

    Gao, Yihong


    This paper attempts to conceptualize identity prototypes regarding model L2 learners/users of English over the past 50 years, as embedded in research discourses. For a long time, the ideal learner was a "faithful imitator" whose L2 use and cultural conduct were strictly modeled on the native speaker (NS). With postcolonial changes around…

  9. Native Language Self-Concept and Reading Self-Concept: Same or Different? (United States)

    Arens, A. Katrin; Yeung, Alexander Seeshing; Hasselhorn, Marcus


    In assessing verbal academic self-concept with preadolescents, researchers have used scales for students' self-concepts in reading and in their native language interchangeably. The authors conducted 3 studies with German students to test whether reading and German (i.e., native language) self-concepts can be treated as the same or different…

  10. Non-native educators in English language teaching

    CERN Document Server

    Braine, George


    The place of native and non-native speakers in the role of English teachers has probably been an issue ever since English was taught internationally. Although ESL and EFL literature is awash, in fact dependent upon, the scrutiny of non-native learners, interest in non-native academics and teachers is fairly new. Until recently, the voices of non-native speakers articulating their own concerns have been even rarer. This book is a response to this notable vacuum in the ELT literature, providing a forum for language educators from diverse geographical origins and language backgrounds. In addition to presenting autobiographical narratives, these authors argue sociopolitical issues and discuss implications for teacher education, all relating to the theme of non-native educators in ETL. All of the authors are non-native speakers of English. Some are long established professionals, whereas others are more recent initiates to the field. All but one received part of the higher education in North America, and all excep...

  11. Non-Native Japanese Listeners' Perception of Vowel Length Contrasts in Japanese and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) (United States)

    Tsukada, Kimiko


    This study aimed to compare the perception of short vs. long vowel contrasts in Japanese and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) by four groups of listeners differing in their linguistic backgrounds: native Arabic (NA), native Japanese (NJ), non-native Japanese (NNJ) and Australian English (OZ) speakers. The NNJ and OZ groups shared the first language…

  12. Role of Speaker Cues in Attention Inference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin Joo Lee


    Full Text Available Current state-of-the-art approaches to emotion recognition primarily focus on modeling the nonverbal expressions of the sole individual without reference to contextual elements such as the co-presence of the partner. In this paper, we demonstrate that the accurate inference of listeners’ social-emotional state of attention depends on accounting for the nonverbal behaviors of their storytelling partner, namely their speaker cues. To gain a deeper understanding of the role of speaker cues in attention inference, we conduct investigations into real-world interactions of children (5–6 years old storytelling with their peers. Through in-depth analysis of human–human interaction data, we first identify nonverbal speaker cues (i.e., backchannel-inviting cues and listener responses (i.e., backchannel feedback. We then demonstrate how speaker cues can modify the interpretation of attention-related backchannels as well as serve as a means to regulate the responsiveness of listeners. We discuss the design implications of our findings toward our primary goal of developing attention recognition models for storytelling robots, and we argue that social robots can proactively use speaker cues to form more accurate inferences about the attentive state of their human partners.

  13. Automatic Speaker Recognition for Mobile Forensic Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Algabri


    Full Text Available Presently, lawyers, law enforcement agencies, and judges in courts use speech and other biometric features to recognize suspects. In general, speaker recognition is used for discriminating people based on their voices. The process of determining, if a suspected speaker is the source of trace, is called forensic speaker recognition. In such applications, the voice samples are most probably noisy, the recording sessions might mismatch each other, the sessions might not contain sufficient recording for recognition purposes, and the suspect voices are recorded through mobile channel. The identification of a person through his voice within a forensic quality context is challenging. In this paper, we propose a method for forensic speaker recognition for the Arabic language; the King Saud University Arabic Speech Database is used for obtaining experimental results. The advantage of this database is that each speaker’s voice is recorded in both clean and noisy environments, through a microphone and a mobile channel. This diversity facilitates its usage in forensic experimentations. Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients are used for feature extraction and the Gaussian mixture model-universal background model is used for speaker modeling. Our approach has shown low equal error rates (EER, within noisy environments and with very short test samples.

  14. It's the deceiver, not the receiver: No individual differences when detecting deception in a foreign and a native language.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marvin K H Law

    Full Text Available Individual differences in lie detection remain poorly understood. Bond and DePaulo's meta-analysis examined judges (receivers who were ascertaining lies from truths and senders (deceiver who told these lies and truths. Bond and DePaulo found that the accuracy of detecting deception depended more on the characteristics of senders rather than the judges' ability to detect lies/truths. However, for many studies in this meta-analysis, judges could hear and understand senders. This made language comprehension a potential confound. This paper presents the results of two studies. Extending previous work, in Study 1, we removed language comprehension as a potential confound by having English-speakers (N = 126, mean age = 19.86 judge the veracity of German speakers (n = 12 in a lie detection task. The twelve lie-detection stimuli included emotional and non-emotional content, and were presented in three modalities-audio only, video only, and audio and video together. The intelligence (General, Auditory, Emotional and personality (Dark Triads and Big 6 of participants was also assessed. In Study 2, a native German-speaking sample (N = 117, mean age = 29.10 were also tested on a similar lie detection task to provide a control condition. Despite significantly extending research design and the selection of constructs employed to capture individual differences, both studies replicated Bond and DePaulo's findings. The results of Study1 indicated that removing language comprehension did not amplify individual differences in judge's ability to ascertain lies from truths. Study 2 replicated these results confirming a lack of individual differences in judge's ability to detect lies. The results of both studies suggest that Sender (deceiver characteristics exerted a stronger influence on the outcomes of lie detection than the judge's attributes.

  15. Clear Speech - Mere Speech? How segmental and prosodic speech reduction shape the impression that speakers create on listeners

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niebuhr, Oliver


    of reduction levels and perceived speaker attributes in which moderate reduction can make a better impression on listeners than no reduction. In addition to its relevance in reduction models and theories, this interplay is instructive for various fields of speech application from social robotics to charisma...... whether variation in the degree of reduction also has a systematic effect on the attributes we ascribe to the speaker who produces the speech signal. A perception experiment was carried out for German in which 46 listeners judged whether or not speakers showing 3 different combinations of segmental...... and prosodic reduction levels (unreduced, moderately reduced, strongly reduced) are appropriately described by 13 physical, social, and cognitive attributes. The experiment shows that clear speech is not mere speech, and less clear speech is not just reduced either. Rather, results revealed a complex interplay...

  16. Gricean Semantics and Vague Speaker-Meaning


    Schiffer, Stephen


    Presentations of Gricean semantics, including Stephen Neale’s in “Silent Reference,” totally ignore vagueness, even though virtually every utterance is vague. I ask how Gricean semantics might be adjusted to accommodate vague speaker-meaning. My answer is that it can’t accommodate it: the Gricean program collapses in the face of vague speaker-meaning. The Gricean might, however, fi nd some solace in knowing that every other extant meta-semantic and semantic program is in the same boat.

  17. Why Not Non-Native Varieties of English as Listening Comprehension Test Input? (United States)

    Abeywickrama, Priyanvada


    The existence of different varieties of English in target language use (TLU) domains calls into question the usefulness of listening comprehension tests whose input is limited only to a native speaker variety. This study investigated the impact of non-native varieties or accented English speech on test takers from three different English use…

  18. Which English? Whose English? An Investigation of "Non-Native" Teachers' Beliefs about Target Varieties (United States)

    Young, Tony Johnstone; Walsh, Steve


    This study explored the beliefs of "non-native English speaking" teachers about the usefulness and appropriacy of varieties such as English as an International Language (EIL) and English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), compared with native speaker varieties. The study therefore addresses the current theoretical debate concerning "appropriate" target…

  19. Speaker Prediction based on Head Orientations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rienks, R.J.; Poppe, Ronald Walter; van Otterlo, M.; Poel, Mannes; Poel, M.; Nijholt, A.; Nijholt, Antinus


    To gain insight into gaze behavior in meetings, this paper compares the results from a Naive Bayes classifier, Neural Networks and humans on speaker prediction in four-person meetings given solely the azimuth head angles. The Naive Bayes classifier scored 69.4% correctly, Neural Networks 62.3% and

  20. Study of audio speakers containing ferrofluid

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rosensweig, R E [34 Gloucester Road, Summit, NJ 07901 (United States); Hirota, Y; Tsuda, S [Ferrotec, 1-4-14 Kyobashi, chuo-Ku, Tokyo 104-0031 (Japan); Raj, K [Ferrotec, 33 Constitution Drive, Bedford, NH 03110 (United States)


    This work validates a method for increasing the radial restoring force on the voice coil in audio speakers containing ferrofluid. In addition, a study is made of factors influencing splash loss of the ferrofluid due to shock. Ferrohydrodynamic analysis is employed throughout to model behavior, and predictions are compared to experimental data.

  1. B Anand | Speakers | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    However, the mechanism by which this protospacer fragment gets integrated in a directional fashion into the leader proximal end is elusive. The speakers group identified that the leader region abutting the first CRISPR repeat localizes Integration Host Factor (IHF) and Cas1-2 complex in Escherichia coli. IHF binding to the ...

  2. Using timing information in speaker verification

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Heerden, CJ


    Full Text Available This paper presents an analysis of temporal information as a feature for use in speaker verification systems. The relevance of temporal information in a speaker’s utterances is investigated, both with regard to improving the robustness of modern...

  3. Lexical prediction via forward models: N400 evidence from German Sign Language. (United States)

    Hosemann, Jana; Herrmann, Annika; Steinbach, Markus; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina; Schlesewsky, Matthias


    Models of language processing in the human brain often emphasize the prediction of upcoming input-for example in order to explain the rapidity of language understanding. However, the precise mechanisms of prediction are still poorly understood. Forward models, which draw upon the language production system to set up expectations during comprehension, provide a promising approach in this regard. Here, we present an event-related potential (ERP) study on German Sign Language (DGS) which tested the hypotheses of a forward model perspective on prediction. Sign languages involve relatively long transition phases between one sign and the next, which should be anticipated as part of a forward model-based prediction even though they are semantically empty. Native speakers of DGS watched videos of naturally signed DGS sentences which either ended with an expected or a (semantically) unexpected sign. Unexpected signs engendered a biphasic N400-late positivity pattern. Crucially, N400 onset preceded critical sign onset and was thus clearly elicited by properties of the transition phase. The comprehension system thereby clearly anticipated modality-specific information about the realization of the predicted semantic item. These results provide strong converging support for the application of forward models in language comprehension. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Cross-language categorization of French and German vowels by naive American listeners. (United States)

    Strange, Winifred; Levy, Erika S; Law, Franzo F


    American English (AE) speakers' perceptual assimilation of 14 North German (NG) and 9 Parisian French (PF) vowels was examined in two studies using citation-form disyllables (study 1) and sentences with vowels surrounded by labial and alveolar consonants in multisyllabic nonsense words (study 2). Listeners categorized multiple tokens of each NG and PF vowel as most similar to selected AE vowels and rated their category "goodness" on a nine-point Likert scale. Front, rounded vowels were assimilated primarily to back AE vowels, despite their acoustic similarity to front AE vowels. In study 1, they were considered poorer exemplars of AE vowels than were NG and PF back, rounded vowels; in study 2, front and back, rounded vowels were perceived as similar to each other. Assimilation of some front, unrounded and back, rounded NG and PF vowels varied with language, speaking style, and consonantal context. Differences in perceived similarity often could not be predicted from context-specific cross-language spectral similarities. Results suggest that listeners can access context-specific, phonetic details when listening to citation-form materials, but assimilate non-native vowels on the basis of context-independent phonological equivalence categories when processing continuous speech. Results are interpreted within the Automatic Selective Perception model of speech perception.

  5. Speaker recognition through NLP and CWT modeling.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown-VanHoozer, A.; Kercel, S. W.; Tucker, R. W.


    The objective of this research is to develop a system capable of identifying speakers on wiretaps from a large database (>500 speakers) with a short search time duration (<30 seconds), and with better than 90% accuracy. Much previous research in speaker recognition has led to algorithms that produced encouraging preliminary results, but were overwhelmed when applied to populations of more than a dozen or so different speakers. The authors are investigating a solution to the ''huge population'' problem by seeking two completely different kinds of characterizing features. These features are extracted using the techniques of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and the continuous wavelet transform (CWT). NLP extracts precise neurological, verbal and non-verbal information, and assimilates the information into useful patterns. These patterns are based on specific cues demonstrated by each individual, and provide ways of determining congruency between verbal and non-verbal cues. The primary NLP modalities are characterized through word spotting (or verbal predicates cues, e.g., see, sound, feel, etc.) while the secondary modalities would be characterized through the speech transcription used by the individual. This has the practical effect of reducing the size of the search space, and greatly speeding up the process of identifying an unknown speaker. The wavelet-based line of investigation concentrates on using vowel phonemes and non-verbal cues, such as tempo. The rationale for concentrating on vowels is there are a limited number of vowels phonemes, and at least one of them usually appears in even the shortest of speech segments. Using the fast, CWT algorithm, the details of both the formant frequency and the glottal excitation characteristics can be easily extracted from voice waveforms. The differences in the glottal excitation waveforms as well as the formant frequency are evident in the CWT output. More significantly, the CWT reveals significant

  6. Rare earth germanates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bondar', I.A.; Vinogradova, N.V.; Dem'yanets, L.N.


    Rare earth germanates attract close attention both as an independent class of compounds and analogues of a widely spread class of natural and synthetic minerals. The methods of rare earth germanate synthesis (solid-phase, hydrothermal) are considered. Systems on the basis of germanium and rare earth oxides, phase diagrams, phase transformations are studied. Using different chemical analysese the processes of rare earth germanate formation are investigated. IR spectra of alkali and rare earth metal germanates are presented, their comparative analysis being carried out. Crystal structures of the compounds, lattice parameters are studied. Fields of possible application of rare earth germanates are shown

  7. Rare earth germanates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bondar', I.A.; Vinogradova, N.V.; Dem'yanets, L.N.


    From the viewpoint of structural chemistry and general regularities controlling formation reactions of compounds and phases in melts, solid and gaseous states, recent achievements in the chemistry of rare earth germanates are generalized. Methods of synthesizing germanates, systems on the base of germanium oxides and rare earths are considered. The data on crystallochemical characteristics are tabulated. Individual compounds of scandium germanate are also characterized. Processes of germanate formation using the data of IR-spectroscopy, X-ray phase analysis are studied. The structure and morphotropic series of rare earth germanates and silicates are determined. Fields of their present and possible future application are considered

  8. Speaker gender identification based on majority vote classifiers (United States)

    Mezghani, Eya; Charfeddine, Maha; Nicolas, Henri; Ben Amar, Chokri


    Speaker gender identification is considered among the most important tools in several multimedia applications namely in automatic speech recognition, interactive voice response systems and audio browsing systems. Gender identification systems performance is closely linked to the selected feature set and the employed classification model. Typical techniques are based on selecting the best performing classification method or searching optimum tuning of one classifier parameters through experimentation. In this paper, we consider a relevant and rich set of features involving pitch, MFCCs as well as other temporal and frequency-domain descriptors. Five classification models including decision tree, discriminant analysis, nave Bayes, support vector machine and k-nearest neighbor was experimented. The three best perming classifiers among the five ones will contribute by majority voting between their scores. Experimentations were performed on three different datasets spoken in three languages: English, German and Arabic in order to validate language independency of the proposed scheme. Results confirm that the presented system has reached a satisfying accuracy rate and promising classification performance thanks to the discriminating abilities and diversity of the used features combined with mid-level statistics.

  9. Unsupervised Speaker Change Detection for Broadcast News Segmentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Kasper Winther; Mølgaard, Lasse Lohilahti; Hansen, Lars Kai


    This paper presents a speaker change detection system for news broadcast segmentation based on a vector quantization (VQ) approach. The system does not make any assumption about the number of speakers or speaker identity. The system uses mel frequency cepstral coefficients and change detection...

  10. Accent Attribution in Speakers with Foreign Accent Syndrome (United States)

    Verhoeven, Jo; De Pauw, Guy; Pettinato, Michele; Hirson, Allen; Van Borsel, John; Marien, Peter


    Purpose: The main aim of this experiment was to investigate the perception of Foreign Accent Syndrome in comparison to speakers with an authentic foreign accent. Method: Three groups of listeners attributed accents to conversational speech samples of 5 FAS speakers which were embedded amongst those of 5 speakers with a real foreign accent and 5…

  11. Young Children's Sensitivity to Speaker Gender When Learning from Others (United States)

    Ma, Lili; Woolley, Jacqueline D.


    This research explores whether young children are sensitive to speaker gender when learning novel information from others. Four- and 6-year-olds ("N" = 144) chose between conflicting statements from a male versus a female speaker (Studies 1 and 3) or decided which speaker (male or female) they would ask (Study 2) when learning about the functions…

  12. Speaker Reliability Guides Children's Inductive Inferences about Novel Properties (United States)

    Kim, Sunae; Kalish, Charles W.; Harris, Paul L.


    Prior work shows that children can make inductive inferences about objects based on their labels rather than their appearance (Gelman, 2003). A separate line of research shows that children's trust in a speaker's label is selective. Children accept labels from a reliable speaker over an unreliable speaker (e.g., Koenig & Harris, 2005). In the…

  13. The acquisition of grammatical gender in L2 German by learners ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study reported in this paper investigated the adult L2 acquisition of grammatical gender in German by first language (L1) speakers of Afrikaans, English and Italian, respectively. The aim of the study was to determine how similarities and differences between the L1 and L2 in terms of grammatical gender affect the ...

  14. The acquisition of grammatical gender in L2 German by learners ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    grammatical gender in German by first language (L1) speakers of Afrikaans, English ... feminine – and the target L2 has three genders – masculine, feminine and neuter ..... L1 transfer revisited: the L2 acquisition of telicity marking in English by.

  15. Exploring Associations among Writing Self-Perceptions, Writing Abilities, and Native Language of English-Spanish Two-Way Immersion Students (United States)

    Neugebauer, Sabina R.; Howard, Elizabeth R.


    The current study, with 409 fourth graders in two-way immersion programs, explored the writing self-perceptions of native English and native Spanish speakers and the relationship between self-perceptions and writing performance. An adapted version of the Writer Self-Perception Scale (WSPS) was administered along with a writing task. Native English…

  16. Vocal caricatures reveal signatures of speaker identity (United States)

    López, Sabrina; Riera, Pablo; Assaneo, María Florencia; Eguía, Manuel; Sigman, Mariano; Trevisan, Marcos A.


    What are the features that impersonators select to elicit a speaker's identity? We built a voice database of public figures (targets) and imitations produced by professional impersonators. They produced one imitation based on their memory of the target (caricature) and another one after listening to the target audio (replica). A set of naive participants then judged identity and similarity of pairs of voices. Identity was better evoked by the caricatures and replicas were perceived to be closer to the targets in terms of voice similarity. We used this data to map relevant acoustic dimensions for each task. Our results indicate that speaker identity is mainly associated with vocal tract features, while perception of voice similarity is related to vocal folds parameters. We therefore show the way in which acoustic caricatures emphasize identity features at the cost of loosing similarity, which allows drawing an analogy with caricatures in the visual space.

  17. Methods of Speakers\\' Effects on the Audience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    فریبا حسینی


    Full Text Available Methods of Speakers' Effects on the Audience    Nasrollah Shameli *   Fariba Hosayni **     Abstract   This article is focused on four issues. The first issue is related to the speaker's external appearance including the beauty of face, the power of his voice, moves and signals by hand, the stick and eyebrow as well as the height. Such characteristics could have an important effect on the audience. The second issue is related to internal features of the speaker. These include the ethics of the preacher , his/her piety and intention on the speakers based on their personalities, habits and emotions, knowledge and culture, and speed of learning. The third issue is concerned with the appearance of the lecture. Words should be clear enough as well as being mixed with Quranic verses, poetry and proverbs. The final issue is related to the content. It is argued that the subject of the talk should be in accordance with the level of understanding of listeners as well as being new and interesting for them.   3 - A phenomenon rhetoric: It was noted in this section How to give words and phrases so that these words and phrases are clear, correct, mixed in parables, governance and Quranic verses, and appropriate their meaning.   4 - the content of Oratory : It was noted in this section to the topic of Oratory and say that the Oratory should be the theme commensurate with the minds of audiences and also should mean that agree with the case may be, then I say: that the rhetoric if the theme was innovative and new is affecting more and more on the audience.     Key words : Oratory , Preacher , Audience, Influence of speech     * Associate Professor, Department of Arabic Language and Literature, University of Isfahan E-mail: Dr-Nasrolla   * * M.A. in Arabic Language and Literature from Isfahan University E-mail:

  18. Physiological responses at short distances from a parametric speaker

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee Soomin


    Full Text Available Abstract In recent years, parametric speakers have been used in various circumstances. In our previous studies, we verified that the physiological burden of the sound of parametric speaker set at 2.6 m from the subjects was lower than that of the general speaker. However, nothing has yet been demonstrated about the effects of the sound of a parametric speaker at the shorter distance between parametric speakers the human body. Therefore, we studied this effect on physiological functions and task performance. Nine male subjects participated in this study. They completed three consecutive sessions: a 20-minute quiet period as a baseline, a 30-minute mental task period with general speakers or parametric speakers, and a 20-minute recovery period. We measured electrocardiogram (ECG photoplethysmogram (PTG, electroencephalogram (EEG, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Four experiments, one with a speaker condition (general speaker and parametric speaker, the other with a distance condition (0.3 m and 1.0 m, were conducted respectively at the same time of day on separate days. To examine the effects of the speaker and distance, three-way repeated measures ANOVA (speaker factor x distance factor x time factor were conducted. In conclusion, we found that the physiological responses were not significantly different between the speaker condition and the distance condition. Meanwhile, it was shown that the physiological burdens increased with progress in time independently of speaker condition and distance condition. In summary, the effects of the parametric speaker at the 2.6 m distance were not obtained at the distance of 1 m or less.

  19. Grammatical Planning Units during Real-Time Sentence Production in Speakers with Agrammatic Aphasia and Healthy Speakers (United States)

    Lee, Jiyeon; Yoshida, Masaya; Thompson, Cynthia K.


    Purpose: Grammatical encoding (GE) is impaired in agrammatic aphasia; however, the nature of such deficits remains unclear. We examined grammatical planning units during real-time sentence production in speakers with agrammatic aphasia and control speakers, testing two competing models of GE. We queried whether speakers with agrammatic aphasia…

  20. Neural correlates of semantic and syntactic processes in the comprehension of case marked pronouns: Evidence from German and Dutch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hammer Anke


    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is well known that both semantic and syntactic information play a role in pronoun resolution in sentences. However, it is unclear what the relative contribution of these sources of information is for the establishment of a coreferential relationship between the pronoun and the antecedent in combination with a local structural case constraint on the pronoun (i.e. case assignment of a pronoun under preposition governing. In a prepositional phrase in German and Dutch, it is the preposition that assigns case to the pronoun. Furthermore, in these languages different overtly case-marked pronouns are used to refer to male and female persons. Thus, one can manipulate biological/syntactic gender features separately from case marking features. The major aim of this study was to determine what the influence of gender information in combination with a local structural case constraint is on the processing of a personal pronoun in a sentence. Event-related brain potential (ERP experiments were performed in German and in Dutch. In a word by word sentence reading study in German and Dutch, gender congruency between the antecedent and the pronoun was manipulated and/or case assignment by the preposition was violated while ERPs of young native speakers were recorded. Results The German and the Dutch ERP data showed an enlarged negativity broadly distributed starting approximately 350 ms after onset of the pronoun followed by a late positivity for gender violations. For syntactic incongruencies without gender violations only a positivity was present. The Dutch data showed an earlier onset of the positivity in comparison to German. Conclusion Finding negativities and positivities for conditions with a gender violation indicates that pronoun resolution with gender incongruency between the pronoun and the antecedent suffers from semantic as well as syntactic integration problems. The presence of a positivity for the syntactically incongruent

  1. The effect of L1 prosodic backgrounds of Cantonese and Japanese speakers on the perception of Mandarin tones after training (United States)

    So, Connie K.


    The present study investigated to what extent ones' L1 prosodic backgrounds affect their learning of a new tonal system. The question as to whether native speakers of a tone language perform differently from those of a pitch accent language will be addressed. Twenty native speakers of Hong Kong Cantonese (a tone language) and Japanese (a pitch accent language) were assigned to two groups. All of them had had no prior knowledge of Mandarin, and had never received any form of musical training before they participated in the study. Their performance of the identification of Mandarin tones before and after a short-term training was compared. Analysis of listeners' tonal confusions in the pretest, posttest, and generalization tests revealed that both Cantonese and Japanese listeners had more confusion for two contrastive tone pairs: Tone 1-Tone 4, and Tone 2-Tone 3. Moreover, Cantonese speakers consistently had greater difficulty than Japanese speakers in distinguishing the tones in each pair. These imply that listeners L1 prosodic backgrounds are at work during the process of learning a new tonal system. The findings will be further discussed in terms of the Perceptual Assimilation Model (Best, 1995). [Work supported by SSHRC.

  2. L2 Romanian Influence in the Acquisition of the English Passive by L1 Speakers of Hungarian

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tankó Enikő


    Full Text Available The main question to be investigated is to what extent native speakers of Hungarian understand and acquire the English passive voice, as there is no generalized syntactic passive construction in Hungarian. As we will show, native speakers of Hungarian tend to use the predicative verbal adverbial construction when translating English passive sentences, as this construction is the closest syntactic equivalent of the English passive voice. Another question to be investigated is whether L2 Romanian works as a facilitating factor in the process of acquiring the L3 English passive voice. If all our subjects, Hungarian students living in Romania, were Hungarian-Romanian bilinguals, it would be obvious that knowledge of Romanian helps them in acquiring the English passive. However, as it will be shown, the bilingualism hypothesis is disconfirmed. Still, passive knowledge of Romanian influences to some extent the acquisition of the English passive voice.

  3. A system of automatic speaker recognition on a minicomputer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El Chafei, Cherif


    This study describes a system of automatic speaker recognition using the pitch of the voice. The pre-treatment consists in the extraction of the speakers' discriminating characteristics taken from the pitch. The programme of recognition gives, firstly, a preselection and then calculates the distance between the speaker's characteristics to be recognized and those of the speakers already recorded. An experience of recognition has been realized. It has been undertaken with 15 speakers and included 566 tests spread over an intermittent period of four months. The discriminating characteristics used offer several interesting qualities. The algorithms concerning the measure of the characteristics on one hand, the speakers' classification on the other hand, are simple. The results obtained in real time with a minicomputer are satisfactory. Furthermore they probably could be improved if we considered other speaker's discriminating characteristics but this was unfortunately not in our possibilities. (author) [fr

  4. Maury Journals - German Vessels (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — German vessels observations, after the 1853 Brussels Conference that set International Maritime Standards, modeled after Maury Marine Standard Observations.

  5. Phonological processing in Mandarin speakers with congenital amusia. (United States)

    Wang, Xiao; Peng, Gang


    Although there is an emerging consensus that both musical and linguistic pitch processing can be problematic for individuals with a developmental disorder termed congenital amusia, the nature of such a pitch-processing deficit, especially that demonstrated in a speech setting, remains unclear. Therefore, this study tested the performance of native Mandarin speakers, both with and without amusia, on discrimination and imitation tasks for Cantonese level tones, aiming to shed light on this issue. Results suggest that the impact of the phonological deficit, coupled with that of the domain-general pitch deficit, could provide a more comprehensive interpretation of Mandarin amusics' speech impairment. Specifically, when there was a high demand for pitch sensitivity, as in fine-grained pitch discriminations, the operation of the pitch-processing deficit played the more predominant role in modulating amusics' speech performance. But when the demand was low, as in discriminating naturally produced Cantonese level tones, the impact of the phonological deficit was more pronounced compared to that of the pitch-processing deficit. However, despite their perceptual deficits, Mandarin amusics' imitation abilities were comparable to controls'. Such selective impairment in tonal perception suggests that the phonological deficit more severely implicates amusics' input pathways.

  6. Left hemisphere lateralization for lexical and acoustic pitch processing in Cantonese speakers as revealed by mismatch negativity. (United States)

    Gu, Feng; Zhang, Caicai; Hu, Axu; Zhao, Guoping


    For nontonal language speakers, speech processing is lateralized to the left hemisphere and musical processing is lateralized to the right hemisphere (i.e., function-dependent brain asymmetry). On the other hand, acoustic temporal processing is lateralized to the left hemisphere and spectral/pitch processing is lateralized to the right hemisphere (i.e., acoustic-dependent brain asymmetry). In this study, we examine whether the hemispheric lateralization of lexical pitch and acoustic pitch processing in tonal language speakers is consistent with the patterns of function- and acoustic-dependent brain asymmetry in nontonal language speakers. Pitch contrast in both speech stimuli (syllable /ji/ in Experiment 1) and nonspeech stimuli (harmonic tone in Experiment 1; pure tone in Experiment 2) was presented to native Cantonese speakers in passive oddball paradigms. We found that the mismatch negativity (MMN) elicited by lexical pitch contrast was lateralized to the left hemisphere, which is consistent with the pattern of function-dependent brain asymmetry (i.e., left hemisphere lateralization for speech processing) in nontonal language speakers. However, the MMN elicited by acoustic pitch contrast was also left hemisphere lateralized (harmonic tone in Experiment 1) or showed a tendency for left hemisphere lateralization (pure tone in Experiment 2), which is inconsistent with the pattern of acoustic-dependent brain asymmetry (i.e., right hemisphere lateralization for acoustic pitch processing) in nontonal language speakers. The consistent pattern of function-dependent brain asymmetry and the inconsistent pattern of acoustic-dependent brain asymmetry between tonal and nontonal language speakers can be explained by the hypothesis that the acoustic-dependent brain asymmetry is the consequence of a carryover effect from function-dependent brain asymmetry. Potential evolutionary implication of this hypothesis is discussed. © 2013.

  7. Parallel Recovery in a Trilingual Speaker: The Use of the Bilingual Aphasia Test as a Diagnostic Complement to the Comprehensive Aphasia Test (United States)

    Green, David W.; Ruffle, Louise; Grogan, Alice; Ali, Nilufa; Ramsden, Sue; Schofield, Tom; Leff, Alex P.; Crinion, Jenny; Price, Cathy J.


    We illustrate the value of the Bilingual Aphasia Test in the diagnostic assessment of a trilingual speaker post-stroke living in England for whom English was a non-native language. The Comprehensive Aphasia Test is routinely used to assess patients in English, but only in combination with the Bilingual Aphasia Test is it possible and practical to…

  8. Do Nonnative Language Speakers "Chew the Fat" and "Spill the Beans" with Different Brain Hemispheres? Investigating Idiom Decomposability with the Divided Visual Field Paradigm (United States)

    Cieslicka, Anna B.


    The purpose of this study was to explore possible cerebral asymmetries in the processing of decomposable and nondecomposable idioms by fluent nonnative speakers of English. In the study, native language (Polish) and foreign language (English) decomposable and nondecomposable idioms were embedded in ambiguous (neutral) and unambiguous (biasing…

  9. The Influence of Orthography on the Production of Alphabetic, Second-Language Allophones by Speakers of a Non-alphabetic Language. (United States)

    Han, Jeong-Im; Kim, Joo-Yeon


    This study investigated the influence of orthographic information on the production of allophones in a second language (L2). Two proficiency levels of native Mandarin speakers learned novel Korean words with potential variants of /h/ based on auditory stimuli, and then they were provided various types of spellings for the variants, including the letters for [[Formula: see text

  10. Speaker-dependent Dictionary-based Speech Enhancement for Text-Dependent Speaker Verification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Nicolai Bæk; Thomsen, Dennis Alexander Lehmann; Tan, Zheng-Hua


    not perform well in this setting. In this work we compare the performance of different noise reduction methods under different noise conditions in terms of speaker verification when the text is known and the system is trained on clean data (mis-matched conditions). We furthermore propose a new approach based......The problem of text-dependent speaker verification under noisy conditions is becoming ever more relevant, due to increased usage for authentication in real-world applications. Classical methods for noise reduction such as spectral subtraction and Wiener filtering introduce distortion and do...... on dictionary-based noise reduction and compare it to the baseline methods....

  11. Interferenz von Muttersprache und Zweitsprache auf eine dritte Sprache beim freien Sprechen -- ein Vergleich (Interference by the Native Language and a Second Language on a Third Language in Free Conversation -- A Comparison) (United States)

    Stedje, Astrid


    Tests given at the German Institute of the University of Stockholm to 32 Finnish students studying German revealed that both their native language and their Swedish interfered with their learning German, in about equal degree overall. The mother tongue, Finnish, caused more interference errors in pronunciation. (Text is in German.) (IFS/WGA)

  12. Native Americans with Diabetes (United States)

    ... Read the MMWR Science Clips Native Americans with Diabetes Better diabetes care can decrease kidney failure Language: ... between 1996 and 2013. Problem Kidney failure from diabetes was highest among Native Americans. Native Americans are ...

  13. Memory for non-native language: the role of lexical processing in the retention of surface form. (United States)

    Sampaio, Cristina; Konopka, Agnieszka E


    Research on memory for native language (L1) has consistently shown that retention of surface form is inferior to that of gist (e.g., Sachs, 1967). This paper investigates whether the same pattern is found in memory for non-native language (L2). We apply a model of bilingual word processing to more complex linguistic structures and predict that memory for L2 sentences ought to contain more surface information than L1 sentences. Native and non-native speakers of English were tested on a set of sentence pairs with different surface forms but the same meaning (e.g., "The bullet hit/struck the bull's eye"). Memory for these sentences was assessed with a cued recall procedure. Responses showed that native and non-native speakers did not differ in the accuracy of gist-based recall but that non-native speakers outperformed native speakers in the retention of surface form. The results suggest that L2 processing involves more intensive encoding of lexical level information than L1 processing.

  14. A Study of Jordanian University Students' Perceptions of Using Email Exchanges with Native English Keypals for Improving Their Writing Competency (United States)

    Mahfouz, Safi Mahmoud


    English foreign language learners generally tend to consider email exchanges with native speakers (NSs) as an effective tool for improving their foreign language proficiency. This study investigated Jordanian university students' perceptions of using email exchanges with native English keypals (NEKs) for improving their writing competency. A…

  15. Speaker's voice as a memory cue. (United States)

    Campeanu, Sandra; Craik, Fergus I M; Alain, Claude


    Speaker's voice occupies a central role as the cornerstone of auditory social interaction. Here, we review the evidence suggesting that speaker's voice constitutes an integral context cue in auditory memory. Investigation into the nature of voice representation as a memory cue is essential to understanding auditory memory and the neural correlates which underlie it. Evidence from behavioral and electrophysiological studies suggest that while specific voice reinstatement (i.e., same speaker) often appears to facilitate word memory even without attention to voice at study, the presence of a partial benefit of similar voices between study and test is less clear. In terms of explicit memory experiments utilizing unfamiliar voices, encoding methods appear to play a pivotal role. Voice congruency effects have been found when voice is specifically attended at study (i.e., when relatively shallow, perceptual encoding takes place). These behavioral findings coincide with neural indices of memory performance such as the parietal old/new recollection effect and the late right frontal effect. The former distinguishes between correctly identified old words and correctly identified new words, and reflects voice congruency only when voice is attended at study. Characterization of the latter likely depends upon voice memory, rather than word memory. There is also evidence to suggest that voice effects can be found in implicit memory paradigms. However, the presence of voice effects appears to depend greatly on the task employed. Using a word identification task, perceptual similarity between study and test conditions is, like for explicit memory tests, crucial. In addition, the type of noise employed appears to have a differential effect. While voice effects have been observed when white noise is used at both study and test, using multi-talker babble does not confer the same results. In terms of neuroimaging research modulations, characterization of an implicit memory effect

  16. Health Information in German (Deutsch) (United States)

    ... Tools You Are Here: Home → Multiple Languages → German (Deutsch) URL of this page: Health Information in German (Deutsch) To use the sharing features on this page, ...

  17. [Sample German LAPS. (United States)

    Rosenthal, Bianca

    Four learning activity packages (LAPS) for use in secondary school German programs contain instructional materials which enable students to improve their basic linguistic skills. The units include: (1) "Grusse," (2) "Ich Heisse...Namen," (3) "Tune into Your Career: Business Correspondence 'Auf Deutch'," and (4) "Understanding German Culture."…

  18. Speaker diarization system using HXLPS and deep neural network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Subba Ramaiah


    Full Text Available In general, speaker diarization is defined as the process of segmenting the input speech signal and grouped the homogenous regions with regard to the speaker identity. The main idea behind this system is that it is able to discriminate the speaker signal by assigning the label of the each speaker signal. Due to rapid growth of broadcasting and meeting, the speaker diarization is burdensome to enhance the readability of the speech transcription. In order to solve this issue, Holoentropy with the eXtended Linear Prediction using autocorrelation Snapshot (HXLPS and deep neural network (DNN is proposed for the speaker diarization system. The HXLPS extraction method is newly developed by incorporating the Holoentropy with the XLPS. Once we attain the features, the speech and non-speech signals are detected by the Voice Activity Detection (VAD method. Then, i-vector representation of every segmented signal is obtained using Universal Background Model (UBM model. Consequently, DNN is utilized to assign the label for the speaker signal which is then clustered according to the speaker label. The performance is analysed using the evaluation metrics, such as tracking distance, false alarm rate and diarization error rate. The outcome of the proposed method ensures the better diarization performance by achieving the lower DER of 1.36% based on lambda value and DER of 2.23% depends on the frame length. Keywords: Speaker diarization, HXLPS feature extraction, Voice activity detection, Deep neural network, Speaker clustering, Diarization Error Rate (DER

  19. Language matters: thirteen-month-olds understand that the language a speaker uses constrains conventionality. (United States)

    Scott, Jessica C; Henderson, Annette M E


    Object labels are valuable communicative tools because their meanings are shared among the members of a particular linguistic community. The current research was conducted to investigate whether 13-month-old infants appreciate that object labels should not be generalized across individuals who have been shown to speak different languages. Using a visual habituation paradigm, Experiment 1 tested whether infants would generalize a new object label that was taught to them by a speaker of a foreign language to a speaker from the infant's own linguistic group. The results suggest that infants do not expect 2 individuals who have been shown to speak different languages to use the same label to refer to the same object. The results of Experiment 2 reveal that infants do not generalize a new object label that was taught to them by a speaker of their native language to an individual who had been shown to speak a foreign language. These findings offer the first evidence that by the end of the 1st year of life, infants are sensitive to the fact that the conventional nature of language is constrained by the language that a person has been shown to speak.

  20. Improving Speaker Recognition by Biometric Voice Deconstruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Miguel eMazaira-Fernández


    Full Text Available Person identification, especially in critical environments, has always been a subject of great interest. However, it has gained a new dimension in a world threatened by a new kind of terrorism that uses social networks (e.g. YouTube to broadcast its message. In this new scenario, classical identification methods (such fingerprints or face recognition have been forcedly replaced by alternative biometric characteristics such as voice, as sometimes this is the only feature available. Through the present paper, a new methodology to characterize speakers will be shown. This methodology is benefiting from the advances achieved during the last years in understanding and modelling voice production. The paper hypothesizes that a gender dependent characterization of speakers combined with the use of a new set of biometric parameters extracted from the components resulting from the deconstruction of the voice into its glottal source and vocal tract estimates, will enhance recognition rates when compared to classical approaches. A general description about the main hypothesis and the methodology followed to extract gender-dependent extended biometric parameters are given. Experimental validation is carried out both on a highly controlled acoustic condition database, and on a mobile phone network recorded under non-controlled acoustic conditions.

  1. Real Time Recognition Of Speakers From Internet Audio Stream

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weychan Radoslaw


    Full Text Available In this paper we present an automatic speaker recognition technique with the use of the Internet radio lossy (encoded speech signal streams. We show an influence of the audio encoder (e.g., bitrate on the speaker model quality. The model of each speaker was calculated with the use of the Gaussian mixture model (GMM approach. Both the speaker recognition and the further analysis were realized with the use of short utterances to facilitate real time processing. The neighborhoods of the speaker models were analyzed with the use of the ISOMAP algorithm. The experiments were based on four 1-hour public debates with 7–8 speakers (including the moderator, acquired from the Polish radio Internet services. The presented software was developed with the MATLAB environment.

  2. Effect of lisping on audience evaluation of male speakers. (United States)

    Mowrer, D E; Wahl, P; Doolan, S J


    The social consequences of adult listeners' first impression of lisping were evaluated in two studies. Five adult speakers were rated by adult listeners with regard to speaking ability, intelligence, education, masculinity, and friendship. Results from both studies indicate that listeners rate adult speakers who demonstrate frontal lisping lower than nonlispers in all five categories investigated. Efforts to correct frontal lisping are justifiable on the basis of the poor impression lisping speakers make on the listener.

  3. The Speaker Gender Gap at Critical Care Conferences. (United States)

    Mehta, Sangeeta; Rose, Louise; Cook, Deborah; Herridge, Margaret; Owais, Sawayra; Metaxa, Victoria


    To review women's participation as faculty at five critical care conferences over 7 years. Retrospective analysis of five scientific programs to identify the proportion of females and each speaker's profession based on conference conveners, program documents, or internet research. Three international (European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, Society of Critical Care Medicine) and two national (Critical Care Canada Forum, U.K. Intensive Care Society State of the Art Meeting) annual critical care conferences held between 2010 and 2016. Female faculty speakers. None. Male speakers outnumbered female speakers at all five conferences, in all 7 years. Overall, women represented 5-31% of speakers, and female physicians represented 5-26% of speakers. Nursing and allied health professional faculty represented 0-25% of speakers; in general, more than 50% of allied health professionals were women. Over the 7 years, Society of Critical Care Medicine had the highest representation of female (27% overall) and nursing/allied health professional (16-25%) speakers; notably, male physicians substantially outnumbered female physicians in all years (62-70% vs 10-19%, respectively). Women's representation on conference program committees ranged from 0% to 40%, with Society of Critical Care Medicine having the highest representation of women (26-40%). The female proportions of speakers, physician speakers, and program committee members increased significantly over time at the Society of Critical Care Medicine and U.K. Intensive Care Society State of the Art Meeting conferences (p gap at critical care conferences, with male faculty outnumbering female faculty. This gap is more marked among physician speakers than those speakers representing nursing and allied health professionals. Several organizational strategies can address this gender gap.

  4. On the improvement of speaker diarization by detecting overlapped speech


    Hernando Pericás, Francisco Javier; Hernando Pericás, Francisco Javier


    Simultaneous speech in meeting environment is responsible for a certain amount of errors caused by standard speaker diarization systems. We are presenting an overlap detection system for far-field data based on spectral and spatial features, where the spatial features obtained on different microphone pairs are fused by means of principal component analysis. Detected overlap segments are applied for speaker diarization in order to increase the purity of speaker clusters an...

  5. Speaker-dependent Multipitch Tracking Using Deep Neural Networks (United States)


    sentences spoken by each of 34 speakers (18 male, 16 female). Two male and two female speakers (No. 1, 2, 18, 20, same as [30]), denoted as MA1, MA2 ...Engineering Technical Report #12, 2015 Speaker Pairs MA1- MA2 MA1-FE1 MA1-FE2 MA2 -FE1 MA2 -FE2 FE1-FE2 E T ot al 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Jin and Wang Hu and...Pitch 1 Estimated Pitch 2 (d) Figure 6: Multipitch tracking results on a test mixture (pbbv6n and priv3n) for the MA1- MA2 speaker pair. (a) Groundtruth

  6. Learning speaker-specific characteristics with a deep neural architecture. (United States)

    Chen, Ke; Salman, Ahmad


    Speech signals convey various yet mixed information ranging from linguistic to speaker-specific information. However, most of acoustic representations characterize all different kinds of information as whole, which could hinder either a speech or a speaker recognition (SR) system from producing a better performance. In this paper, we propose a novel deep neural architecture (DNA) especially for learning speaker-specific characteristics from mel-frequency cepstral coefficients, an acoustic representation commonly used in both speech recognition and SR, which results in a speaker-specific overcomplete representation. In order to learn intrinsic speaker-specific characteristics, we come up with an objective function consisting of contrastive losses in terms of speaker similarity/dissimilarity and data reconstruction losses used as regularization to normalize the interference of non-speaker-related information. Moreover, we employ a hybrid learning strategy for learning parameters of the deep neural networks: i.e., local yet greedy layerwise unsupervised pretraining for initialization and global supervised learning for the ultimate discriminative goal. With four Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) benchmarks and two non-English corpora, we demonstrate that our overcomplete representation is robust in characterizing various speakers, no matter whether their utterances have been used in training our DNA, and highly insensitive to text and languages spoken. Extensive comparative studies suggest that our approach yields favorite results in speaker verification and segmentation. Finally, we discuss several issues concerning our proposed approach.

  7. Comparison of Diarization Tools for Building Speaker Database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Kiktova


    Full Text Available This paper compares open source diarization toolkits (LIUM, DiarTK, ALIZE-Lia_Ral, which were designed for extraction of speaker identity from audio records without any prior information about the analysed data. The comparative study of used diarization tools was performed for three different types of analysed data (broadcast news - BN and TV shows. Corresponding values of achieved DER measure are presented here. The automatic speaker diarization system developed by LIUM was able to identified speech segments belonging to speakers at very good level. Its segmentation outputs can be used to build a speaker database.

  8. Speaker Clustering for a Mixture of Singing and Reading (Preprint) (United States)


    diarization [2, 3] which answers the ques- tion of ”who spoke when?” is a combination of speaker segmentation and clustering. Although it is possible to...focuses on speaker clustering, the techniques developed here can be applied to speaker diarization . For the remainder of this paper, the term ”speech...and retrieval,” Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 88, 2000. [2] S. Tranter and D. Reynolds, “An overview of automatic speaker diarization systems,” IEEE

  9. [Understanding the symbolic values of Japanese onomatopoeia: comparison of Japanese and Chinese speakers]. (United States)

    Haryu, Etsuko; Zhao, Lihua


    Do non-native speakers of the Japanese language understand the symbolic values of Japanese onomatopoeia matching a voiced/unvoiced consonant with a big/small sound made by a big/small object? In three experiments, participants who were native speakers of Japanese, Japanese-learning Chinese, or Chinese without knowledge of the Japanese language were shown two pictures. One picture was of a small object making a small sound, such as a small vase being broken, and the other was of a big object making a big sound, such as a big vase being broken. Participants were presented with two novel onomatopoetic words with voicing contrasts, e.g.,/dachan/vs./tachan/, and were told that each word corresponded to one of the two pictures. They were then asked to match the words to the corresponding pictures. Chinese without knowledge of Japanese performed only at chance level, whereas Japanese and Japanese-learning Chinese successfully matched a voiced/unvoiced consonant with a big/small object respectively. The results suggest that the key to understanding the symbolic values of voicing contrasts in Japanese onomatopoeia is some basic knowledge that is intrinsic to the Japanese language.

  10. The Main Concept Analysis: Validation and sensitivity in differentiating discourse produced by unimpaired English speakers from individuals with aphasia and dementia of Alzheimer type. (United States)

    Kong, Anthony Pak-Hin; Whiteside, Janet; Bargmann, Peggy


    Discourse from speakers with dementia and aphasia is associated with comparable but not identical deficits, necessitating appropriate methods to differentiate them. The current study aims to validate the Main Concept Analysis (MCA) to be used for eliciting and quantifying discourse among native typical English speakers and to establish its norm, and investigate the validity and sensitivity of the MCA to compare discourse produced by individuals with fluent aphasia, non-fluent aphasia, or dementia of Alzheimer's type (DAT), and unimpaired elderly. Discourse elicited through a sequential picture description task was collected from 60 unimpaired participants to determine the MCA scoring criteria; 12 speakers with fluent aphasia, 12 with non-fluent aphasia, 13 with DAT, and 20 elderly participants from the healthy group were compared on the finalized MCA. Results of MANOVA revealed significant univariate omnibus effects of speaker group as an independent variable on each main concept index. MCA profiles differed significantly between all participant groups except dementia versus fluent aphasia. Correlations between the MCA performances and the Western Aphasia Battery and Cognitive Linguistic Quick Test were found to be statistically significant among the clinical groups. The MCA was appropriate to be used among native speakers of English. The results also provided further empirical evidence of discourse deficits in aphasia and dementia. Practitioners can use the MCA to evaluate discourse production systemically and objectively.

  11. Word order in the Germanic languages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holmberg, Anders; Rijkhoff, Jan


    The Germanic branch of Indo-European consists of three main groups (Ruhlen 1987: 327):- East Germanic: Gothic, Vandalic, Burgundian (all extinct);- North Germanic (or: Scandinavian): Runic (extinct), Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese;- West Germanic: German, Yiddish, Luxembourgeois, ...

  12. German Business in Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irakliy D. Gvazava


    Full Text Available Since Perestroika German-Russian relationships have been steadily developing fueled by close contacts between the leaders of both countries. Boris Yeltsin and Helmut Kohl, Vladimir Putin and Gerhard Schröder, Dmitry Medvedev and Angela Merkel had friendly relations resulted in some fruitful business projects, intergovernmental economic forums etc. In my article I will consider the activities of German companies in Russia, advantages, barriers and expectations

  13. How much does language proficiency by non-native listeners influence speech audiometric tests in noise? (United States)

    Warzybok, Anna; Brand, Thomas; Wagener, Kirsten C; Kollmeier, Birger


    The current study investigates the extent to which the linguistic complexity of three commonly employed speech recognition tests and second language proficiency influence speech recognition thresholds (SRTs) in noise in non-native listeners. SRTs were measured for non-natives and natives using three German speech recognition tests: the digit triplet test (DTT), the Oldenburg sentence test (OLSA), and the Göttingen sentence test (GÖSA). Sixty-four non-native and eight native listeners participated. Non-natives can show native-like SRTs in noise only for the linguistically easy speech material (DTT). Furthermore, the limitation of phonemic-acoustical cues in digit triplets affects speech recognition to the same extent in non-natives and natives. For more complex and less familiar speech materials, non-natives, ranging from basic to advanced proficiency in German, require on average 3-dB better signal-to-noise ratio for the OLSA and 6-dB for the GÖSA to obtain 50% speech recognition compared to native listeners. In clinical audiology, SRT measurements with a closed-set speech test (i.e. DTT for screening or OLSA test for clinical purposes) should be used with non-native listeners rather than open-set speech tests (such as the GÖSA or HINT), especially if a closed-set version in the patient's own native language is available.

  14. Differences in Sickness Allowance Receipt between Swedish Speakers and Finnish Speakers in Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaarina S. Reini


    Full Text Available Previous research has documented lower disability retirement and mortality rates of Swedish speakers as compared with Finnish speakers in Finland. This paper is the first to compare the two language groups with regard to the receipt of sickness allowance, which is an objective health measure that reflects a less severe poor health condition. Register-based data covering the years 1988-2011 are used. We estimate logistic regression models with generalized estimating equations to account for repeated observations at the individual level. We find that Swedish-speaking men have approximately 30 percent lower odds of receiving sickness allowance than Finnish-speaking men, whereas the difference in women is about 15 percent. In correspondence with previous research on all-cause mortality at working ages, we find no language-group difference in sickness allowance receipt in the socially most successful subgroup of the population.

  15. Optimization of multilayer neural network parameters for speaker recognition (United States)

    Tovarek, Jaromir; Partila, Pavol; Rozhon, Jan; Voznak, Miroslav; Skapa, Jan; Uhrin, Dominik; Chmelikova, Zdenka


    This article discusses the impact of multilayer neural network parameters for speaker identification. The main task of speaker identification is to find a specific person in the known set of speakers. It means that the voice of an unknown speaker (wanted person) belongs to a group of reference speakers from the voice database. One of the requests was to develop the text-independent system, which means to classify wanted person regardless of content and language. Multilayer neural network has been used for speaker identification in this research. Artificial neural network (ANN) needs to set parameters like activation function of neurons, steepness of activation functions, learning rate, the maximum number of iterations and a number of neurons in the hidden and output layers. ANN accuracy and validation time are directly influenced by the parameter settings. Different roles require different settings. Identification accuracy and ANN validation time were evaluated with the same input data but different parameter settings. The goal was to find parameters for the neural network with the highest precision and shortest validation time. Input data of neural networks are a Mel-frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCC). These parameters describe the properties of the vocal tract. Audio samples were recorded for all speakers in a laboratory environment. Training, testing and validation data set were split into 70, 15 and 15 %. The result of the research described in this article is different parameter setting for the multilayer neural network for four speakers.

  16. Speaker and Observer Perceptions of Physical Tension during Stuttering. (United States)

    Tichenor, Seth; Leslie, Paula; Shaiman, Susan; Yaruss, J Scott


    Speech-language pathologists routinely assess physical tension during evaluation of those who stutter. If speakers experience tension that is not visible to clinicians, then judgments of severity may be inaccurate. This study addressed this potential discrepancy by comparing judgments of tension by people who stutter and expert clinicians to determine if clinicians could accurately identify the speakers' experience of physical tension. Ten adults who stutter were audio-video recorded in two speaking samples. Two board-certified specialists in fluency evaluated the samples using the Stuttering Severity Instrument-4 and a checklist adapted for this study. Speakers rated their tension using the same forms, and then discussed their experiences in a qualitative interview so that themes related to physical tension could be identified. The degree of tension reported by speakers was higher than that observed by specialists. Tension in parts of the body that were less visible to the observer (chest, abdomen, throat) was reported more by speakers than by specialists. The thematic analysis revealed that speakers' experience of tension changes over time and that these changes may be related to speakers' acceptance of stuttering. The lack of agreement between speaker and specialist perceptions of tension suggests that using self-reports is a necessary component for supporting the accurate diagnosis of tension in stuttering. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  17. Request Strategies in Everyday Interactions of Persian and English Speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiler Yazdanfar


    Full Text Available Cross-cultural studies of speech acts in different linguistic contexts might have interesting implications for language researchers and practitioners. Drawing on the Speech Act Theory, the present study aimed at conducting a comparative study of request speech act in Persian and English. Specifically, the study endeavored to explore the request strategies used in daily interactions of Persian and English speakers based on directness level and supportive moves. To this end, English and Persian TV series were observed and requestive utterances were transcribed. The utterances were then categorized based on Blum-Kulka and Olshtain’s Cross-Cultural Study of Speech Act Realization Pattern (CCSARP for directness level and internal and external mitigation devises. According to the results, although speakers of both languages opted for the direct level as their most frequently used strategy in their daily interactions, the English speakers used more conventionally indirect strategies than the Persian speakers did, and the Persian speakers used more non-conventionally indirect strategies than the English speakers did. Furthermore, the analyzed data revealed the fact that American English speakers use more mitigation devices in their daily interactions with friends and family members than Persian speakers.

  18. Dysprosody and Stimulus Effects in Cantonese Speakers with Parkinson's Disease (United States)

    Ma, Joan K.-Y.; Whitehill, Tara; Cheung, Katherine S.-K.


    Background: Dysprosody is a common feature in speakers with hypokinetic dysarthria. However, speech prosody varies across different types of speech materials. This raises the question of what is the most appropriate speech material for the evaluation of dysprosody. Aims: To characterize the prosodic impairment in Cantonese speakers with…

  19. Profiles of an Acquisition Generation: Nontraditional Heritage Speakers of Spanish (United States)

    DeFeo, Dayna Jean


    Though definitions vary, the literature on heritage speakers of Spanish identifies two primary attributes: a linguistic and cultural connection to the language. This article profiles four Anglo college students who grew up in bilingual or Spanish-dominant communities in the Southwest who self-identified as Spanish heritage speakers, citing…

  20. Progress in the AMIDA speaker diarization system for meeting data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, D.A. van; Konečný, M.


    In this paper we describe the AMIDA speaker dizarization system as it was submitted to the NIST Rich Transcription evaluation 2007 for conference room data. This is done in the context of the history of this system and other speaker diarization systems. One of the goals of our system is to have as

  1. A hybrid generative-discriminative approach to speaker diarization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noulas, A.K.; van Kasteren, T.; Kröse, B.J.A.


    In this paper we present a sound probabilistic approach to speaker diarization. We use a hybrid framework where a distribution over the number of speakers at each point of a multimodal stream is estimated with a discriminative model. The output of this process is used as input in a generative model

  2. Guest Speakers in School-Based Sexuality Education (United States)

    McRee, Annie-Laurie; Madsen, Nikki; Eisenberg, Marla E.


    This study, using data from a statewide survey (n = 332), examined teachers' practices regarding the inclusion of guest speakers to cover sexuality content. More than half of teachers (58%) included guest speakers. In multivariate analyses, teachers who taught high school, had professional preparation in health education, or who received…

  3. Internal request modification by first and second language speakers ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study focuses on the question of whether Luganda English speakers would negatively transfer into their English speech the use of syntactic and lexical down graders resulting in pragmatic failure. Data were collected from Luganda and Luganda English speakers by means of a Discourse Completion Test (DCT) ...

  4. Who spoke when? Audio-based speaker location estimation for diarization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dadvar, M.


    Speaker diarization is the process which detects active speakers and groups those speech signals which has been uttered by the same speaker. Generally we can find two main applications for speaker diarization. Automatic Speech Recognition systems make use of the speaker homogeneous clusters to adapt

  5. The Communication of Public Speaking Anxiety: Perceptions of Asian and American Speakers. (United States)

    Martini, Marianne; And Others


    Finds that U.S. audiences perceive Asian speakers to have more speech anxiety than U.S. speakers, even though Asian speakers do not self-report higher anxiety levels. Confirms that speech state anxiety is not communicated effectively between speakers and audiences for Asian or U.S. speakers. (SR)

  6. Data-Model Relationship in Text-Independent Speaker Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stapert Robert


    Full Text Available Text-independent speaker recognition systems such as those based on Gaussian mixture models (GMMs do not include time sequence information (TSI within the model itself. The level of importance of TSI in speaker recognition is an interesting question and one addressed in this paper. Recent works has shown that the utilisation of higher-level information such as idiolect, pronunciation, and prosodics can be useful in reducing speaker recognition error rates. In accordance with these developments, the aim of this paper is to show that as more data becomes available, the basic GMM can be enhanced by utilising TSI, even in a text-independent mode. This paper presents experimental work incorporating TSI into the conventional GMM. The resulting system, known as the segmental mixture model (SMM, embeds dynamic time warping (DTW into a GMM framework. Results are presented on the 2000-speaker SpeechDat Welsh database which show improved speaker recognition performance with the SMM.

  7. Speakers of different languages process the visual world differently. (United States)

    Chabal, Sarah; Marian, Viorica


    Language and vision are highly interactive. Here we show that people activate language when they perceive the visual world, and that this language information impacts how speakers of different languages focus their attention. For example, when searching for an item (e.g., clock) in the same visual display, English and Spanish speakers look at different objects. Whereas English speakers searching for the clock also look at a cloud, Spanish speakers searching for the clock also look at a gift, because the Spanish names for gift (regalo) and clock (reloj) overlap phonologically. These different looking patterns emerge despite an absence of direct language input, showing that linguistic information is automatically activated by visual scene processing. We conclude that the varying linguistic information available to speakers of different languages affects visual perception, leading to differences in how the visual world is processed. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  8. Studies on inter-speaker variability in speech and its application in ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    tic representation of vowel realizations by different speakers. ... in regional background, education level and gender of speaker. A more ...... formal maps such as bilinear transform and its generalizations for speaker normalization. Since.

  9. Native language effects on spelling in English as a foreign language: a time-course study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dich, Nadya; Pedersen, Bo


    The study explores first language (L1) influences on the mechanisms of spelling in English as a foreign language (EFL). We hypothesized that the transparency of L1 orthography influences (a) the amount of hesitation associated with spelling irregular English words, and (b) the size of units EFL...... spellers operate. Participants were adult speakers of three languages differing by the degree of transparency, Danish, Russian, and Italian (n = 60), and a group of English native speakers (n = 20). We analyzed keystroke logs from typed spellings of 30 English words. The amount of hesitation (number...... of corrections and number of long within-word pauses), was equal across all participants groups, thus disconfirming our first hypothesis. Inter-key intervals between onsets and rhymes were longer than within-rhyme intervals, but only in Danes and native English speakers, and not in Russians and Italians. We...

  10. Empirical Research on Native Chinese Speakers Reading in English: Data Driven Issues and Challenges (United States)

    Brantmeier, Cindy; Xiucheng, Yu


    Mastery of English in China has gathered increased prominence due to the need to foster cultural, political, and economic connections worldwide. Reading is an obvious skill of vital importance for advancing efforts as a player in the world economy. The present article examines research published in academic journals in Chinese and English to…

  11. First language influence on non-native speakers' business writing: A cross-cultural study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aimoldina Aliya


    Full Text Available Communication and socialization skills are a necessity in contemporary business community. If business professionals are not able to express their ideas clearly, concisely, and appropriately, it will be challenging for them to close international business deals and agreements. In this context, bilateral trade and economic relations between Kazakhstan and other countries have been growing steadily over the past years. This paper focuses on the first language influences that may lead to communication breakdown and cross-cultural pragmatic failure as seen in the corpora of 200 business letters written in English by Kazakhstani business professionals to their international partners.

  12. Ichi, Ni, 3, 4: Neural Representation of Kana, Kanji, and Arabic Numbers in Native Japanese Speakers (United States)

    Coderre, Emily L.; Filippi, Christopher G.; Newhouse, Paul A.; Dumas, Julie A.


    The Japanese language represents numbers in kana digit words (a syllabic notation), kanji numbers and Arabic numbers (logographic notations). Kanji and Arabic numbers have previously shown similar patterns of numerical processing, and because of their shared logographic properties may exhibit similar brain areas of numerical representation. Kana…

  13. Survey of Native English Speakers and Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners in Tertiary Introductory Statistics (United States)

    Lesser, Lawrence M.; Wagler, Amy E.; Esquinca, Alberto; Valenzuela, M. Guadalupe


    The framework of linguistic register and case study research on Spanish-speaking English language learners (ELLs) learning statistics informed the construction of a quantitative instrument, the Communication, Language, And Statistics Survey (CLASS). CLASS aims to assess whether ELLs and non-ELLs approach the learning of statistics differently with…

  14. Dialogue Journals between Native Speakers of English and Second Language Learners (United States)

    Martinez, Gloria


    Public school educators in the United States are coping with the immigration of families from non-English speaking countries. Teachers are pressed by federal mandates to meet the challenges of increased cultural diversity and language deficiencies of students with new skills. This study explored the effectiveness of journaling between bilingual…

  15. The Ideal "Native Speaker" Teacher: Negotiating Authenticity and Legitimacy in the Language Classroom (United States)

    Creese, Angela; Blackledge, Adrian; Takhi, Jaspreet Kaur


    This article presents a linguistic ethnographic study of a Panjabi complementary school in Birmingham, UK. Researchers observed classes for one academic year, writing field notes, conducting interviews, and making digital audio recordings of linguistic interactions. Sets of beliefs about the production and deployment of certain linguistic signs…

  16. Teaching English to Young Learners: Supporting the Case for the Bilingual Native English Speaker Teacher (United States)

    Copland, Fiona; Yonetsugi, Eli


    The growing number of young children around the world learning English has resulted in an increase in research in the field. Many of the studies have investigated approaches to learning and teaching, with a particular emphasis on effective pedagogies (e.g. Harley 1998; Shak and Gardner 2008). Other studies have focused on the linguistic gains of…

  17. Arabic Vocabulary Learning Strategies Among Non-native Speakers: A Case of IIUM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nik Hanan Mustapha


    Full Text Available This study aims to investigate the vocabulary learning strategies used by Arabic learners of the International Islamic University Malaysia. It also compares between the Arabic and non-Arabic majoring students in the use of these strategies. The total sample of this study was 248 university students from different level of studies. They answered a ‘Vocabulary Learning Strategies Questionnaire’ by Pavicic Takac (2008 which consisted of three different components: Formal strategies, self-initiated independent strategies and incidental strategies. Results indicated that Arabic learners used a variety of vocabulary learning strategies with translation being the most widely employed. No statistically significant difference was found between the Arabic and non-Arabic majoring students. The findings provide support for helping the students to utilize their mother tongue in a fruitful way to learn new vocabularies, as well as training both groups equally on how to use these strategies efficiently.

  18. Normative Data for Email Writing by Native Speakers of British English

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsey Thiel


    Full Text Available This dataset includes emails from forty two control participants ranging from 16 to 88 years of age (mean = 46 and 9 to 24 years of education (mean = 13. Three emails were produced by each participant (between 2011 and 2014, each within a time limit of three minutes. It is expected that this normative data will be useful for clinicians and researchers working with adults with acquired language disorders in assessing email writing.

  19. Normative Data for Email Writing by Native Speakers of British English


    Thiel, Lindsey; Sage, Karen; Conroy, Paul


    This dataset includes emails from forty two control participants ranging from 16 to 88 years of age (mean = 46) and 9 to 24 years of education (mean = 13). Three emails were produced by each participant (between 2011 and 2014), each within a time limit of three minutes. It is expected that this normative data will be useful for clinicians and researchers working with adults with acquired language disorders in assessing email writing.

  20. Going Beyond the Native Speaker in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Chun

    In recent years, researchers within the field of TCFL (teaching Chinese as a foreign language) have begun to examine the notion of Chinese language teacher identity (see e.g., Moloney, 2013; Gao, 2012; Wu et al., 2014); however, whilst insightful, this research has not addressed the ways in which...... a period of three years has been carried out. The study findings reveal that despite they teach Chinese in their own home cultures, the teachers face challenges in constructing their identities as CFL teacher, and that the challenges that arose with their Chinese learning trajectory and their intercultural...

  1. Native Health Research Database (United States)

    ... Indian Health Board) Welcome to the Native Health Database. Please enter your search terms. Basic Search Advanced ... To learn more about searching the Native Health Database, click here. Tutorial Video The NHD has made ...

  2. German energy market 2016

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schiffer, Hans-Wilhelm; Weltenergierat, Berlin


    The basic orientation of the German energy supply to the increased use of renewable energies, while increasing energy efficiency, is prediscribed by the German government's energy concept and determines the market development. A current overview of the German energy market is given, which provides also this year a concentrated Compilation of the key data of the energy industry. As in the years before, the article not only summarizes general facts about the energy mix, but also goes into detail on the development of the individual energy sources, petroleum, natural gas, brown coal and hard coal, electricity as well as renewable energies. Furthermore, the price trends of international markets and in the domestic market are explained. A current overview of the development of greenhouse gas emissions concludes the contribution. [de

  3. Improving Speaker Recognition by Biometric Voice Deconstruction (United States)

    Mazaira-Fernandez, Luis Miguel; Álvarez-Marquina, Agustín; Gómez-Vilda, Pedro


    Person identification, especially in critical environments, has always been a subject of great interest. However, it has gained a new dimension in a world threatened by a new kind of terrorism that uses social networks (e.g., YouTube) to broadcast its message. In this new scenario, classical identification methods (such as fingerprints or face recognition) have been forcedly replaced by alternative biometric characteristics such as voice, as sometimes this is the only feature available. The present study benefits from the advances achieved during last years in understanding and modeling voice production. The paper hypothesizes that a gender-dependent characterization of speakers combined with the use of a set of features derived from the components, resulting from the deconstruction of the voice into its glottal source and vocal tract estimates, will enhance recognition rates when compared to classical approaches. A general description about the main hypothesis and the methodology followed to extract the gender-dependent extended biometric parameters is given. Experimental validation is carried out both on a highly controlled acoustic condition database, and on a mobile phone network recorded under non-controlled acoustic conditions. PMID:26442245

  4. Non-Native English Teachers' Beliefs on Grammar Instruction (United States)

    Önalan, Okan


    Research on teacher cognition, which mainly focuses on identifying what teachers think, know and believe, is essential to understanding teachers' cognitive framework as it relates to the instructional choices they make. The aim of this study is to find out the beliefs of non-native speaker teachers of English on grammar instruction and to explain…

  5. Enhanced musical rhythmic perception in Turkish early and late learners of German

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Paula eRoncaglia-Denissen


    Full Text Available As language rhythm relies partly on general acoustic properties, such as intensity and duration, mastering two languages with distinct rhythmic properties (i.e., stress position may enhance musical rhythm perception. We investigated whether second language (L2 competence affects musical rhythm aptitude in Turkish early (TELG and late learners (TLLG of German in comparison to German monolingual speakers (GMC. To account for inter-individual differences, we measured participants’ short-term and working memory capacity, melodic aptitude, and time they spent listening to music. Both L2 speaker groups perceived rhythmic variations significantly better than monolinguals. No differences were found between early and late learners’ performances. Our findings suggest that mastering two languages with different rhythmic properties enhances musical rhythm perception, providing further evidence of cognitive share between language and music.

  6. German Idealism Today

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    This collection of essays provides an exemplary overwiew of the diversity and relevance of current scholarship on German Idealism. The importance of German Idealism for contemporary philosophy has recieved growing attention and acknowledgment throughout competing fields of contemporary philosophy...... scholarly debates beyond merely antiquarian perspectives. This renaissance has been a major factor of current efforts to bridge the gap between so-called "nalytic" and so-called "continental" philosophy. The volume provides a selection of readings that contributes to systematic treatments of philosophical...

  7. Human and automatic speaker recognition over telecommunication channels

    CERN Document Server

    Fernández Gallardo, Laura


    This work addresses the evaluation of the human and the automatic speaker recognition performances under different channel distortions caused by bandwidth limitation, codecs, and electro-acoustic user interfaces, among other impairments. Its main contribution is the demonstration of the benefits of communication channels of extended bandwidth, together with an insight into how speaker-specific characteristics of speech are preserved through different transmissions. It provides sufficient motivation for considering speaker recognition as a criterion for the migration from narrowband to enhanced bandwidths, such as wideband and super-wideband.

  8. Acoustic cues to perception of word stress by English, Mandarin, and Russian speakers. (United States)

    Chrabaszcz, Anna; Winn, Matthew; Lin, Candise Y; Idsardi, William J


    This study investigated how listeners' native language affects their weighting of acoustic cues (such as vowel quality, pitch, duration, and intensity) in the perception of contrastive word stress. Native speakers (N = 45) of typologically diverse languages (English, Russian, and Mandarin) performed a stress identification task on nonce disyllabic words with fully crossed combinations of each of the 4 cues in both syllables. The results revealed that although the vowel quality cue was the strongest cue for all groups of listeners, pitch was the second strongest cue for the English and the Mandarin listeners but was virtually disregarded by the Russian listeners. Duration and intensity cues were used by the Russian listeners to a significantly greater extent compared with the English and Mandarin participants. Compared with when cues were noncontrastive across syllables, cues were stronger when they were in the iambic contour than when they were in the trochaic contour. Although both English and Russian are stress languages and Mandarin is a tonal language, stress perception performance of the Mandarin listeners but not of the Russian listeners is more similar to that of the native English listeners, both in terms of weighting of the acoustic cues and the cues' relative strength in different word positions. The findings suggest that tuning of second-language prosodic perceptions is not entirely predictable by prosodic similarities across languages.

  9. DEMorphy, German Language Morphological Analyzer


    Altinok, Duygu


    DEMorphy is a morphological analyzer for German. It is built onto large, compactified lexicons from German Morphological Dictionary. A guesser based on German declension suffixed is also provided. For German, we provided a state-of-art morphological analyzer. DEMorphy is implemented in Python with ease of usability and accompanying documentation. The package is suitable for both academic and commercial purposes wit a permissive licence.

  10. Fundamental frequency characteristics of Jordanian Arabic speakers. (United States)

    Natour, Yaser S; Wingate, Judith M


    This study is the first in a series of investigations designed to test the acoustic characteristics of the normal Arabic voice. The subjects were three hundred normal Jordanian Arabic speakers (100 adult males, 100 adult females, and 100 children). The subjects produced a sustained phonation of the vowel /a:/ and stated their complete names (i.e. first, second, third and surname) using a carrier phrase. The samples were analyzed using the Multi Dimensional Voice Program (MDVP). Fundamental frequency (F0) from the /a:/ and speaking fundamental frequency (SF0) from the sentence were analyzed. Results revealed a significant difference of both F0 and SF0 values among adult Jordanian Arabic-speaking males (F0=131.34Hz +/- 18.65, SF0=137.45 +/- 18.93), females (F0=231.13Hz +/- 20.86, SF0=230.84 +/- 16.50) and children (F0=270.93Hz +/- 20.01, SF0=278.04 +/- 32.07). Comparison with other ethnicities indicated that F0 values of adult Jordanian Arabic-speaking males and females are generally consistent with adult Caucasian and African-American values. However, for Jordanian Arabic-speaking children, a higher trend in F0 values was present than their Western counterparts. SF0 values for adult Jordanian Arabic-speaking males are generally consistent with the adult Caucasian male SF0 values. However, SF0 values of adult Jordanian-speaking females and children were relatively higher than the reported Western values. It is recommended that speech-language pathologists in Arabic-speaking countries, Jordan in specific, utilize the new data provided (F0 and SF0) when evaluating and/or treating Arabic-speaking patients. Due to its cross-linguistic variability, SF0 emerged as a preferred measurement when conducting cross-cultural comparisons of voice features.

  11. On German Unity 1

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    German Democratic Republic (GDR) acceded to the Federal Republic of .... living and the shortage of foreign exchange forced the government of the .... manded a great deal of empathy and care above and beyond the normal call of duty. ... The periods of service completed by conscripts in the NPA were set off against the.

  12. Storytelling and German Culture. (United States)

    Cooper, Connie S. Eigenmann

    The genre of fairytales, one structured form of storytelling, has been labeled "Marchen." German culture is orally transmitted in this generic form, and can be traced to a collection of 210 fairytales, the Grimm brothers'"Kinder-und Taus-Marchen," first published shortly after 1800. For this study, research questions were posed…

  13. Native American nurse leadership. (United States)

    Nichols, Lee A


    To identify which characteristics, wisdom, and skills are essential in becoming an effective Native American nurse leader. This will lead to the development of a curriculum suitable for Native American nurses. A qualitative, descriptive design was used for this study. Focus groups were conducted in Polson, Montana. A total of 67 Native and non-Native nurses participated. Sixty-seven percent of them were members of Indian tribes. Data were content analyzed using Spradley's ethnographic methodology. Three domains of analysis emerged: point of reference for the leader (individual, family, community), what a leader is (self-actualized, wise, experienced, political, bicultural, recognized, quiet presence, humble, spiritual, and visionary), and what a leader does (mentors, role models, communicates, listens, demonstrates values, mobilizes, and inspires). Native nurse leaders lead differently. Thus, a leadership curriculum suitable for Native nurses may lead to increased work productivity and therefore improved patient care for Native Americans.

  14. Cost-Sensitive Learning for Emotion Robust Speaker Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongdong Li


    Full Text Available In the field of information security, voice is one of the most important parts in biometrics. Especially, with the development of voice communication through the Internet or telephone system, huge voice data resources are accessed. In speaker recognition, voiceprint can be applied as the unique password for the user to prove his/her identity. However, speech with various emotions can cause an unacceptably high error rate and aggravate the performance of speaker recognition system. This paper deals with this problem by introducing a cost-sensitive learning technology to reweight the probability of test affective utterances in the pitch envelop level, which can enhance the robustness in emotion-dependent speaker recognition effectively. Based on that technology, a new architecture of recognition system as well as its components is proposed in this paper. The experiment conducted on the Mandarin Affective Speech Corpus shows that an improvement of 8% identification rate over the traditional speaker recognition is achieved.

  15. Cost-sensitive learning for emotion robust speaker recognition. (United States)

    Li, Dongdong; Yang, Yingchun; Dai, Weihui


    In the field of information security, voice is one of the most important parts in biometrics. Especially, with the development of voice communication through the Internet or telephone system, huge voice data resources are accessed. In speaker recognition, voiceprint can be applied as the unique password for the user to prove his/her identity. However, speech with various emotions can cause an unacceptably high error rate and aggravate the performance of speaker recognition system. This paper deals with this problem by introducing a cost-sensitive learning technology to reweight the probability of test affective utterances in the pitch envelop level, which can enhance the robustness in emotion-dependent speaker recognition effectively. Based on that technology, a new architecture of recognition system as well as its components is proposed in this paper. The experiment conducted on the Mandarin Affective Speech Corpus shows that an improvement of 8% identification rate over the traditional speaker recognition is achieved.

  16. Joint Single-Channel Speech Separation and Speaker Identification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mowlaee, Pejman; Saeidi, Rahim; Tan, Zheng-Hua


    In this paper, we propose a closed loop system to improve the performance of single-channel speech separation in a speaker independent scenario. The system is composed of two interconnected blocks: a separation block and a speaker identiſcation block. The improvement is accomplished by incorporat......In this paper, we propose a closed loop system to improve the performance of single-channel speech separation in a speaker independent scenario. The system is composed of two interconnected blocks: a separation block and a speaker identiſcation block. The improvement is accomplished...... enhances the quality of the separated output signals. To assess the improvements, the results are reported in terms of PESQ for both target and masked signals....

  17. a sociophonetic study of young nigerian english speakers

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    between male and female speakers in boundary consonant deletion, (F(1, .... speech perception (Foulkes 2006, Clopper & Pisoni, 2005, Thomas 2002). ... in Nigeria, and had had the privilege of travelling to Europe and the Americas for the.

  18. Forensic Speaker Recognition Law Enforcement and Counter-Terrorism

    CERN Document Server

    Patil, Hemant


    Forensic Speaker Recognition: Law Enforcement and Counter-Terrorism is an anthology of the research findings of 35 speaker recognition experts from around the world. The volume provides a multidimensional view of the complex science involved in determining whether a suspect’s voice truly matches forensic speech samples, collected by law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies, that are associated with the commission of a terrorist act or other crimes. While addressing such topics as the challenges of forensic case work, handling speech signal degradation, analyzing features of speaker recognition to optimize voice verification system performance, and designing voice applications that meet the practical needs of law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies, this material all sounds a common theme: how the rigors of forensic utility are demanding new levels of excellence in all aspects of speaker recognition. The contributors are among the most eminent scientists in speech engineering and signal process...

  19. Music to Teach German By. (United States)

    Schulte, Leo


    Discusses how music can be intergrated with regular lesson plans to teach German vocabulary, grammar, and history and to give insights into German culture. Also included are sources for basic background information, a list of recordings of the German music, and notes on selecting and presenting it in the language class. (SED)

  20. Speaker Linking and Applications using Non-Parametric Hashing Methods (United States)


    nonparametric estimate of a multivariate density function,” The Annals of Math- ematical Statistics , vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 1049–1051, 1965. [9] E. A. Patrick...Speaker Linking and Applications using Non-Parametric Hashing Methods† Douglas Sturim and William M. Campbell MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA...with many approaches [1, 2]. For this paper, we focus on using i-vectors [2], but the methods apply to any embedding. For the task of speaker QBE and

  1. Electrophysiology of subject-verb agreement mediated by speakers' gender. (United States)

    Hanulíková, Adriana; Carreiras, Manuel


    An important property of speech is that it explicitly conveys features of a speaker's identity such as age or gender. This event-related potential (ERP) study examined the effects of social information provided by a speaker's gender, i.e., the conceptual representation of gender, on subject-verb agreement. Despite numerous studies on agreement, little is known about syntactic computations generated by speaker characteristics extracted from the acoustic signal. Slovak is well suited to investigate this issue because it is a morphologically rich language in which agreement involves features for number, case, and gender. Grammaticality of a sentence can be evaluated by checking a speaker's gender as conveyed by his/her voice. We examined how conceptual information about speaker gender, which is not syntactic but rather social and pragmatic in nature, is interpreted for the computation of agreement patterns. ERP responses to verbs disagreeing with the speaker's gender (e.g., a sentence including a masculine verbal inflection spoken by a female person 'the neighbors were upset because I (∗)stoleMASC plums') elicited a larger early posterior negativity compared to correct sentences. When the agreement was purely syntactic and did not depend on the speaker's gender, a disagreement between a formally marked subject and the verb inflection (e.g., the womanFEM (∗)stoleMASC plums) resulted in a larger P600 preceded by a larger anterior negativity compared to the control sentences. This result is in line with proposals according to which the recruitment of non-syntactic information such as the gender of the speaker results in N400-like effects, while formally marked syntactic features lead to structural integration as reflected in a LAN/P600 complex.

  2. Instrumental Analysis of the English Stops Produced by Arabic Speakers of English

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noureldin Mohamed Abdelaal


    Full Text Available This study reports the findings of a research that was conducted on ten (10 Arab students, who were enrolled in a master of English applied linguistics program at Universiti Putra Malaysia. The research aimed at instrumentally analyzing the English stops produced by Arab learners, in terms of voice onset time (VOT; identifying the effect of their mother tongue on producing the English stops; and the extent Arabic speakers of English differentiate in terms of pronunciation between minimal pairs. The findings of the study showed that some of the subjects’ VOT values were similar to native speakers of English. It was also found that the subjects could differentiate in terms of aspiration or voicing between /p/ and /b/, which refutes the assumption that Arab learners have a problem in producing the /p/ sound with appropriate aspiration. However, they did not show significant difference in pronunciation between the /t/ and /d/ or between the /k/ and /g/. Moreover, there is a kind of limited effect of the L1 on producing some stops (e.g. /t/ and /g/. However, for the /b/ sound, it cannot be inferred that there is interference from the mother tongue because its VOT value is almost the same in English and Arabic. This research suggests that teachers need to enhance Arab learners’ pronunciation of some minimal pairs such as /t/ and /d/ or /k/ and /g/.

  3. FPGA Implementation for GMM-Based Speaker Identification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phaklen EhKan


    Full Text Available In today's society, highly accurate personal identification systems are required. Passwords or pin numbers can be forgotten or forged and are no longer considered to offer a high level of security. The use of biological features, biometrics, is becoming widely accepted as the next level for security systems. Biometric-based speaker identification is a method of identifying persons from their voice. Speaker-specific characteristics exist in speech signals due to different speakers having different resonances of the vocal tract. These differences can be exploited by extracting feature vectors such as Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCCs from the speech signal. A well-known statistical modelling process, the Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM, then models the distribution of each speaker's MFCCs in a multidimensional acoustic space. The GMM-based speaker identification system has features that make it promising for hardware acceleration. This paper describes the hardware implementation for classification of a text-independent GMM-based speaker identification system. The aim was to produce a system that can perform simultaneous identification of large numbers of voice streams in real time. This has important potential applications in security and in automated call centre applications. A speedup factor of ninety was achieved compared to a software implementation on a standard PC.

  4. Understanding speaker attitudes from prosody by adults with Parkinson's disease. (United States)

    Monetta, Laura; Cheang, Henry S; Pell, Marc D


    The ability to interpret vocal (prosodic) cues during social interactions can be disrupted by Parkinson's disease, with notable effects on how emotions are understood from speech. This study investigated whether PD patients who have emotional prosody deficits exhibit further difficulties decoding the attitude of a speaker from prosody. Vocally inflected but semantically nonsensical 'pseudo-utterances' were presented to listener groups with and without PD in two separate rating tasks. Task I required participants to rate how confident a speaker sounded from their voice and Task 2 required listeners to rate how polite the speaker sounded for a comparable set of pseudo-utterances. The results showed that PD patients were significantly less able than HC participants to use prosodic cues to differentiate intended levels of speaker confidence in speech, although the patients could accurately detect the politelimpolite attitude of the speaker from prosody in most cases. Our data suggest that many PD patients fail to use vocal cues to effectively infer a speaker's emotions as well as certain attitudes in speech such as confidence, consistent with the idea that the basal ganglia play a role in the meaningful processing of prosodic sequences in spoken language (Pell & Leonard, 2003).

  5. Sonority constraints on onset-rime cohesion: evidence from native and bilingual Filipino readers of English. (United States)

    Alonzo, Angelo; Taft, Marcus


    Research in English suggests that syllables can be analyzed in terms of two subunits-the onset (defined as the initial consonant or consonant cluster) and the rime (the unit formed by the vowel and following consonant/s). This study investigated whether nonnative readers of English, which in the case of the present study were native Filipino speakers, also make use of onset-rime units, particularly when some features of their native language (namely infixation and reduplication) appear to foster no awareness of such units. In two lexical decision experiments, monosyllabic English words were presented, divided in between their first and second consonants (e.g., B LIND), at their onset-rime boundary (e.g., BL IND), or at their antibody boundary (e.g., BLI ND). Results indicated that the processes of infixation and reduplication did not affect the English word processing of native Filipino speakers. Rather, results for both native Filipino and native English speakers suggest that onsets composed of an "s + consonant" sequence (e.g., STAMP) are less cohesive than onsets comprised of a stop-liquid sequence (e.g., BLIND). It was concluded that not only may sonority constraints underlie onset cohesiveness, but that such phonetic properties may also be involved in visual word recognition. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).

  6. An introduction to application-independent evaluation of speaker recognition systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, D.A. van; Brümmer, N.


    In the evaluation of speaker recognition systems - an important part of speaker classification [1], the trade-off between missed speakers and false alarms has always been an important diagnostic tool. NIST has defined the task of speaker detection with the associated Detection Cost Function (DCF) to

  7. How Truncating Are 'Truncating Languages'? Evidence from Russian and German. (United States)

    Rathcke, Tamara V

    Russian and German have pr eviously been described as 'truncating', or cutting off target frequencies of the phrase-final pitch trajectories when the time available for voicing is compromised. However, supporting evidence is rare and limited to only a few pitch categories. This paper reports a production study conducted to document pitch adjustments to linguistic materials, in which the amount of voicing available for the realization of a pitch pattern varies from relatively long to extremely short. Productions of nuclear H+L*, H* and L*+H pitch accents followed by a low boundary tone were investigated in the two languages. The results of the study show that speakers of both 'truncating languages' do not utilize truncation exclusively when accommodating to different segmental environments. On the contrary, they employ several strategies - among them is truncation but also compression and temporal re-alignment - to produce the target pitch categories under increasing time pressure. Given that speakers can systematically apply all three adjustment strategies to produce some pitch patterns (H* L% in German and Russian) while not using truncation in others (H+L* L% particularly in Russian), we question the effectiveness of the typological classification of these two languages as 'truncating'. Moreover, the phonetic detail of truncation varies considerably, both across and within the two languages, indicating that truncation cannot be easily modeled as a unified phenomenon. The results further suggest that the phrase-final pitch adjustments are sensitive to the phonological composition of the tonal string and the status of a particular tonal event (associated vs. boundary tone), and do not apply to falling vs. rising pitch contours across the board, as previously put forward for German. Implications for the intonational phonology and prosodic typology are addressed in the discussion. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  8. MBS Native Plant Communities (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This data layer contains results of the Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS). It includes polygons representing the highest quality native plant communities...

  9. How can teachers assess reading skills of generation z learners in German language class? (United States)

    Dirga, R. N.; Wijayati, P. H.


    Generation Z is a digital native generation who has unique characteristics on the daily basis includes reading. In order to assess their reading skills correctly, teachers need to take these characteristics into consideration. This paper aims to describe the process in developing an instrument to assess reading skills of Generation Z learners in German language class. This study used developmental method. The developed instrument has not only good quality but also consists of texts that are suitable for German learners of Generation Z. This instrument can be used as an example in assessing German learners’ reading skills in the 21st century.

  10. No grammatical gender effect on affective ratings: evidence from Italian and German languages. (United States)

    Montefinese, Maria; Ambrosini, Ettore; Roivainen, Eka


    In this study, we tested the linguistic relativity hypothesis by studying the effect of grammatical gender (feminine vs. masculine) on affective judgments of conceptual representation in Italian and German. In particular, we examined the within- and cross-language grammatical gender effect and its interaction with participants' demographic characteristics (such as, the raters' age and sex) on semantic differential scales (affective ratings of valence, arousal and dominance) in Italian and German speakers. We selected the stimuli and the relative affective measures from Italian and German adaptations of the ANEW (Affective Norms for English Words). Bayesian and frequentist analyses yielded evidence for the absence of within- and cross-languages effects of grammatical gender and sex- and age-dependent interactions. These results suggest that grammatical gender does not affect judgments of affective features of semantic representation in Italian and German speakers, since an overt coding of word grammar is not required. Although further research is recommended to refine the impact of the grammatical gender on properties of semantic representation, these results have implications for any strong view of the linguistic relativity hypothesis.

  11. [German ophthalmologists and NSDAP (United States)

    Rohrbach, Jens Martin


    Approximately 40-45 % of all German physicians joined the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) until 1945. Reasons for party membership are manifold and still a matter of debate. Very likely, the extraordinary high representation of medical doctors in the NSDAP was rather a result of active entry than recruitment by the party. There are only few data concerning the willingness of ophthalmologists to become a party member ("Parteigenosse", "Pg"). According to the list of University teachers in Germany ("Hochschullehrerkarte"; Federal Archive, Berlin), the list of the members of the German Ophthalmological Society (DOG) of 1934 and especially the list of NSDAP-members (Federal Archive, Berlin) the following conclusions can be drawn: 1. Directors of German University eye hospitals (chairmen) were members of the NSDAP with a frequency of 23% in 1933 and 48% in 1938 as well as in 1943. The motivation for joining the party was most likely the perspective of acceleration of the academic career. 2. "Only" 30% of the ophthalmologists working in private praxis were "Pg" (until 1945). 3. Both chairmen and ophthalmologists in private praxis were equally hindered to join the NSDAP between May 1st 1933 and May 1st 1937 when the party temporarily stopped registration. 4. The majority of ophthalmologists who joined the NSDAP were born between 1880 and 1900 and thus had taken part in World War I as soldiers or had experienced the times of need after WW I. Only few ophthalmologists succeeded in the NS-hierarchy and probably only one ophthalmologist, Walther Löhlein from Berlin, came in personal contact with Adolf Hitler who was constantly in fear for his sight after his eye injury in October 1918. The "Law for the prevention of genetically disabled offsprings" ("Gesetz zur Verhütung erbkranken Nachwuchses") from July 14th, 1933 separated ophthalmologists into two parties: those advocating sterilization to a high degree and those recommending sterilization only

  12. Noise Reduction with Microphone Arrays for Speaker Identification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohen, Z


    Reducing acoustic noise in audio recordings is an ongoing problem that plagues many applications. This noise is hard to reduce because of interfering sources and non-stationary behavior of the overall background noise. Many single channel noise reduction algorithms exist but are limited in that the more the noise is reduced; the more the signal of interest is distorted due to the fact that the signal and noise overlap in frequency. Specifically acoustic background noise causes problems in the area of speaker identification. Recording a speaker in the presence of acoustic noise ultimately limits the performance and confidence of speaker identification algorithms. In situations where it is impossible to control the environment where the speech sample is taken, noise reduction filtering algorithms need to be developed to clean the recorded speech of background noise. Because single channel noise reduction algorithms would distort the speech signal, the overall challenge of this project was to see if spatial information provided by microphone arrays could be exploited to aid in speaker identification. The goals are: (1) Test the feasibility of using microphone arrays to reduce background noise in speech recordings; (2) Characterize and compare different multichannel noise reduction algorithms; (3) Provide recommendations for using these multichannel algorithms; and (4) Ultimately answer the question - Can the use of microphone arrays aid in speaker identification?

  13. Fluency profile: comparison between Brazilian and European Portuguese speakers. (United States)

    Castro, Blenda Stephanie Alves e; Martins-Reis, Vanessa de Oliveira; Baptista, Ana Catarina; Celeste, Letícia Correa


    The purpose of the study was to compare the speech fluency of Brazilian Portuguese speakers with that of European Portuguese speakers. The study participants were 76 individuals of any ethnicity or skin color aged 18-29 years. Of the participants, 38 lived in Brazil and 38 in Portugal. Speech samples from all participants were obtained and analyzed according to the variables of typology and frequency of speech disruptions and speech rate. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were performed to assess the association between the fluency profile and linguistic variant variables. We found that the speech rate of European Portuguese speakers was higher than the speech rate of Brazilian Portuguese speakers in words per minute (p=0.004). The qualitative distribution of the typology of common dysfluencies (pPortuguese speakers is not available, speech therapists in Portugal can use the same speech fluency assessment as has been used in Brazil to establish a diagnosis of stuttering, especially in regard to typical and stuttering dysfluencies, with care taken when evaluating the speech rate.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Flávia Figueiredo


    Full Text Available The rhetoric is guided by three dimensions: logos, pathos and ethos. Logos is the speech itself, pathos are the passions that the speaker, through logos, awakens in his audience, and ethos is the image that the speaker creates of himself, also through logos, in front of an audience. The rhetorical genres are three: deliberative (which drives the audience or the judge to think about future events, characterizing them as convenient or harmful, judiciary (the audience thinks about past events in order to classify them as fair or unfair and epidictic (the audience will judge any fact occurred, or even the character of a person as beautiful or not. According to Figueiredo (2014 and based on Eggs (2005, we advocate that ethos is not a mark left by the speaker only in rhetorical genres, but in any textual genre, once the result of human production, the simplest choices in textual construction, are able to reproduce something that is closely linked to speaker, thus, demarcating hir/her ethos. To verify this assumption, we selected a display of a video of the comedian Danilo Gentili, which will be examined in the light of Rhetoric and Textual Linguistics. So, our objective is to find, in the stand-up comedy genre, marks left by the speaker in the speech that characterizes his/her ethos. The analysis results show that ethos, discursive genre and communicational purpose amalgamate in an indissoluble complex in which the success of one of them interdepends on how the other was built.

  15. Direct Speaker Gaze Promotes Trust in Truth-Ambiguous Statements. (United States)

    Kreysa, Helene; Kessler, Luise; Schweinberger, Stefan R


    A speaker's gaze behaviour can provide perceivers with a multitude of cues which are relevant for communication, thus constituting an important non-verbal interaction channel. The present study investigated whether direct eye gaze of a speaker affects the likelihood of listeners believing truth-ambiguous statements. Participants were presented with videos in which a speaker produced such statements with either direct or averted gaze. The statements were selected through a rating study to ensure that participants were unlikely to know a-priori whether they were true or not (e.g., "sniffer dogs cannot smell the difference between identical twins"). Participants indicated in a forced-choice task whether or not they believed each statement. We found that participants were more likely to believe statements by a speaker looking at them directly, compared to a speaker with averted gaze. Moreover, when participants disagreed with a statement, they were slower to do so when the statement was uttered with direct (compared to averted) gaze, suggesting that the process of rejecting a statement as untrue may be inhibited when that statement is accompanied by direct gaze.

  16. Direct Speaker Gaze Promotes Trust in Truth-Ambiguous Statements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helene Kreysa

    Full Text Available A speaker's gaze behaviour can provide perceivers with a multitude of cues which are relevant for communication, thus constituting an important non-verbal interaction channel. The present study investigated whether direct eye gaze of a speaker affects the likelihood of listeners believing truth-ambiguous statements. Participants were presented with videos in which a speaker produced such statements with either direct or averted gaze. The statements were selected through a rating study to ensure that participants were unlikely to know a-priori whether they were true or not (e.g., "sniffer dogs cannot smell the difference between identical twins". Participants indicated in a forced-choice task whether or not they believed each statement. We found that participants were more likely to believe statements by a speaker looking at them directly, compared to a speaker with averted gaze. Moreover, when participants disagreed with a statement, they were slower to do so when the statement was uttered with direct (compared to averted gaze, suggesting that the process of rejecting a statement as untrue may be inhibited when that statement is accompanied by direct gaze.

  17. Marlene Dietrich in the German Classroom: A German Film Project--Humanities through the Golden Age of German Cinema. (United States)

    Flippo, Hyde


    Marlene Dietrich and other classic performers of German cinema can serve to open up a whole new realm for students of German, at secondary and postsecondary levels. By researching and viewing German and American film classics, students have opportunity to learn more about German language and an important element of German culture that has had…

  18. Native SAD is maturing. (United States)

    Rose, John P; Wang, Bi-Cheng; Weiss, Manfred S


    Native SAD phasing uses the anomalous scattering signal of light atoms in the crystalline, native samples of macromolecules collected from single-wavelength X-ray diffraction experiments. These atoms include sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, potassium and calcium. Native SAD phasing is challenging and is critically dependent on the collection of accurate data. Over the past five years, advances in diffraction hardware, crystallographic software, data-collection methods and strategies, and the use of data statistics have been witnessed which allow 'highly accurate data' to be routinely collected. Today, native SAD sits on the verge of becoming a 'first-choice' method for both de novo and molecular-replacement structure determination. This article will focus on advances that have caught the attention of the community over the past five years. It will also highlight both de novo native SAD structures and recent structures that were key to methods development.

  19. The German REACH Congress 2016: a workshop report. (United States)

    Reihlen, Antonia; Jepsen, Dirk; Broschinski, Lutz; Luch, Andreas; Schulte, Agnes


    In October 2016, the German REACH Congress was held at the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Berlin. Here, the associated improvement made in the fields of consumer protection and the progress in and experiences gained from the implementation of the authorisation procedure were discussed. Several speakers from EU institutions, German authorities, industry, and civil society organisations were invited to present their views. There was a shared consensus that REACH contributes to the advancement of consumer protection against chemical risks, mainly because more and higher quality information on substance-related hazards and potential exposures becomes available. In addition, risk management measures, particularly regarding restrictions on uses, scale down consumer exposures to chemicals. Opportunities for improvements identified at the congress include the quality of registration dossiers and the management of and communication on substances of very high concern (SVHC) that may be present in consumer articles. Although regarded as being in an early implementation phase, the authorisation process was generally found to be operational and progressing well. Criticism was expressed with regard to the consistency of authorisation decisions and the costs and uncertainties related to authorisation applications. Consumer protection legislation consists of several legal provisions which are interlinked. The congress participants agreed that REACH is an important element of this legal framework as it enhances and complements other legal provisions.

  20. Nonnative Speaker-Initiated Repair in A Sequential Complex Context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yufu, Mamiko

    in the degree or manner of politeness between the participants, confidence or lack of confidence of Japanese participants about their knowledge of German, etc. Moreover, some other phenomena are considered unique to the cultural backgrounds of the participants of this research (German and Japanese), due...

  1. A critical period for second language acquisition: Evidence from 2/3 million English speakers. (United States)

    Hartshorne, Joshua K; Tenenbaum, Joshua B; Pinker, Steven


    Children learn language more easily than adults, though when and why this ability declines have been obscure for both empirical reasons (underpowered studies) and conceptual reasons (measuring the ultimate attainment of learners who started at different ages cannot by itself reveal changes in underlying learning ability). We address both limitations with a dataset of unprecedented size (669,498 native and non-native English speakers) and a computational model that estimates the trajectory of underlying learning ability by disentangling current age, age at first exposure, and years of experience. This allows us to provide the first direct estimate of how grammar-learning ability changes with age, finding that it is preserved almost to the crux of adulthood (17.4 years old) and then declines steadily. This finding held not only for "difficult" syntactic phenomena but also for "easy" syntactic phenomena that are normally mastered early in acquisition. The results support the existence of a sharply-defined critical period for language acquisition, but the age of offset is much later than previously speculated. The size of the dataset also provides novel insight into several other outstanding questions in language acquisition. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Pitch perception and production in congenital amusia: Evidence from Cantonese speakers. (United States)

    Liu, Fang; Chan, Alice H D; Ciocca, Valter; Roquet, Catherine; Peretz, Isabelle; Wong, Patrick C M


    This study investigated pitch perception and production in speech and music in individuals with congenital amusia (a disorder of musical pitch processing) who are native speakers of Cantonese, a tone language with a highly complex tonal system. Sixteen Cantonese-speaking congenital amusics and 16 controls performed a set of lexical tone perception, production, singing, and psychophysical pitch threshold tasks. Their tone production accuracy and singing proficiency were subsequently judged by independent listeners, and subjected to acoustic analyses. Relative to controls, amusics showed impaired discrimination of lexical tones in both speech and non-speech conditions. They also received lower ratings for singing proficiency, producing larger pitch interval deviations and making more pitch interval errors compared to controls. Demonstrating higher pitch direction identification thresholds than controls for both speech syllables and piano tones, amusics nevertheless produced native lexical tones with comparable pitch trajectories and intelligibility as controls. Significant correlations were found between pitch threshold and lexical tone perception, music perception and production, but not between lexical tone perception and production for amusics. These findings provide further evidence that congenital amusia is a domain-general language-independent pitch-processing deficit that is associated with severely impaired music perception and production, mildly impaired speech perception, and largely intact speech production.

  3. Utilising Tree-Based Ensemble Learning for Speaker Segmentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abou-Zleikha, Mohamed; Tan, Zheng-Hua; Christensen, Mads Græsbøll


    In audio and speech processing, accurate detection of the changing points between multiple speakers in speech segments is an important stage for several applications such as speaker identification and tracking. Bayesian Information Criteria (BIC)-based approaches are the most traditionally used...... for a certain condition, the model becomes biased to the data used for training limiting the model’s generalisation ability. In this paper, we propose a BIC-based tuning-free approach for speaker segmentation through the use of ensemble-based learning. A forest of segmentation trees is constructed in which each...... tree is trained using a sampled version of the speech segment. During the tree construction process, a set of randomly selected points in the input sequence is examined as potential segmentation points. The point that yields the highest ΔBIC is chosen and the same process is repeated for the resultant...

  4. Robust Digital Speech Watermarking For Online Speaker Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Ali Nematollahi


    Full Text Available A robust and blind digital speech watermarking technique has been proposed for online speaker recognition systems based on Discrete Wavelet Packet Transform (DWPT and multiplication to embed the watermark in the amplitudes of the wavelet’s subbands. In order to minimize the degradation effect of the watermark, these subbands are selected where less speaker-specific information was available (500 Hz–3500 Hz and 6000 Hz–7000 Hz. Experimental results on Texas Instruments Massachusetts Institute of Technology (TIMIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, and Mobile Biometry (MOBIO show that the degradation for speaker verification and identification is 1.16% and 2.52%, respectively. Furthermore, the proposed watermark technique can provide enough robustness against different signal processing attacks.

  5. Quantile Acoustic Vectors vs. MFCC Applied to Speaker Verification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayorga-Ortiz Pedro


    Full Text Available In this paper we describe speaker and command recognition related experiments, through quantile vectors and Gaussian Mixture Modelling (GMM. Over the past several years GMM and MFCC have become two of the dominant approaches for modelling speaker and speech recognition applications. However, memory and computational costs are important drawbacks, because autonomous systems suffer processing and power consumption constraints; thus, having a good trade-off between accuracy and computational requirements is mandatory. We decided to explore another approach (quantile vectors in several tasks and a comparison with MFCC was made. Quantile acoustic vectors are proposed for speaker verification and command recognition tasks and the results showed very good recognition efficiency. This method offered a good trade-off between computation times, characteristics vector complexity and overall achieved efficiency.

  6. Analysis of Feature Extraction Methods for Speaker Dependent Speech Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gurpreet Kaur


    Full Text Available Speech recognition is about what is being said, irrespective of who is saying. Speech recognition is a growing field. Major progress is taking place on the technology of automatic speech recognition (ASR. Still, there are lots of barriers in this field in terms of recognition rate, background noise, speaker variability, speaking rate, accent etc. Speech recognition rate mainly depends on the selection of features and feature extraction methods. This paper outlines the feature extraction techniques for speaker dependent speech recognition for isolated words. A brief survey of different feature extraction techniques like Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC, Linear Predictive Coding Coefficients (LPCC, Perceptual Linear Prediction (PLP, Relative Spectra Perceptual linear Predictive (RASTA-PLP analysis are presented and evaluation is done. Speech recognition has various applications from daily use to commercial use. We have made a speaker dependent system and this system can be useful in many areas like controlling a patient vehicle using simple commands.

  7. Designing acoustics for linguistically diverse classrooms: Effects of background noise, reverberation and talker foreign accent on speech comprehension by native and non-native English-speaking listeners (United States)

    Peng, Zhao Ellen

    The current classroom acoustics standard (ANSI S12.60-2010) recommends core learning spaces not to exceed background noise level (BNL) of 35 dBA and reverberation time (RT) of 0.6 second, based on speech intelligibility performance mainly by the native English-speaking population. Existing literature has not correlated these recommended values well with student learning outcomes. With a growing population of non-native English speakers in American classrooms, the special needs for perceiving degraded speech among non-native listeners, either due to realistic room acoustics or talker foreign accent, have not been addressed in the current standard. This research seeks to investigate the effects of BNL and RT on the comprehension of English speech from native English and native Mandarin Chinese talkers as perceived by native and non-native English listeners, and to provide acoustic design guidelines to supplement the existing standard. This dissertation presents two studies on the effects of RT and BNL on more realistic classroom learning experiences. How do native and non-native English-speaking listeners perform on speech comprehension tasks under adverse acoustic conditions, if the English speech is produced by talkers of native English (Study 1) versus native Mandarin Chinese (Study 2)? Speech comprehension materials were played back in a listening chamber to individual listeners: native and non-native English-speaking in Study 1; native English, native Mandarin Chinese, and other non-native English-speaking in Study 2. Each listener was screened for baseline English proficiency level, and completed dual tasks simultaneously involving speech comprehension and adaptive dot-tracing under 15 acoustic conditions, comprised of three BNL conditions (RC-30, 40, and 50) and five RT scenarios (0.4 to 1.2 seconds). The results show that BNL and RT negatively affect both objective performance and subjective perception of speech comprehension, more severely for non-native

  8. Electricity: the German example

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huet, Sylvestre


    The author proposes some comments on the content of the Energiewende, i.e. the definition of the energy transition in Germany which aims at producing and consuming a green energy, without carbon nor nuclear. He comments the German energy mix for 2010 in terms of electricity production per origin (nuclear, coal and lignite, gas, oil, wind, solar photovoltaic, other renewable sources) and of installed capacities per origin. He notices that gas and coal still have a major weight in this mix, and discusses the content of a scenario based 100 per cent renewable energies as it has been studied by the Fraunhofer Institute, notably in terms of production level and of costs

  9. Using Avatars for Improving Speaker Identification in Captioning (United States)

    Vy, Quoc V.; Fels, Deborah I.

    Captioning is the main method for accessing television and film content by people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. One major difficulty consistently identified by the community is that of knowing who is speaking particularly for an off screen narrator. A captioning system was created using a participatory design method to improve speaker identification. The final prototype contained avatars and a coloured border for identifying specific speakers. Evaluation results were very positive; however participants also wanted to customize various components such as caption and avatar location.

  10. German atomic low meeting 2004

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ossenbuehl, F.


    The conference report on the German atomic law meeting 2004 contains 14 contributions on the German atomic legislation within four parts: Damage precaution in the operational phase; Legal general requirements for the final disposal - considerations ''de lege lata'' and ''de lege ferenda''. Financing of the site searching by a statutory company (''Verbandsmodell''). Atomic supervision authority - federal executive administration or federal self administration?

  11. The Space-Time Topography of English Speakers (United States)

    Duman, Steve


    English speakers talk and think about Time in terms of physical space. The past is behind us, and the future is in front of us. In this way, we "map" space onto Time. This dissertation addresses the specificity of this physical space, or its topography. Inspired by languages like Yupno (Nunez, et al., 2012) and Bamileke-Dschang (Hyman,…

  12. Within the School and the Community--A Speaker's Bureau. (United States)

    McClintock, Joy H.

    Student interest prompted the formation of a Speaker's Bureau in Seminole Senior High School, Seminole, Florida. First, students compiled a list of community contacts, including civic clubs, churches, retirement villages, newspaper offices, and the County School Administration media center. A letter of introduction was composed and speaking…

  13. Recognition of speaker-dependent continuous speech with KEAL (United States)

    Mercier, G.; Bigorgne, D.; Miclet, L.; Le Guennec, L.; Querre, M.


    A description of the speaker-dependent continuous speech recognition system KEAL is given. An unknown utterance, is recognized by means of the followng procedures: acoustic analysis, phonetic segmentation and identification, word and sentence analysis. The combination of feature-based, speaker-independent coarse phonetic segmentation with speaker-dependent statistical classification techniques is one of the main design features of the acoustic-phonetic decoder. The lexical access component is essentially based on a statistical dynamic programming technique which aims at matching a phonemic lexical entry containing various phonological forms, against a phonetic lattice. Sentence recognition is achieved by use of a context-free grammar and a parsing algorithm derived from Earley's parser. A speaker adaptation module allows some of the system parameters to be adjusted by matching known utterances with their acoustical representation. The task to be performed, described by its vocabulary and its grammar, is given as a parameter of the system. Continuously spoken sentences extracted from a 'pseudo-Logo' language are analyzed and results are presented.

  14. Gesturing by Speakers with Aphasia: How Does It Compare? (United States)

    Mol, Lisette; Krahmer, Emiel; van de Sandt-Koenderman, Mieke


    Purpose: To study the independence of gesture and verbal language production. The authors assessed whether gesture can be semantically compensatory in cases of verbal language impairment and whether speakers with aphasia and control participants use similar depiction techniques in gesture. Method: The informativeness of gesture was assessed in 3…

  15. Sentence comprehension in Swahili-English bilingual agrammatic speakers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abuom, Tom O.; Shah, Emmah; Bastiaanse, Roelien

    For this study, sentence comprehension was tested in Swahili-English bilingual agrammatic speakers. The sentences were controlled for four factors: (1) order of the arguments (base vs. derived); (2) embedding (declarative vs. relative sentences); (3) overt use of the relative pronoun "who"; (4)

  16. Schizophrenia among Sesotho speakers in South Africa | Mosotho ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Results: Core symptoms of schizophrenia among Sesotho speakers do not differ significantly from other cultures. However, the content of psychological symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations is strongly affected by cultural variables. Somatic symptoms such as headaches, palpitations, dizziness and excessive ...

  17. Why reference to the past is difficult for agrammatic speakers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bastiaanse, Roelien

    Many studies have shown that verb inflections are difficult to produce for agrammatic aphasic speakers: they are frequently omitted and substituted. The present article gives an overview of our search to understanding why this is the case. The hypothesis is that grammatical morphology referring to

  18. Segmentation of the Speaker's Face Region with Audiovisual Correlation (United States)

    Liu, Yuyu; Sato, Yoichi

    The ability to find the speaker's face region in a video is useful for various applications. In this work, we develop a novel technique to find this region within different time windows, which is robust against the changes of view, scale, and background. The main thrust of our technique is to integrate audiovisual correlation analysis into a video segmentation framework. We analyze the audiovisual correlation locally by computing quadratic mutual information between our audiovisual features. The computation of quadratic mutual information is based on the probability density functions estimated by kernel density estimation with adaptive kernel bandwidth. The results of this audiovisual correlation analysis are incorporated into graph cut-based video segmentation to resolve a globally optimum extraction of the speaker's face region. The setting of any heuristic threshold in this segmentation is avoided by learning the correlation distributions of speaker and background by expectation maximization. Experimental results demonstrate that our method can detect the speaker's face region accurately and robustly for different views, scales, and backgrounds.

  19. Google Home: smart speaker as environmental control unit. (United States)

    Noda, Kenichiro


    Environmental Control Units (ECU) are devices or a system that allows a person to control appliances in their home or work environment. Such system can be utilized by clients with physical and/or functional disability to enhance their ability to control their environment, to promote independence and improve their quality of life. Over the last several years, there have been an emergence of several inexpensive, commercially-available, voice activated smart speakers into the market such as Google Home and Amazon Echo. These smart speakers are equipped with far field microphone that supports voice recognition, and allows for complete hand-free operation for various purposes, including for playing music, for information retrieval, and most importantly, for environmental control. Clients with disability could utilize these features to turn the unit into a simple ECU that is completely voice activated and wirelessly connected to appliances. Smart speakers, with their ease of setup, low cost and versatility, may be a more affordable and accessible alternative to the traditional ECU. Implications for Rehabilitation Environmental Control Units (ECU) enable independence for physically and functionally disabled clients, and reduce burden and frequency of demands on carers. Traditional ECU can be costly and may require clients to learn specialized skills to use. Smart speakers have the potential to be used as a new-age ECU by overcoming these barriers, and can be used by a wider range of clients.

  20. Do Speakers and Listeners Observe the Gricean Maxim of Quantity? (United States)

    Engelhardt, Paul E.; Bailey, Karl G. D.; Ferreira, Fernanda


    The Gricean Maxim of Quantity is believed to govern linguistic performance. Speakers are assumed to provide as much information as required for referent identification and no more, and listeners are believed to expect unambiguous but concise descriptions. In three experiments we examined the extent to which naive participants are sensitive to the…

  1. Umesh V Waghmare | Speakers | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Umesh V Waghmare. Theoretical Sciences Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur P.O., Bangalore 560 064, ... These ideas apply quite well to dynamical structure of a crystal, as described by the dispersion of its phonons or vibrational waves. The speakers group has shown an interesting ...

  2. An evidence-based rehabilitation program for tracheoesophageal speakers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongmans, P.; Rossum, M.; As-Brooks, C.; Hilgers, F.; Pols, L.; Hilgers, F.J.M.; Pols, L.C.W.; van Rossum, M.; van den Brekel, M.W.M.


    Objectives: to develop an evidence-based therapy program aimed at improving tracheoesophageal speech intelligibility. The therapy program is based on particular problems found for TE speakers in a previous study as performed by the authors. Patients/Materials and Methods: 9 male laryngectomized

  3. The Blame Game: Performance Analysis of Speaker Diarization System Components

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huijbregts, M.A.H.; Wooters, Chuck


    In this paper we discuss the performance analysis of a speaker diarization system similar to the system that was submitted by ICSI at the NIST RT06s evaluation benchmark. The analysis that is based on a series of oracle experiments, provides a good understanding of the performance of each system

  4. Evaluating acoustic speaker normalization algorithms: evidence from longitudinal child data. (United States)

    Kohn, Mary Elizabeth; Farrington, Charlie


    Speaker vowel formant normalization, a technique that controls for variation introduced by physical differences between speakers, is necessary in variationist studies to compare speakers of different ages, genders, and physiological makeup in order to understand non-physiological variation patterns within populations. Many algorithms have been established to reduce variation introduced into vocalic data from physiological sources. The lack of real-time studies tracking the effectiveness of these normalization algorithms from childhood through adolescence inhibits exploration of child participation in vowel shifts. This analysis compares normalization techniques applied to data collected from ten African American children across five time points. Linear regressions compare the reduction in variation attributable to age and gender for each speaker for the vowels BEET, BAT, BOT, BUT, and BOAR. A normalization technique is successful if it maintains variation attributable to a reference sociolinguistic variable, while reducing variation attributable to age. Results indicate that normalization techniques which rely on both a measure of central tendency and range of the vowel space perform best at reducing variation attributable to age, although some variation attributable to age persists after normalization for some sections of the vowel space. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America

  5. On the Use of Complementary Spectral Features for Speaker Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sridhar Krishnan


    Full Text Available The most popular features for speaker recognition are Mel frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCCs and linear prediction cepstral coefficients (LPCCs. These features are used extensively because they characterize the vocal tract configuration which is known to be highly speaker-dependent. In this work, several features are introduced that can characterize the vocal system in order to complement the traditional features and produce better speaker recognition models. The spectral centroid (SC, spectral bandwidth (SBW, spectral band energy (SBE, spectral crest factor (SCF, spectral flatness measure (SFM, Shannon entropy (SE, and Renyi entropy (RE were utilized for this purpose. This work demonstrates that these features are robust in noisy conditions by simulating some common distortions that are found in the speakers' environment and a typical telephone channel. Babble noise, additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN, and a bandpass channel with 1 dB of ripple were used to simulate these noisy conditions. The results show significant improvements in classification performance for all noise conditions when these features were used to complement the MFCC and ΔMFCC features. In particular, the SC and SCF improved performance in almost all noise conditions within the examined SNR range (10–40 dB. For example, in cases where there was only one source of distortion, classification improvements of up to 8% and 10% were achieved under babble noise and AWGN, respectively, using the SCF feature.

  6. Lexical exposure to native language dialects can improve non-native phonetic discrimination. (United States)

    Olmstead, Annie J; Viswanathan, Navin


    Nonnative phonetic learning is an area of great interest for language researchers, learners, and educators alike. In two studies, we examined whether nonnative phonetic discrimination of Hindi dental and retroflex stops can be improved by exposure to lexical items bearing the critical nonnative stops. We extend the lexical retuning paradigm of Norris, McQueen, and Cutler (Cognitive Psychology, 47, 204-238, 2003) by having naive American English (AE)-speaking participants perform a pretest-training-posttest procedure. They performed an AXB discrimination task with the Hindi retroflex and dental stops before and after transcribing naturally produced words from an Indian English speaker that either contained these tokens or not. Only those participants who heard words with the critical nonnative phones improved in their posttest discrimination. This finding suggests that exposure to nonnative phones in native lexical contexts supports learning of difficult nonnative phonetic discrimination.

  7. German visits to CERN

    CERN Multimedia


    State secretary to Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Frieder Meyer-Krahmer, with CERN's Director-General Robert Aymar.On 21 February, Professor Frieder Meyer-Krahmer, State Secretary to Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research, came to CERN. He visited the ALICE and ATLAS experiments and the computing centre before meeting the CERN's Director-General, some German physicists and members of the top management. The Minister of Science, Research and the Arts of the Baden-Württemberg regional government, Peter Frankenberg, and CERN's Director-General, Robert Aymar, signing an agreement on education. In the background: Sigurd Lettow, CERN's Director of Finance and Human Resources, and Karl-Heinz Meisel, Rector of the Fachhochschule Karlsruhe. The Minister of Science, Research and the Arts of the Baden-Württemberg regional government, Prof. Peter Frankenberg, visited CERN on 23 February. He was accompanied by the Rector of the Fachhochschule Karlsruhe, Prof. Karl-Heinz Meisel, and b...

  8. Becoming German: Integration, Citizenship and Territorialization of Germanness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fogelman, Tatiana


    understandings of integration and Germanness, this paper highlights the neglected aspect of the ascendance of Integrationspolitik since the turn of the century: namely how it superseded previous regime of completely bifurcated migration policy for "foreigners" on the one hand, and so-called "settlers" of German......, seen ever more as residing within its state territory rather than some diffuse cultural-linguistic space. Moving our understanding of Germanness beyond the "ethnic nationhood model" (Faist 2008), I argue thus that, in conjunction with the new citizenship law, the emergence of Integrationspolitik...

  9. Native Knowledge in the Americas. (United States)

    Kidwell, Clara Sue


    Native American science is defined as activities of native peoples of the New World in observing physical phenomena and attempting to explain and control them. Problems in studying native science, ethnoscience and native science, archaeostronomy and ethnoastronomy, ethnobotany, agriculture, technology, and future directions are discussed. (JN)

  10. Comparative Analysys of Speech Parameters for the Design of Speaker Verification Systems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Souza, A


    Speaker verification systems are basically composed of three stages: feature extraction, feature processing and comparison of the modified features from speaker voice and from the voice that should be...

  11. Key-note speaker: Predictors of weight loss after preventive Health consultations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lous, Jørgen; Freund, Kirsten S


    Invited key-note speaker ved conferencen: Preventive Medicine and Public Health Conference 2018, July 16-17, London.......Invited key-note speaker ved conferencen: Preventive Medicine and Public Health Conference 2018, July 16-17, London....

  12. Native-likeness in second language lexical categorization reflects individual language history and linguistic community norms. (United States)

    Zinszer, Benjamin D; Malt, Barbara C; Ameel, Eef; Li, Ping


    SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNERS FACE A DUAL CHALLENGE IN VOCABULARY LEARNING: First, they must learn new names for the 100s of common objects that they encounter every day. Second, after some time, they discover that these names do not generalize according to the same rules used in their first language. Lexical categories frequently differ between languages (Malt et al., 1999), and successful language learning requires that bilinguals learn not just new words but new patterns for labeling objects. In the present study, Chinese learners of English with varying language histories and resident in two different language settings (Beijing, China and State College, PA, USA) named 67 photographs of common serving dishes (e.g., cups, plates, and bowls) in both Chinese and English. Participants' response patterns were quantified in terms of similarity to the responses of functionally monolingual native speakers of Chinese and English and showed the cross-language convergence previously observed in simultaneous bilinguals (Ameel et al., 2005). For English, bilinguals' names for each individual stimulus were also compared to the dominant name generated by the native speakers for the object. Using two statistical models, we disentangle the effects of several highly interactive variables from bilinguals' language histories and the naming norms of the native speaker community to predict inter-personal and inter-item variation in L2 (English) native-likeness. We find only a modest age of earliest exposure effect on L2 category native-likeness, but importantly, we find that classroom instruction in L2 negatively impacts L2 category native-likeness, even after significant immersion experience. We also identify a significant role of both L1 and L2 norms in bilinguals' L2 picture naming responses.

  13. Native-Likeness in Second Language Lexical Categorization Reflects Individual Language History and Linguistic Community Norms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin D Zinszer


    Full Text Available Second language learners face a dual challenge in vocabulary learning: First, they must learn new names for the hundreds of common objects that they encounter every day. Second, after some time, they discover that these names do not generalize according to the same rules used in their first language. Lexical categories frequently differ between languages (Malt et al., 1999, and successful language learning requires that bilinguals learn not just new words but new patterns for labeling objects. In the present study, Chinese learners of English with varying language histories and resident in two different language settings (Beijing, China and State College, PA, USA named 67 photographs of common serving dishes (e.g., cups, plates, and bowls in both Chinese and English. Participants’ response patterns were quantified in terms of similarity to the responses of functionally monolingual native speakers of Chinese and English and showed the cross-language convergence previously observed in simultaneous bilinguals (Ameel et al., 2005. For English, bilinguals’ names for each individual stimulus were also compared to the dominant name generated by the native speakers for the object. Using two statistical models, we disentangle the effects of several highly interactive variables from bilinguals' language histories and the naming norms of the native speaker community to predict inter-personal and inter-item variation in L2 (English native-likeness. We find only a modest age of earliest exposure effect on L2 category native-likeness, but importantly, we find that classroom instruction in L2 negatively impacts L2 category native-likeness, even after significant immersion experience. We also identify a significant role of both L1 and L2 norms in bilinguals’ L2 picture naming responses.

  14. Native fruit traits may mediate dispersal competition between native and non-native plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare Aslan


    Full Text Available Seed disperser preferences may mediate the impact of invasive, non-native plant species on their new ecological communities. Significant seed disperser preference for invasives over native species could facilitate the spread of the invasives while impeding native plant dispersal. Such competition for dispersers could negatively impact the fitness of some native plants. Here, we review published literature to identify circumstances under which preference for non-native fruits occurs. The importance of fruit attraction is underscored by several studies demonstrating that invasive, fleshy-fruited plant species are particularly attractive to regional frugivores. A small set of studies directly compare frugivore preference for native vs. invasive species, and we find that different designs and goals within such studies frequently yield contrasting results. When similar native and non-native plant species have been compared, frugivores have tended to show preference for the non-natives. This preference appears to stem from enhanced feeding efficiency or accessibility associated with the non-native fruits. On the other hand, studies examining preference within existing suites of co-occurring species, with no attempt to maximize fruit similarity, show mixed results, with frugivores in most cases acting opportunistically or preferring native species. A simple, exploratory meta-analysis finds significant preference for native species when these studies are examined as a group. We illustrate the contrasting findings typical of these two approaches with results from two small-scale aviary experiments we conducted to determine preference by frugivorous bird species in northern California. In these case studies, native birds preferred the native fruit species as long as it was dissimilar from non-native fruits, while non-native European starlings preferred non-native fruit. However, native birds showed slight, non-significant preference for non-native fruit

  15. How old are Germanic lambs?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vrieland, Seán D.


    Gothic and Gutnish lamb with the meaning ‘sheep’ sets these two languages apart from the rest of Germanic, and is the most common piece of evidence used to claim they share a close connection. Yet the same meaning is found in the descendants of Proto-Fennic *lambaz, a loan from Proto-Germanic, an......Gothic and Gutnish lamb with the meaning ‘sheep’ sets these two languages apart from the rest of Germanic, and is the most common piece of evidence used to claim they share a close connection. Yet the same meaning is found in the descendants of Proto-Fennic *lambaz, a loan from Proto...

  16. … but You Are Not German." -- Afro-German Culture and Literature in the German Language Classroom (United States)

    Schenker, Theresa; Munro, Robert


    Units and classes dedicated to multiculturalism in Germany have predominantly focused on Turkish-German literature and culture. Afro-Germans have been a minority whose culture and literature have only marginally been included in German classes, even though Afro-Germans have been a part of Germany for centuries and have undergone efforts at…

  17. Race in Conflict with Heritage: "Black" Heritage Language Speaker of Japanese (United States)

    Doerr, Neriko Musha; Kumagai, Yuri


    "Heritage language speaker" is a relatively new term to denote minority language speakers who grew up in a household where the language was used or those who have a family, ancestral, or racial connection to the minority language. In research on heritage language speakers, overlap between these 2 definitions is often assumed--that is,…

  18. Children's Understanding That Utterances Emanate from Minds: Using Speaker Belief To Aid Interpretation. (United States)

    Mitchell, Peter; Robinson, Elizabeth J.; Thompson, Doreen E.


    Three experiments examined 3- to 6-year olds' ability to use a speaker's utterance based on false belief to identify which of several referents was intended. Found that many 4- to 5-year olds performed correctly only when it was unnecessary to consider the speaker's belief. When the speaker gave an ambiguous utterance, many 3- to 6-year olds…

  19. Signal-to-Signal Ratio Independent Speaker Identification for Co-channel Speech Signals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saeidi, Rahim; Mowlaee, Pejman; Kinnunen, Tomi


    In this paper, we consider speaker identification for the co-channel scenario in which speech mixture from speakers is recorded by one microphone only. The goal is to identify both of the speakers from their mixed signal. High recognition accuracies have already been reported when an accurately...

  20. The (TNO) Speaker Diarization System for NIST Rich Transcription Evaluation 2005 for meeting data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, D.A. van


    Abstract. The TNO speaker speaker diarization system is based on a standard BIC segmentation and clustering algorithm. Since for the NIST Rich Transcription speaker dizarization evaluation measure correct speech detection appears to be essential, we have developed a speech activity detector (SAD) as

  1. The TNO speaker diarization system for NIST RT05s meeting data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, D.A. van


    The TNO speaker speaker diarization system is based on a standard BIC segmentation and clustering algorithm. Since for the NIST Rich Transcription speaker dizarization evaluation measure correct speech detection appears to be essential, we have developed a speech activity detector (SAD) as well.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen-Daniela CARAIMAN


    Full Text Available This article aims at revealing advantages of studying German (acquired as an L3 by a speaker who has a high level of knowledge in English (acquired as an L2. Those interested in learning German as a third language through ESL may benefit from a set of facilities that could fasten the process of learning vocabulary and enhance the disambiguation process in case of synonymy, false friends and pseudo-Anglicism. The approach we have adopted in the present paper is a practical one. We have appreciated that the process of assimilating German as an L3 through ESL could offer another benefit to learners, i.e. the possibility of simultaneously activating and practicing both foreign languages that they either master or intend to master. In the present paper, we are not going to refer to the influence of the socio-cultural environment1 on the learners of German as an L3 through English as a Secondary Language, as we are not going to make reference to psycholinguistic elements2 that are characteristic of third language acquisition. After explaining terminology and giving an overview of the theoretical background that we related to when writing the present article, we are going to insist on enumerating some basic strategies that could be successfully used to build and develop vocabulary in German by using English as a secondly acquired foreign language.

  3. Native American medicine. (United States)

    Cohen, K


    This article summarizes common principles, practices, and ethics of Native American healing, the traditional medicine of North America. Native American healing, spirituality, culture, and, in modern times, political, social, and economic concerns are closely intertwined. Intuition and spiritual awareness are a healer's most essential diagnostic tools. Therapeutic methods include prayer, music, ritual purification, herbalism, massage, ceremony, and personal innovations of individual healers. A community of friends, family, and helpers often participate in the healing intervention and help to alleviate the alienation caused by disease. A healthy patient has a healthy relationship with his or her community and, ultimately, with the greater community of nature known as "All Relations." The goal of Native American healing is to find wholeness, balance, harmony, beauty, and meaning. "Healing," making whole, is as important as curing disease; at times they are identical.

  4. Immigrants and Native Workers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foged, Mette; Peri, Giovanni

    Using a database that includes the universe of individuals and establishments in Denmark over the period 1991-2008 we analyze the effect of a large inflow of non-European (EU) immigrants on Danish workers. We first identify a sharp and sustained supply-driven increase in the inflow of non......-EU immigrants in Denmark, beginning in 1995 and driven by a sequence of international events such as the Bosnian, Somalian and Iraqi crises. We then look at the response of occupational complexity, job upgrading and downgrading, wage and employment of natives in the short and long run. We find...... that the increased supply of non-EU low skilled immigrants pushed native workers to pursue more complex occupations. This reallocation happened mainly through movement across firms. Immigration increased mobility of natives across firms and across municipalities but it did not increase their probability...

  5. The Influence of Group Formation on Learner Participation, Language Complexity, and Corrective Behaviour in Synchronous Written Chat as Part of Academic German Studies (United States)

    Fredriksson, Christine


    Synchronous written chat and instant messaging are tools which have been used and explored in online language learning settings for at least two decades. Research literature has shown that such tools give second language (L2) learners opportunities for language learning, e.g. , the interaction in real time with peers and native speakers, the…

  6. Word Order and Voice Influence the Timing of Verb Planning in German Sentence Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Sauppe


    Full Text Available Theories of incremental sentence production make different assumptions about when speakers encode information about described events and when verbs are selected, accordingly. An eye tracking experiment on German testing the predictions from linear and hierarchical incrementality about the timing of event encoding and verb planning is reported. In the experiment, participants described depictions of two-participant events with sentences that differed in voice and word order. Verb-medial active sentences and actives and passives with sentence-final verbs were compared. Linear incrementality predicts that sentences with verbs placed early differ from verb-final sentences because verbs are assumed to only be planned shortly before they are articulated. By contrast, hierarchical incrementality assumes that speakers start planning with relational encoding of the event. A weak version of hierarchical incrementality assumes that only the action is encoded at the outset of formulation and selection of lexical verbs only occurs shortly before they are articulated, leading to the prediction of different fixation patterns for verb-medial and verb-final sentences. A strong version of hierarchical incrementality predicts no differences between verb-medial and verb-final sentences because it assumes that verbs are always lexically selected early in the formulation process. Based on growth curve analyses of fixations to agent and patient characters in the described pictures, and the influence of character humanness and the lack of an influence of the visual salience of characters on speakers' choice of active or passive voice, the current results suggest that while verb planning does not necessarily occur early during formulation, speakers of German always create an event representation early.

  7. Word Order and Voice Influence the Timing of Verb Planning in German Sentence Production. (United States)

    Sauppe, Sebastian


    Theories of incremental sentence production make different assumptions about when speakers encode information about described events and when verbs are selected, accordingly. An eye tracking experiment on German testing the predictions from linear and hierarchical incrementality about the timing of event encoding and verb planning is reported. In the experiment, participants described depictions of two-participant events with sentences that differed in voice and word order. Verb-medial active sentences and actives and passives with sentence-final verbs were compared. Linear incrementality predicts that sentences with verbs placed early differ from verb-final sentences because verbs are assumed to only be planned shortly before they are articulated. By contrast, hierarchical incrementality assumes that speakers start planning with relational encoding of the event. A weak version of hierarchical incrementality assumes that only the action is encoded at the outset of formulation and selection of lexical verbs only occurs shortly before they are articulated, leading to the prediction of different fixation patterns for verb-medial and verb-final sentences. A strong version of hierarchical incrementality predicts no differences between verb-medial and verb-final sentences because it assumes that verbs are always lexically selected early in the formulation process. Based on growth curve analyses of fixations to agent and patient characters in the described pictures, and the influence of character humanness and the lack of an influence of the visual salience of characters on speakers' choice of active or passive voice, the current results suggest that while verb planning does not necessarily occur early during formulation, speakers of German always create an event representation early.

  8. Willing Learners yet Unwilling Speakers in ESL Classrooms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuraidah Ali


    Full Text Available To some of us, speech production in ESL has become so natural and integral that we seem to take it for granted. We often do not even remember how we struggled through the initial process of mastering English. Unfortunately, to students who are still learning English, they seem to face myriad problems that make them appear unwilling or reluctant ESL speakers. This study will investigate this phenomenon which is very common in the ESL classroom. Setting its background on related research findings on this matter, a qualitative study was conducted among foreign students enrolled in the Intensive English Programme (IEP at Institute of Liberal Studies (IKAL, University Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN. The results will show and discuss an extent of truth behind this perplexing phenomenon: willing learners, yet unwilling speakers of ESL, in our effort to provide supportive learning cultures in second language acquisition (SLA to this group of students.

  9. Comparing headphone and speaker effects on simulated driving. (United States)

    Nelson, T M; Nilsson, T H


    Twelve persons drove for three hours in an automobile simulator while listening to music at sound level 63dB over stereo headphones during one session and from a dashboard speaker during another session. They were required to steer a mountain highway, maintain a certain indicated speed, shift gears, and respond to occasional hazards. Steering and speed control were dependent on visual cues. The need to shift and the hazards were indicated by sound and vibration effects. With the headphones, the driver's average reaction time for the most complex task presented--shifting gears--was about one-third second longer than with the speaker. The use of headphones did not delay the development of subjective fatigue.

  10. Variation among heritage speakers: Sequential vs. simultaneous bilinguals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Lee


    Full Text Available This study examines the differences in the grammatical knowledge of two types of heritage speakers of Korean. Early simultaneous bilinguals are exposed to both English and the heritage language from birth, whereas early sequential bilinguals are exposed to the heritage language first and then to English upon schooling. A listening comprehension task involving relative clauses was conducted with 51 beginning-level Korean heritage speakers. The results showed that the early sequential bilinguals exhibited much more accurate knowledge than the early simultaneous bilinguals, who lacked rudimentary knowledge of Korean relative clauses. Drawing on the findings of adult and child Korean L1 data on the acquisition of relative clauses, the performance of each group is discussed with respect to attrition and incomplete acquisition of the heritage language.

  11. Facial Expression Generation from Speaker's Emotional States in Daily Conversation (United States)

    Mori, Hiroki; Ohshima, Koh

    A framework for generating facial expressions from emotional states in daily conversation is described. It provides a mapping between emotional states and facial expressions, where the former is represented by vectors with psychologically-defined abstract dimensions, and the latter is coded by the Facial Action Coding System. In order to obtain the mapping, parallel data with rated emotional states and facial expressions were collected for utterances of a female speaker, and a neural network was trained with the data. The effectiveness of proposed method is verified by a subjective evaluation test. As the result, the Mean Opinion Score with respect to the suitability of generated facial expression was 3.86 for the speaker, which was close to that of hand-made facial expressions.

  12. Teaching English to speakers of other languages an introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Nunan, David


    David Nunan's dynamic learner-centered teaching style has informed and inspired countless TESOL educators around the world. In this fresh, straightforward introduction to teaching English to speakers of other languages he presents teaching techniques and procedures along with the underlying theory and principles. Complex theories and research studies are explained in a clear and comprehensible, yet non-trivial, manner without trivializing them. Practical examples of how to develop teaching materials and tasks from sound principles provide rich illustrations of theoretical constructs.

  13. Neural bases of congenital amusia in tonal language speakers. (United States)

    Zhang, Caicai; Peng, Gang; Shao, Jing; Wang, William S-Y


    Congenital amusia is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder of fine-grained pitch processing. In this fMRI study, we examined the neural bases of congenial amusia in speakers of a tonal language - Cantonese. Previous studies on non-tonal language speakers suggest that the neural deficits of congenital amusia lie in the music-selective neural circuitry in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). However, it is unclear whether this finding can generalize to congenital amusics in tonal languages. Tonal language experience has been reported to shape the neural processing of pitch, which raises the question of how tonal language experience affects the neural bases of congenital amusia. To investigate this question, we examined the neural circuitries sub-serving the processing of relative pitch interval in pitch-matched Cantonese level tone and musical stimuli in 11 Cantonese-speaking amusics and 11 musically intact controls. Cantonese-speaking amusics exhibited abnormal brain activities in a widely distributed neural network during the processing of lexical tone and musical stimuli. Whereas the controls exhibited significant activation in the right superior temporal gyrus (STG) in the lexical tone condition and in the cerebellum regardless of the lexical tone and music conditions, no activation was found in the amusics in those regions, which likely reflects a dysfunctional neural mechanism of relative pitch processing in the amusics. Furthermore, the amusics showed abnormally strong activation of the right middle frontal gyrus and precuneus when the pitch stimuli were repeated, which presumably reflect deficits of attending to repeated pitch stimuli or encoding them into working memory. No significant group difference was found in the right IFG in either the whole-brain analysis or region-of-interest analysis. These findings imply that the neural deficits in tonal language speakers might differ from those in non-tonal language speakers, and overlap partly with the

  14. MTGAN: Speaker Verification through Multitasking Triplet Generative Adversarial Networks


    Ding, Wenhao; He, Liang


    In this paper, we propose an enhanced triplet method that improves the encoding process of embeddings by jointly utilizing generative adversarial mechanism and multitasking optimization. We extend our triplet encoder with Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and softmax loss function. GAN is introduced for increasing the generality and diversity of samples, while softmax is for reinforcing features about speakers. For simplification, we term our method Multitasking Triplet Generative Advers...

  15. Speech rate normalization used to improve speaker verification

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Heerden, CJ


    Full Text Available the normalized durations is then compared with the EER using unnormalized durations, and also with the EER when duration information is not employed. 2. Proposed phoneme duration modeling 2.1. Choosing parametric models Since the duration of a phoneme... the known transcription and the speaker-specific acoustic model described above. Only one pronunciation per word was allowed, thus resulting in 49 triphones. To decide which parametric model to use for the duration density func- tions of the triphones...

  16. Speaker Recognition for Mobile User Authentication: An Android Solution


    Brunet , Kevin; Taam , Karim; Cherrier , Estelle; Faye , Ndiaga; Rosenberger , Christophe


    National audience; This paper deals with a biometric solution for authentication on mobile devices. Among the possible biometric modalities, speaker recognition seems the most natural choice for a mobile phone. This work lies in the continuation of our previous work \\cite{Biosig2012}, where we evaluated a candidate algorithm in terms of performance and time processing. The proposed solution is implemented here as an Android application. Its performances are evaluated both on a public database...

  17. Coursebook of German: Gender Aspect


    Aleksandra Valeryevna Filippova


    The present article regards Aspekte 1 coursebook of German as a foreign language in the context of the gender policy initiated at the end of the last century by sociolinguists and by the representatives of the so called feminist criticism of the German language. This policy has been carried out up to date, and, according to many sociological and linguistic research, it is aimed at destructing gender stereotypes in teaching and reference materials. The use of this policy is conditioned by the ...

  18. Trajectories of victimization in ethnic diaspora immigrant and native adolescents: Separating acculturation from development. (United States)

    Jugert, Philipp; Titzmann, Peter F


    This longitudinal study aimed to differentiate between acculturative and developmental processes by (a) comparing levels and change rates in victimization among ethnic German immigrants and native German adolescents in Germany and Russian Jewish immigrants in Israel, and (b) testing whether interindividual differences in victimization among immigrant youth can be explained by the same general factors as in native groups or by migration-specific factors. In addition, we tested whether or not acculturative and developmental processes interact. The sample comprised 1,300 ethnic German immigrants, 820 native German adolescents, and 1,535 Russian Jewish adolescents. The participants (15.36-years-old) completed 3 annual assessments. Two-part latent growth models showed similar levels and rates of change among all 3 ethnic groups. Interindividual differences in victimization were largely explained by the same general factors across all ethnic groups but acculturation-related hassles explained additional variance among immigrant youth. Acculturation and development interacted such that the protective effect of age did not set in until 3-5 years of residence among both immigrant groups. Results suggest that developmental pathways to victimization are very similar among immigrant and native youth once immigrants successfully have managed the phase transition of resettlement. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. L. Garcia Lecumberri


    Full Text Available Accentual focus is a frequent linguistic device in English which may also be used in Spanish but less widely and less frequently. Given this disparity, it was expected that native language influence would manifest itself in FL leamers' focus assessrnents as cornpared to native English speakers. Other factors were also expected to account of listener perceptions, such as task type and linguistic competence. Two focus domains were used to test hypotheses: utterance initial and utterance medial focus. Focus identification was tested using two tasks which differed in their cognitive demands: multiple choice and open questions. Acceptability was estirnated by asking listeners to rate utterances on a five point scale. English NL listeners displayed better focus identification rates as cornpared to FL learners. This result may be understood both as an effect of native competence advantage and also as a reflection of native language influence. Both listener groups found utterance initial focus easier to identi@ and considered it to be more acceptable than medial focus. Both groups showed worse results in the open test, which is interpreted as a consequence of this task being more demanding on listeners' explicit knowledge. These trends were much more pronounced amongst FL leamers. It is suggested that the potential ambiguity of English medial focus is partly responsible for the bias against it. Additionally, Spanish listeners results show the their NL influence in this bias as well as in the good results for initial focus and acceptability estirnations.

  20. The Native American Holocaust. (United States)

    Thornton, Russell


    Describes the American Indian "Holocaust," decimation of Indian populations following European discovery of the Americas. European and African diseases, warfare with Europeans, and genocide reduced native populations from 75 million to only a few million. Discusses population statistics and demographic effects of epidemics, continuing infection,…

  1. Inferring speaker attributes in adductor spasmodic dysphonia: ratings from unfamiliar listeners. (United States)

    Isetti, Derek; Xuereb, Linnea; Eadie, Tanya L


    To determine whether unfamiliar listeners' perceptions of speakers with adductor spasmodic dysphonia (ADSD) differ from control speakers on the parameters of relative age, confidence, tearfulness, and vocal effort and are related to speaker-rated vocal effort or voice-specific quality of life. Twenty speakers with ADSD (including 6 speakers with ADSD plus tremor) and 20 age- and sex-matched controls provided speech recordings, completed a voice-specific quality-of-life instrument (Voice Handicap Index; Jacobson et al., 1997), and rated their own vocal effort. Twenty listeners evaluated speech samples for relative age, confidence, tearfulness, and vocal effort using rating scales. Listeners judged speakers with ADSD as sounding significantly older, less confident, more tearful, and more effortful than control speakers (p < .01). Increased vocal effort was strongly associated with decreased speaker confidence (rs = .88-.89) and sounding more tearful (rs = .83-.85). Self-rated speaker effort was moderately related (rs = .45-.52) to listener impressions. Listeners' perceptions of confidence and tearfulness were also moderately associated with higher Voice Handicap Index scores (rs = .65-.70). Unfamiliar listeners judge speakers with ADSD more negatively than control speakers, with judgments extending beyond typical clinical measures. The results have implications for counseling and understanding the psychosocial effects of ADSD.

  2. Consistency between verbal and non-verbal affective cues: a clue to speaker credibility. (United States)

    Gillis, Randall L; Nilsen, Elizabeth S


    Listeners are exposed to inconsistencies in communication; for example, when speakers' words (i.e. verbal) are discrepant with their demonstrated emotions (i.e. non-verbal). Such inconsistencies introduce ambiguity, which may render a speaker to be a less credible source of information. Two experiments examined whether children make credibility discriminations based on the consistency of speakers' affect cues. In Experiment 1, school-age children (7- to 8-year-olds) preferred to solicit information from consistent speakers (e.g. those who provided a negative statement with negative affect), over novel speakers, to a greater extent than they preferred to solicit information from inconsistent speakers (e.g. those who provided a negative statement with positive affect) over novel speakers. Preschoolers (4- to 5-year-olds) did not demonstrate this preference. Experiment 2 showed that school-age children's ratings of speakers were influenced by speakers' affect consistency when the attribute being judged was related to information acquisition (speakers' believability, "weird" speech), but not general characteristics (speakers' friendliness, likeability). Together, findings suggest that school-age children are sensitive to, and use, the congruency of affect cues to determine whether individuals are credible sources of information.

  3. An analysis of topics and vocabulary in Chinese oral narratives by normal speakers and speakers with fluent aphasia. (United States)

    Law, Sam-Po; Kong, Anthony Pak-Hin; Lai, Christy


    This study analysed the topic and vocabulary of Chinese speakers based on language samples of personal recounts in a large spoken Chinese database recently made available in the public domain, i.e. Cantonese AphasiaBank ( ). The goal of the analysis is to offer clinicians a rich source for selecting ecologically valid training materials for rehabilitating Chinese-speaking people with aphasia (PWA) in the design and planning of culturally and linguistically appropriate treatments. Discourse production of 65 Chinese-speaking PWA of fluent types (henceforth, PWFA) and their non-aphasic controls narrating an important event in their life were extracted from Cantonese AphasiaBank. Analyses of topics and vocabularies in terms of part-of-speech, word frequency, lexical semantics, and diversity were conducted. There was significant overlap in topics between the two groups. While the vocabulary was larger for controls than that of PWFA as expected, they were similar in distribution across parts-of-speech, frequency of occurrence, and the ratio of concrete to abstract items in major open word classes. Moreover, proportionately more different verbs than nouns were employed at the individual level for both speaker groups. The findings provide important implications for guiding directions of aphasia rehabilitation not only of fluent but also non-fluent Chinese aphasic speakers.

  4. Revisiting vocal perception in non-human animals: a review of vowel discrimination, speaker voice recognition, and speaker normalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buddhamas eKriengwatana


    Full Text Available The extent to which human speech perception evolved by taking advantage of predispositions and pre-existing features of vertebrate auditory and cognitive systems remains a central question in the evolution of speech. This paper reviews asymmetries in vowel perception, speaker voice recognition, and speaker normalization in non-human animals – topics that have not been thoroughly discussed in relation to the abilities of non-human animals, but are nonetheless important aspects of vocal perception. Throughout this paper we demonstrate that addressing these issues in non-human animals is relevant and worthwhile because many non-human animals must deal with similar issues in their natural environment. That is, they must also discriminate between similar-sounding vocalizations, determine signaler identity from vocalizations, and resolve signaler-dependent variation in vocalizations from conspecifics. Overall, we find that, although plausible, the current evidence is insufficiently strong to conclude that directional asymmetries in vowel perception are specific to humans, or that non-human animals can use voice characteristics to recognize human individuals. However, we do find some indication that non-human animals can normalize speaker differences. Accordingly, we identify avenues for future research that would greatly improve and advance our understanding of these topics.

  5. Behavioral and subcortical signatures of musical expertise in Mandarin Chinese speakers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caitlin Dawson

    Full Text Available Both musical training and native language have been shown to have experience-based plastic effects on auditory processing. However, the combined effects within individuals are unclear. Recent research suggests that musical training and tone language speaking are not clearly additive in their effects on processing of auditory features and that there may be a disconnect between perceptual and neural signatures of auditory feature processing. The literature has only recently begun to investigate the effects of musical expertise on basic auditory processing for different linguistic groups. This work provides a profile of primary auditory feature discrimination for Mandarin speaking musicians and nonmusicians. The musicians showed enhanced perceptual discrimination for both frequency and duration as well as enhanced duration discrimination in a multifeature discrimination task, compared to nonmusicians. However, there were no differences between the groups in duration processing of nonspeech sounds at a subcortical level or in subcortical frequency representation of a nonnative tone contour, for fo or for the first or second formant region. The results indicate that musical expertise provides a cognitive, but not subcortical, advantage in a population of Mandarin speakers.

  6. New German abortion law agreed. (United States)

    Karcher, H L


    The German Bundestag has passed a compromise abortion law that makes an abortion performed within the first three months of pregnancy an unlawful but unpunishable act if the woman has sought independent counseling first. Article 218 of the German penal code, which was established in 1871 under Otto von Bismarck, had allowed abortions for certain medical or ethical reasons. After the end of the first world war, the Social Democrats tried to legalize all abortions performed in the first three months of pregnancy, but failed. In 1974, abortion on demand during the first 12 weeks was declared legal and unpunishable under the social liberal coalition government of chancellor Willy Brandt; however, the same year, the German Federal Constitution Court in Karlsruhe ruled the bill was incompatible with article 2 of the constitution, which guarantees the right to life and freedom from bodily harm to everyone, including the unborn. The highest German court also ruled that a pregnant woman had to seek a second opinion from an independent doctor before undergoing an abortion. A new, extended article 218, which included a clause giving social indications, was passed by the Bundestag. When Germany was unified, East Germans agreed to be governed by all West German laws, except article 218. The Bundestag was given 2 years to revise the article; however, in 1993, the Federal Constitution Court rejected a version legalizing abortion in the first 3 months of the pregnancy if the woman sought counsel from an independent physician, and suggested the recent compromise passed by the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament. The upper house, the Bundesrat, where the Social Democrats are in the majority, still has to pass it. Under the bill passed by the Bundestag, national health insurance will pay for an abortion if the monthly income of the woman seeking the abortion falls under a certain limit.

  7. Coronal View Ultrasound Imaging of Movement in Different Segments of the Tongue during Paced Recital: Findings from Four Normal Speakers and a Speaker with Partial Glossectomy (United States)

    Bressmann, Tim; Flowers, Heather; Wong, Willy; Irish, Jonathan C.


    The goal of this study was to quantitatively describe aspects of coronal tongue movement in different anatomical regions of the tongue. Four normal speakers and a speaker with partial glossectomy read four repetitions of a metronome-paced poem. Their tongue movement was recorded in four coronal planes using two-dimensional B-mode ultrasound…

  8. The Role of the Native Language in the Use of the English Nongeneric Definite Article by L2 Learners: A Cross-Linguistic Comparison (United States)

    Chrabaszcz, Anna; Jiang, Nan


    The study uses an elicited imitation (EI) task to examine the effect of the native language on the use of the English nongeneric definite article by highly proficient first-language (L1) Spanish and Russian speakers and to test the hierarchy of article difficulty first proposed by Liu and Gleason (2002). Our findings suggest that there is a clear…

  9. Digital Natives or Digital Tribes? (United States)

    Watson, Ian Robert


    This research builds upon the discourse surrounding digital natives. A literature review into the digital native phenomena was undertaken and found that researchers are beginning to identify the digital native as not one cohesive group but of individuals influenced by other factors. Primary research by means of questionnaire survey of technologies…

  10. Biliary atresia: lessons learned from the voluntary German registry. (United States)

    Leonhardt, J; Kuebler, J F; Leute, P J; Turowski, C; Becker, T; Pfister, E-D; Ure, B; Petersen, C


    Aim of the study was to carry out a 5-year survey of German patients with biliary atresia (BA) and to launch a discussion regarding the feasibility of voluntary registries in unregulated healthcare systems. A retrospective analysis of German BA patients born between 2001 and 2005, based on data collected from the voluntary European Biliary Atresia Registry (EBAR), was carried out and supplemented by data from all BA patients who underwent liver transplantation at the only 4 pediatric transplantation centers (pLTx) in Germany which are so far not registered at EBAR. Survival rates were calculated using Kaplan-Meier analysis and compared by Cox regression to determine the predictive value of age at surgery and the influence of the center size (fewer or more than 5 patients/study period) on overall survival and survival with native liver. A critical review of the 148 German EBAR charts revealed that 11 patients (7.4%) had no biliary atresia. The remaining 137 patients from EBAR together with 46 BA patients who underwent LTx without prior registration at EBAR were evaluated with a median follow-up of 39 months (range: 25-85 months). 29 hospitals performed a total of 159 Kasai procedures, but only 7 centers treated 5 or more patients (116 patients, range: 5-68), and 22 hospitals performed less than 5 KP (43 patients, range: 1-4). Primary LTx was performed in 21 patients (11.5%) and 3 patients died without surgical intervention. 16 patients were lost to follow-up (8.7%). Overall survival after 2 years was 83.3% (139 patients), including 105 patients (63%) who had undergone LTx and 34 patients (20.3%) with native liver. 28 patients died (16.7%), 8 after LTx (5.8%). The experience of the center was the only factor with a significant predictive value for jaundice-free survival with native liver (p=0.001). 25% of all German BA patients were not registered at EBAR, and 29 clinics were involved in the surgical management of BA patients. Therefore a new approach consisting of

  11. Speaker emotion recognition: from classical classifiers to deep neural networks (United States)

    Mezghani, Eya; Charfeddine, Maha; Nicolas, Henri; Ben Amar, Chokri


    Speaker emotion recognition is considered among the most challenging tasks in recent years. In fact, automatic systems for security, medicine or education can be improved when considering the speech affective state. In this paper, a twofold approach for speech emotion classification is proposed. At the first side, a relevant set of features is adopted, and then at the second one, numerous supervised training techniques, involving classic methods as well as deep learning, are experimented. Experimental results indicate that deep architecture can improve classification performance on two affective databases, the Berlin Dataset of Emotional Speech and the SAVEE Dataset Surrey Audio-Visual Expressed Emotion.

  12. Developing a Speaker Identification System for the DARPA RATS Project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plchot, O; Matsoukas, S; Matejka, P


    This paper describes the speaker identification (SID) system developed by the Patrol team for the first phase of the DARPA RATS (Robust Automatic Transcription of Speech) program, which seeks to advance state of the art detection capabilities on audio from highly degraded communication channels. ...... such as CFCCs out-perform MFCC front-ends on noisy audio, and (c) fusion of multiple systems provides 24% relative improvement in EER compared to the single best system when using a novel SVM-based fusion algorithm that uses side information such as gender, language, and channel id....

  13. Speaker comfort and increase of voice level in lecture rooms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brunskog, Jonas; Gade, Anders Christian; Bellester, G P


    Teachers often suffer health problems or tension related to their voice. These problems may be related to there working environment, including room acoustics of the lecture rooms which forces them to stress their voices. The present paper describes a first effort in finding relationships between...... were also measured in the rooms and subjective impressions from about 20 persons who had experience talking in these rooms were collected as well. Analysis of the data revealed significant differences in the sound power produced by the speaker in the different rooms. It was also found...

  14. Gender Identification of the Speaker Using VQ Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasif V. Nabiyev


    Full Text Available Speaking is the easiest and natural form of communication between people. Intensive studies are made in order to provide this communication via computers between people. The systems using voice biometric technology are attracting attention especially in the angle of cost and usage. When compared with the other biometic systems the application is much more practical. For example by using a microphone placed in the environment voice record can be obtained even without notifying the user and the system can be applied. Moreover the remote access facility is one of the other advantages of voice biometry. In this study, it is aimed to automatically determine the gender of the speaker through the speech waves which include personal information. If the speaker gender can be determined while composing models according to the gender information, the success of voice recognition systems can be increased in an important degree. Generally all the speaker recognition systems are composed of two parts which are feature extraction and matching. Feature extraction is the procedure in which the least information presenting the speech and the speaker is determined through voice signal. There are different features used in voice applications such as LPC, MFCC and PLP. In this study as a feature vector MFCC is used. Feature mathcing is the procedure in which the features derived from unknown speakers and known speaker group are compared. According to the text used in comparison the system is devided to two parts that are text dependent and text independent. While the same text is used in text dependent systems, different texts are used in indepentent text systems. Nowadays, DTW and HMM are text dependent, VQ and GMM are text indepentent matching methods. In this study due to the high success ratio and simple application features VQ approach is used.In this study a system which determines the speaker gender automatically and text independent is proposed. The proposed

  15. Text-Independent Speaker Identification Using the Histogram Transform Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ma, Zhanyu; Yu, Hong; Tan, Zheng-Hua


    In this paper, we propose a novel probabilistic method for the task of text-independent speaker identification (SI). In order to capture the dynamic information during SI, we design a super-MFCCs features by cascading three neighboring Mel-frequency Cepstral coefficients (MFCCs) frames together....... These super-MFCC vectors are utilized for probabilistic model training such that the speaker’s characteristics can be sufficiently captured. The probability density function (PDF) of the aforementioned super-MFCCs features is estimated by the recently proposed histogram transform (HT) method. To recedes...

  16. Immobile Complex Verbs in Germanic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vikner, Sten


    the V° requirements or the V* requirements. Haider (1993, p. 62) and Koopman (1995), who also discuss such immobile verbs, only account for verbs with two prefix-like parts (e.g., German uraufführen ‘to perform (a play) for the first time' or Dutch herinvoeren ‘to reintroduce'), not for the more...... frequent type with only one prefix-like part (e.g., German bauchreden/Dutch buikspreken ‘to ventriloquize'). This analysis will try to account not only for the data discussed in Haider (1993) and Koopman (1995) but also for the following: - why immobile verbs include verbs with only one prefix-like part...... are immobile, - why such verbs are not found in Germanic VO-languages such as English and Scandinavian....

  17. Do children go for the nice guys? The influence of speaker benevolence and certainty on selective word learning. (United States)

    Bergstra, Myrthe; DE Mulder, Hannah N M; Coopmans, Peter


    This study investigated how speaker certainty (a rational cue) and speaker benevolence (an emotional cue) influence children's willingness to learn words in a selective learning paradigm. In two experiments four- to six-year-olds learnt novel labels from two speakers and, after a week, their memory for these labels was reassessed. Results demonstrated that children retained the label-object pairings for at least a week. Furthermore, children preferred to learn from certain over uncertain speakers, but they had no significant preference for nice over nasty speakers. When the cues were combined, children followed certain speakers, even if they were nasty. However, children did prefer to learn from nice and certain speakers over nasty and certain speakers. These results suggest that rational cues regarding a speaker's linguistic competence trump emotional cues regarding a speaker's affective status in word learning. However, emotional cues were found to have a subtle influence on this process.

  18. Native-language N400 and P600 predict dissociable language-learning abilities in adults. (United States)

    Qi, Zhenghan; Beach, Sara D; Finn, Amy S; Minas, Jennifer; Goetz, Calvin; Chan, Brian; Gabrieli, John D E


    Language learning aptitude during adulthood varies markedly across individuals. An individual's native-language ability has been associated with success in learning a new language as an adult. However, little is known about how native-language processing affects learning success and what neural markers of native-language processing, if any, are related to success in learning. We therefore related variation in electrophysiology during native-language processing to success in learning a novel artificial language. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while native English speakers judged the acceptability of English sentences prior to learning an artificial language. There was a trend towards a double dissociation between native-language ERPs and their relationships to novel syntax and vocabulary learning. Individuals who exhibited a greater N400 effect when processing English semantics showed better future learning of the artificial language overall. The N400 effect was related to syntax learning via its specific relationship to vocabulary learning. In contrast, the P600 effect size when processing English syntax predicted future syntax learning but not vocabulary learning. These findings show that distinct neural signatures of native-language processing relate to dissociable abilities for learning novel semantic and syntactic information. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Native-language N400 and P600 predict dissociable language-learning abilities in adults (United States)

    Qi, Zhenghan; Beach, Sara D.; Finn, Amy S.; Minas, Jennifer; Goetz, Calvin; Chan, Brian; Gabrieli, John D.E.


    Language learning aptitude during adulthood varies markedly across individuals. An individual’s native-language ability has been associated with success in learning a new language as an adult. However, little is known about how native-language processing affects learning success and what neural markers of native-language processing, if any, are related to success in learning. We therefore related variation in electrophysiology during native-language processing to success in learning a novel artificial language. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while native English speakers judged the acceptability of English sentences prior to learning an artificial language. There was a trend towards a double dissociation between native-language ERPs and their relationships to novel syntax and vocabulary learning. Individuals who exhibited a greater N400 effect when processing English semantics showed better future learning of the artificial language overall. The N400 effect was related to syntax learning via its specific relationship to vocabulary learning. In contrast, the P600 effect size when processing English syntax predicted future syntax learning but not vocabulary learning. These findings show that distinct neural signatures of native-language processing relate to dissociable abilities for learning novel semantic and syntactic information. PMID:27737775

  20. Co-verbal gestures among speakers with aphasia: Influence of aphasia severity, linguistic and semantic skills, and hemiplegia on gesture employment in oral discourse. (United States)

    Kong, Anthony Pak-Hin; Law, Sam-Po; Wat, Watson Ka-Chun; Lai, Christy


    The use of co-verbal gestures is common in human communication and has been reported to assist word retrieval and to facilitate verbal interactions. This study systematically investigated the impact of aphasia severity, integrity of semantic processing, and hemiplegia on the use of co-verbal gestures, with reference to gesture forms and functions, by 131 normal speakers, 48 individuals with aphasia and their controls. All participants were native Cantonese speakers. It was found that the severity of aphasia and verbal-semantic impairment was associated with significantly more co-verbal gestures. However, there was no relationship between right-sided hemiplegia and gesture employment. Moreover, significantly more gestures were employed by the speakers with aphasia, but about 10% of them did not gesture. Among those who used gestures, content-carrying gestures, including iconic, metaphoric, deictic gestures, and emblems, served the function of enhancing language content and providing information additional to the language content. As for the non-content carrying gestures, beats were used primarily for reinforcing speech prosody or guiding speech flow, while non-identifiable gestures were associated with assisting lexical retrieval or with no specific functions. The above findings would enhance our understanding of the use of various forms of co-verbal gestures in aphasic discourse production and their functions. Speech-language pathologists may also refer to the current annotation system and the results to guide clinical evaluation and remediation of gestures in aphasia. None. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Co-verbal gestures among speakers with aphasia: Influence of aphasia severity, linguistic and semantic skills, and hemiplegia on gesture employment in oral discourse (United States)

    Kong, Anthony Pak-Hin; Law, Sam-Po; Wat, Watson Ka-Chun; Lai, Christy


    The use of co-verbal gestures is common in human communication and has been reported to assist word retrieval and to facilitate verbal interactions. This study systematically investigated the impact of aphasia severity, integrity of semantic processing, and hemiplegia on the use of co-verbal gestures, with reference to gesture forms and functions, by 131 normal speakers, 48 individuals with aphasia and their controls. All participants were native Cantonese speakers. It was found that the severity of aphasia and verbal-semantic impairment was associated with significantly more co-verbal gestures. However, there was no relationship between right-sided hemiplegia and gesture employment. Moreover, significantly more gestures were employed by the speakers with aphasia, but about 10% of them did not gesture. Among those who used gestures, content-carrying gestures, including iconic, metaphoric, deictic gestures, and emblems, served the function of enhancing language content and providing information additional to the language content. As for the non-content carrying gestures, beats were used primarily for reinforcing speech prosody or guiding speech flow, while non-identifiable gestures were associated with assisting lexical retrieval or with no specific functions. The above findings would enhance our understanding of the use of various forms of co-verbal gestures in aphasic discourse production and their functions. Speech-language pathologists may also refer to the current annotation system and the results to guide clinical evaluation and remediation of gestures in aphasia. PMID:26186256

  2. Asthma and American Indians/Alaska Natives (United States)

    ... Minority Population Profiles > American Indian/Alaska Native > Asthma Asthma and American Indians/Alaska Natives In 2015, 240, ... Native American adults reported that they currently have asthma. American Indian/Alaska Native children are 60% more ...

  3. L2 Acquisition of Prosodic Properties of Speech Rhythm: Evidence from L1 Mandarin and German Learners of English (United States)

    Li, Aike; Post, Brechtje


    This study examines the development of speech rhythm in second language (L2) learners of typologically different first languages (L1s) at different levels of proficiency. An empirical investigation of durational variation in L2 English productions by L1 Mandarin learners and L1 German learners compared to native control values in English and the…

  4. Non-native Listeners’ Recognition of High-Variability Speech Using PRESTO (United States)

    Tamati, Terrin N.; Pisoni, David B.


    Background Natural variability in speech is a significant challenge to robust successful spoken word recognition. In everyday listening environments, listeners must quickly adapt and adjust to multiple sources of variability in both the signal and listening environments. High-variability speech may be particularly difficult to understand for non-native listeners, who have less experience with the second language (L2) phonological system and less detailed knowledge of sociolinguistic variation of the L2. Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of high-variability sentences on non-native speech recognition and to explore the underlying sources of individual differences in speech recognition abilities of non-native listeners. Research Design Participants completed two sentence recognition tasks involving high-variability and low-variability sentences. They also completed a battery of behavioral tasks and self-report questionnaires designed to assess their indexical processing skills, vocabulary knowledge, and several core neurocognitive abilities. Study Sample Native speakers of Mandarin (n = 25) living in the United States recruited from the Indiana University community participated in the current study. A native comparison group consisted of scores obtained from native speakers of English (n = 21) in the Indiana University community taken from an earlier study. Data Collection and Analysis Speech recognition in high-variability listening conditions was assessed with a sentence recognition task using sentences from PRESTO (Perceptually Robust English Sentence Test Open-Set) mixed in 6-talker multitalker babble. Speech recognition in low-variability listening conditions was assessed using sentences from HINT (Hearing In Noise Test) mixed in 6-talker multitalker babble. Indexical processing skills were measured using a talker discrimination task, a gender discrimination task, and a forced-choice regional dialect categorization task. Vocabulary


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Speaker Identification (SI aims at automatically identifying an individual by extracting and processing information from his/her voice. Speaker voice is a robust a biometric modality that has a strong impact in several application areas. In this study, a new combination learning scheme has been proposed based on Gaussian mixture model-universal background model (GMM-UBM and Learning vector quantization (LVQ for automatic text-independent speaker identification. Features vectors, constituted by the Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC extracted from the speech signal are used to train the New England subset of the TIMIT database. The best results obtained (90% for gender- independent speaker identification, 97 % for male speakers and 93% for female speakers for test data using 36 MFCC features.

  6. The Danish Press during the German Occupation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roslyng-Jensen, Palle


    Censorship, self-censorship in Danish newspapers and Danish Radio during the German occupation of Denmark 1940-45......Censorship, self-censorship in Danish newspapers and Danish Radio during the German occupation of Denmark 1940-45...

  7. A simple optical method for measuring the vibration amplitude of a speaker


    UEDA, Masahiro; YAMAGUCHI, Toshihiko; KAKIUCHI, Hiroki; SUGA, Hiroshi


    A simple optical method has been proposed for measuring the vibration amplitude of a speaker vibrating with a frequency of approximately 10 kHz. The method is based on a multiple reflection between a vibrating speaker plane and a mirror parallel to that speaker plane. The multiple reflection can magnify a dispersion of the laser beam caused by the vibration, and easily make a measurement of the amplitude. The measuring sensitivity ranges between sub-microns and 1 mm. A preliminary experim...

  8. A Suggested Curriculum Outline for German in Secondary Schools (United States)

    Clutterbuck, J. M.


    Outlines a four-year program of German study aiming to give students a basic ability in spoken and written German, knowledge of German culture, and preparation for advanced German study. Study topics and textbooks are included. (CHK)

  9. Metrical Phonology: German Sound System. (United States)

    Tice, Bradley S.

    Metrical phonology, a linguistic process of phonological stress assessment and diagrammatic simplification of sentence and word stress, is discussed as it is found in the English and German languages. The objective is to promote use of metrical phonology as a tool for enhancing instruction in stress patterns in words and sentences, particularly in…

  10. Dividend Policy of German Firms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goergen, M.; Renneboog, L.D.R.; Correia Da Silva, L.


    German firms pay out a lower proportion of their cash flows than UK and US firms.However, on a published profits basis, the pattern is reversed.Company law provisions and accounting policies account for these conflicting results.A partial adjustment model is used to estimate the implicit target

  11. The German radiation protection standards

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Becker, Klaus; Neider, Rudolf


    The German Standards Institute (DIN Deutsches Institut fuer Normung, Berlin) is engaged in health physics standards development in the following committees. The Nuclear Standards Committee (NKe), which deals mainly with nuclear science and technology, the fuel cycle, and radiation protection techniques. The Radiology Standards Committee (FNR), whose responsibilities are traditionally the principles of radiation protection and dosimetry, applied medical dosimetry, and medical health physics. The German Electrotechnical Commission (DKE), which is concerned mostly with instrumentation standards. The Material Testing Committee (FNM), which is responsible for radiation protection in nonmedical radiography. The current body of over one hundred standards and draft standards was established to supplement the Federal German radiation protection legislation, because voluntary standards can deal in more detail with the specific practical problems. The number of standards is steadily expanding due to the vigorous efforts of about thirty working groups, consisting of essentially all leading German experts of this field. Work is supported by the industry and the Federal Government. A review of the present status and future plans, and of the international aspects with regard to European and world (ISO, etc.) standards will be presented

  12. Headstart German Program. Cultural Notes. (United States)

    Defense Language Inst., Monterey, CA.

    This module provides cultural information that will be helpful to military personnel in understanding some aspects of the German way of life. The topics covered in the booklet are: housing, postal services, forms of address, courtesies, getting around, driving, hotels, restaurants, beer and wine, recreation, entertainment, health spas, shopping,…

  13. A Comparison of Coverbal Gesture Use in Oral Discourse Among Speakers With Fluent and Nonfluent Aphasia (United States)

    Law, Sam-Po; Chak, Gigi Wan-Chi


    Purpose Coverbal gesture use, which is affected by the presence and degree of aphasia, can be culturally specific. The purpose of this study was to compare gesture use among Cantonese-speaking individuals: 23 neurologically healthy speakers, 23 speakers with fluent aphasia, and 21 speakers with nonfluent aphasia. Method Multimedia data of discourse samples from these speakers were extracted from the Cantonese AphasiaBank. Gestures were independently annotated on their forms and functions to determine how gesturing rate and distribution of gestures differed across speaker groups. A multiple regression was conducted to determine the most predictive variable(s) for gesture-to-word ratio. Results Although speakers with nonfluent aphasia gestured most frequently, the rate of gesture use in counterparts with fluent aphasia did not differ significantly from controls. Different patterns of gesture functions in the 3 speaker groups revealed that gesture plays a minor role in lexical retrieval whereas its role in enhancing communication dominates among the speakers with aphasia. The percentages of complete sentences and dysfluency strongly predicted the gesturing rate in aphasia. Conclusions The current results supported the sketch model of language–gesture association. The relationship between gesture production and linguistic abilities and clinical implications for gesture-based language intervention for speakers with aphasia are also discussed. PMID:28609510

  14. Excessive Profits of German Defense Contractors (United States)


    its business unit Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems, is a German defense contractor. (2) Tognom AG Tognum AG owned the MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH before... Friedrichshafen provided engines for many ships of the German Navy and for German battle tanks, such as the Leopard I and Leopard II. MTU refers to the

  15. [German influences on Romanian medical terminology]. (United States)

    Răcilă, R G; Răileanu, Irena; Rusu, V


    The medical terminology plays a key part both in the study of medicine as well as in its practice. Moreover, understanding the medical terms is important not only for the doctor but also for the patients who want to learn more about their condition. For these reasons we believe that the study of medical terminology is one of great interest. The aim of our paper was to evaluate the German linguistic and medical influences on the evolution of the Romanian medical terminology. Since the Romanian-German cultural contacts date back to the 12th century we had reasons to believe that the number of German medical words in Romanian would be significant. To our surprise, the Romanian language has very few German words and even less medical terms of German origin. However, when we searched the list of diseases coined after famous medical personalities, we found out that 26 % of them bore the names of German doctors and scientists. Taken together this proves that the German medical school played an important role on the evolution of Romanian medicine despite the fact that the Romanian vocabulary was slightly influenced by the German language. We explain this fact on the structural differences between the Romanian and German languages, which make it hard for German loans to be integrated in the Romanian lexis. In conclusion we state that the German influence on the Romanian medical terminology is weak despite the important contribution of the German medical school to the development of medical education and healthcare in Romania. Key

  16. Layers of root nouns in Germanic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Bjarne Simmelkjær Sandgaard


    The root-noun declension became productive in early Germanic, containing (I) inherited root nouns, (IIa) original substrate or loan words, and transitions from other declensions in (IIb) Proto-Germanic and (III) North Germanic. As ablaut was abolished, the inherited type would display ablaut grades...

  17. Enriching the Curriculum with Pennsylvania German (United States)

    Meindl, Joerg


    The German classroom should prepare students for the linguistic diversity of the target culture, including regional varieties and German spoken outside of the D-A-CH region. Because textbooks do not often include materials on regional varieties, this article presents a model to incorporate Pennsylvania German (PG) into the curriculum. The model…

  18. Silent Film in the German Classroom. (United States)

    Caldwell, David

    In addition to using films in the German classroom to introduce students to German culture and history, it is important to show and study the film as film. This procedure emphasizes the importance of the film as a part of creative arts in Germany and demands student participation in observation and discussion. Many German silent films are…

  19. Lexical gaps and morphological decomposition: Evidence from German. (United States)

    Schuster, Swetlana; Lahiri, Aditi


    On the evidence of four lexical-decision tasks in German, we examine speakers' sensitivity to internal morphological composition and abstract morphological rules during the processing of derived words, real and novel. In a lexical-decision task with delayed priming, speakers were presented with two-step derived nouns such as Heilung "healing" derived from the adjective heil "intact" via the verb heilen "to heal." These were compared with two sets of derived novel words, one with and the other without an intermediate verb; for example, *Spitzung "sharpening" from spitz "sharp" via spitzen "sharpen" (Experiment 1) and *Hübschung "beautifying" from hübsch "pretty" via *hübschen "beautify" (Experiment 2). The question was whether there would be a difference between the two types of novel words. Both sets were morphologically viable in terms of combinatory possibilities. Results indicated that extant and novel complex words activated their respective base forms; that is, Heilung, *Spitzung, *Hübschung all primed heil, spitz, hübsch. Both sets of novel words were then combined in a third (delayed priming) experiment, where again they primed their bases, but were nevertheless significantly different from each other. Items with real words in the intermediate position (*Spitzung) showed stronger priming effects. Controls that were only related in form or semantics did not prime; neither did structurally unviable pseudowords show priming. A final experiment (Experiment 4), comparing the two types of novel words (*Spitzung vs. *Hübschung) in a simple lexical-decision task, also revealed significant differences across these sets, suggesting that the lexical status of the intermediate derivation affects the processing of novel forms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. Non-English speakers attend gastroenterology clinic appointments at higher rates than English speakers in a vulnerable patient population (United States)

    Sewell, Justin L.; Kushel, Margot B.; Inadomi, John M.; Yee, Hal F.


    Goals We sought to identify factors associated with gastroenterology clinic attendance in an urban safety net healthcare system. Background Missed clinic appointments reduce the efficiency and availability of healthcare, but subspecialty clinic attendance among patients with established healthcare access has not been studied. Study We performed an observational study using secondary data from administrative sources to study patients referred to, and scheduled for an appointment in, the adult gastroenterology clinic serving the safety net healthcare system of San Francisco, California. Our dependent variable was whether subjects attended or missed a scheduled appointment. Analysis included multivariable logistic regression and classification tree analysis. 1,833 patients were referred and scheduled for an appointment between 05/2005 and 08/2006. Prisoners were excluded. All patients had a primary care provider. Results 683 patients (37.3%) missed their appointment; 1,150 (62.7%) attended. Language was highly associated with attendance in the logistic regression; non-English speakers were less likely than English speakers to miss an appointment (adjusted odds ratio 0.42 [0.28,0.63] for Spanish, 0.56 [0.38,0.82] for Asian language, p gastroenterology clinic appointment, not speaking English was most strongly associated with higher attendance rates. Patient related factors associated with not speaking English likely influence subspecialty clinic attendance rates, and these factors may differ from those affecting general healthcare access. PMID:19169147

  1. "These forecasts may be substantially different from actual results." The use of epistemic modal markers in English and German original letters to shareholders and in English-German translations*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Bicsár


    Full Text Available Letters to shareholders (i. e. the first part of a company's Annual Report represent an interesting genre for the analysis of epistemic modal expressions. They serve the function to present a short overview of the company's main achievements as well as an outlook into the future. They additionally serve a more marketing-oriented goal: to inspire confidence in the company. Epistemic modal expressions (e. g. may, perhaps, probably are used in texts for two main reasons: Firstly, speakers can signal with these markers that they have content-based reasons to be unsure about the states of affairs they are talking about. This type of use can be expected to be typical in the context of predictions of future developments. Secondly, speakers can use them for interpersonal reasons, to open up the discursive space for alternative positions, leaving the readers their right to form their own opinion. This type of use can be expected in positive evaluations of one’s own company, which are thus presented in a mitigated way, avoiding the impression of boasting.It is in particular the second type of use that can be expected to be highly sensitive to cultural differences. The present paper analyzes to what extent US-English and German letters to shareholders differ in the use of these markers, and how these differences are reflected in English-German translations. Our quantitative analysis of the distribution of all epistemic modal markers in a multilingual corpus comes to the conclusion that there are notable differences between English and German original texts. Unlike in other studies on English-German translations (e. g. Kranich/House/Becher 2012, however, we arrive at the conclusion that the English-German translations are very closely adapted to the target-language conventions and show little interference from the English originals.

  2. Aquatic macroinvertebrate responses to native and non-native predators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haddaway N. R.


    Full Text Available Non-native species can profoundly affect native ecosystems through trophic interactions with native species. Native prey may respond differently to non-native versus native predators since they lack prior experience. Here we investigate antipredator responses of two common freshwater macroinvertebrates, Gammarus pulex and Potamopyrgus jenkinsi, to olfactory cues from three predators; sympatric native fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus, sympatric native crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes, and novel invasive crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus. G. pulex responded differently to fish and crayfish; showing enhanced locomotion in response to fish, but a preference for the dark over the light in response to the crayfish. P.jenkinsi showed increased vertical migration in response to all three predator cues relative to controls. These different responses to fish and crayfish are hypothesised to reflect the predators’ differing predation types; benthic for crayfish and pelagic for fish. However, we found no difference in response to native versus invasive crayfish, indicating that prey naiveté is unlikely to drive the impacts of invasive crayfish. The Predator Recognition Continuum Hypothesis proposes that benefits of generalisable predator recognition outweigh costs when predators are diverse. Generalised responses of prey as observed here will be adaptive in the presence of an invader, and may reduce novel predators’ potential impacts.

  3. Differential Difficulties in Perception of Tashlhiyt Berber Consonant Quantity Contrasts by Native Tashlhiyt Listeners vs. Berber-Naïve French Listeners. (United States)

    Hallé, Pierre A; Ridouane, Rachid; Best, Catherine T


    In a discrimination experiment on several Tashlhiyt Berber singleton-geminate contrasts, we find that French listeners encounter substantial difficulty compared to native speakers. Native listeners of Tashlhiyt perform near ceiling level on all contrasts. French listeners perform better on final contrasts such as fit-fitt than initial contrasts such as bi-bbi or sir-ssir. That is, French listeners are more sensitive to silent closure duration in word-final voiceless stops than to either voiced murmur or frication duration of fully voiced stops or voiceless fricatives in word-initial position. We propose, tentatively, that native speakers of French, a language in which gemination is usually not considered to be phonemic, have not acquired quantity contrasts but yet exhibit a presumably universal sensitivity to rhythm, whereby listeners are able to perceive and compare the relative temporal distance between beats given by successive salient phonetic events such as a sequence of vowel nuclei.

  4. The Attitude of Students Who Are Native Speakers of Turkish in England towards Turkish Lessons Based on Their Demographic Characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nazik Müge TEKİN


    Full Text Available Mother tongue education (or instruction plays quite a significant role in individual students’ success in both social and academic areas. A qualified mother tongue education is crucial in ensuring those students become successful adults in their later life and adopt their own culture and identities. From time to time, there might be students who have mother tongue medium education along with those who have other languages as the medium of instruction. Among those bilingual students there are children of Turkish citizens who immigrated to Western Europe as workers. Mother tongue education is a necessity for bilingual individuals to protect their identities, to adopt to the society they already live in and to learn the language used in that very society much more easily. This makes it more important for the bilingual Turkish children living in foreign countries to receive mother tongue education. In this vein, the attitudes of Turkish students, who live in England, towards the Turkish language class are examined. 105 Turkish students between 11 and 18 years enrolled in Wisdom and Namık Kemal Turkish School in the UK were requested to fill in a questionnaire. Based on their responses, their opinions about the Turkish language class were evaluated.

  5. Non-Native English Language Speakers Benefit Most from the Use of Lecture Capture in Medical School (United States)

    Shaw, Graham P.; Molnar, David


    Medical education in the United States and Canada continues to evolve. However, many of the changes in pedagogy are being made without appropriate evaluation. Here, we attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of lecture capture technology as a learning tool in Podiatric medical education. In this pilot project, student performance in an inaugural…

  6. Exploring the Effectiveness of Self-Regulated Learning in Massive Open Online Courses on Non-Native English Speakers (United States)

    Chung, Liang-Yi


    Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are expanding the scope of online distance learning in the creation of a cross-country global learning environment. For learners worldwide, MOOCs offer a wealth of online learning resources. However, such a diversified environment makes the learning process complicated and challenging. To achieve their…

  7. The Death of the Non-Native Speaker? English as a Lingua Franca in Business Communication: A Research Agenda (United States)

    Nickerson, Catherine


    The impact of globalisation in the last 20 years has led to an overwhelming increase in the use of English as the medium through which many business people get their work done. As a result, the linguistic landscape within which we now operate as researchers and teachers has changed both rapidly and beyond all recognition. In the discussion below,…

  8. Variation in Second Language Learners' Strategies among Non-Native English Speakers from Three Language/Culture Backgrounds (United States)

    Ebsworth, Miriam Eisenstein; Tang, Frank Lixing; Razavi, Nikta; Aiello, Jacqueline


    This study explored the effects of cultural and linguistic background, L2 proficiency, and gender on language learning strategies for 263 college-level learners from Chinese, Russian, and Latino backgrounds. Data based on the SILL (Oxford, 2001) revealed that Russian students used significantly more strategies than the Chinese students in three…

  9. Variation in Second Language Learners' Strategies among Non-Native English Speakers from Three Language/Culture Backgrounds (United States)

    Ebsworth, Miriam Eisenstein; Tang, Frank Lixing; Razavi, Nikta; Aiello, Jacqueline


    This study explored the effects of cultural and linguistic background, L2 proficiency, and gender on language learning strategies for 263 college-level learners from Chinese, Russian, and Latino backgrounds. Data based on the SILL (Oxford, 2001) revealed that Russian students used significantly more strategies than the Chinese students in three…

  10. Direct and Indirect Roles of Morphological Awareness in the English Reading Comprehension of Native English, Spanish, Filipino, and Vietnamese Speakers (United States)

    Kieffer, Michael J.; Lesaux, Nonie K.


    This study tested three hypotheses about the direct and indirect contributions of derivational morphological awareness to English reading comprehension in sixth-grade students from differing language backgrounds (n= 952). Students included Spanish-speaking, Filipino-speaking, and Vietnamese-speaking language minority learners as well as native…

  11. The Use of Skype as a Synchronous Communication Tool between Foreign Language College Students and Native Speakers (United States)

    Guerrero, Mario


    The rapid growth and interest of college students in Computer Mediated Communication and social media have impacted the second language learning and teaching process. This article reports on a pilot project that attempts to analyze the use of Skype as a synchronous communication tool in regard to the attitudes of students in learning a foreign…

  12. The Role of Sequence Markers on Reading and Recall: A Comparison of Native and Nonnative English Speakers (United States)


    ORGANIZATION PEPOPT NVBER S; 6a E O c PEPFC=V’NG CPC;% ZA " ON 6o OrFiCE SYMBOL 7a NAME OF MONITORING ORGANZA - ON 0 University of Califor-ia (If appi cable...readers. Experimental Aging Research, 7, 253-268. McLeod, B., & McLaughlin, B. (1986). Restructuring or automatization? Reading in a second language

  13. "We call it Springbok-German!": language contact in the German communities in South Africa.


    Franke, Katharina


    Varieties of German are spoken all over the world, some of which have been maintained for prolonged periods of time. As a result, these transplanted varieties often show traces of the ongoing language contact as specific to their particular context. This thesis explores one such transplanted German language variety – Springbok- German – as spoken by a small subset of German Lutherans in South Africa. Specifically, this study takes as its focus eight rural German communities acr...

  14. VOT Production by Spanish Heritage Speakers in a Trilingual Context (United States)

    Llama, Raquel; López-Morelos, Luz Patricia


    In several studies it is highlighted that the early acquisition of a language in the home results in phonetic and phonological benefits, and that it is not uncommon for early learners to achieve native-like pronunciation in their heritage language. However, most of these studies have been carried out with bilinguals. The present contribution aims…

  15. Near-infrared-spectroscopic study on processing of sounds in the brain; a comparison between native and non-native speakers of Japanese. (United States)

    Tsunoda, Koichi; Sekimoto, Sotaro; Itoh, Kenji


    Conclusions The result suggested that mother tongue Japanese and non- mother tongue Japanese differ in their pattern of brain dominance when listening to sounds from the natural world-in particular, insect sounds. These results reveal significant support for previous findings from Tsunoda (in 1970). Objectives This study concentrates on listeners who show clear evidence of a 'speech' brain vs a 'music' brain and determines which side is most active in the processing of insect sounds, using with near-infrared spectroscopy. Methods The present study uses 2-channel Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) to provide a more direct measure of left- and right-brain activity while participants listen to each of three types of sounds: Japanese speech, Western violin music, or insect sounds. Data were obtained from 33 participants who showed laterality on opposite sides for Japanese speech and Western music. Results Results showed that a majority (80%) of the MJ participants exhibited dominance for insect sounds on the side that was dominant for language, while a majority (62%) of the non-MJ participants exhibited dominance for insect sounds on the side that was dominant for music.

  16. De etiske journalister: Native Advertising


    Holst, Asger Bach; Jeppesen, Annika; Turunen, Marcus


    This project investigates the opinions about Native Advertising, among RUC-students who study journalism. In qualitative interviews a number of students point out advantages and disadvantages of Native Advertising as they see them, as well as they reflect upon if they eventually can see themselves work with Native Advertising.A selection of their responds are analysed with the use of a pragmatic argument analysis. The outcome of the analysis is the base of a discussion, which also include the...

  17. The German Economy and U.S.-German Economic Relations (United States)


    Should the SPD and The Left overcome existing differences, the grouping could represent a leftward shift in German politics. Alliance ’90 / The...and replaced it with less generous social assistance benefits already available to poor individuals, regardless of employment history . These changes...director at Volkswagen . 48Hans-Werner Sinn, Can Germany Be Saved?, p. 108. 49 Alister Miskimmon and Walter E. Paterson, “Conclusion: coping with the

  18. Introduced brown trout alter native acanthocephalan infections in native fish. (United States)

    Paterson, Rachel A; Townsend, Colin R; Poulin, Robert; Tompkins, Daniel M


    1. Native parasite acquisition provides introduced species with the potential to modify native host-parasite dynamics by acting as parasite reservoirs (with the 'spillback' of infection increasing the parasite burdens of native hosts) or sinks (with the 'dilution' of infection decreasing the parasite burdens of native hosts) of infection. 2. In New Zealand, negative correlations between the presence of introduced brown trout (Salmo trutta) and native parasite burdens of the native roundhead galaxias (Galaxias anomalus) have been observed, suggesting that parasite dilution is occurring. 3. We used a multiple-scale approach combining field observations, experimental infections and dynamic population modelling to investigate whether native Acanthocephalus galaxii acquisition by brown trout alters host-parasite dynamics in native roundhead galaxias. 4. Field observations demonstrated higher infection intensity in introduced trout than in native galaxias, but only small, immature A. galaxii were present in trout. Experimental infections also demonstrated that A. galaxii does not mature in trout, although parasite establishment and initial growth were similar in the two hosts. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis that trout may serve as an infection sink for the native parasite. 5. However, dynamic population modelling predicts that A. galaxii infections in native galaxias should at most only be slightly reduced by dilution in the presence of trout. Rather, model exploration indicates parasite densities in galaxias are highly sensitive to galaxias predation on infected amphipods, and to relative abundances of galaxias and trout. Hence, trout presence may instead reduce parasite burdens in galaxias by either reducing galaxias density or by altering galaxias foraging behaviour. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2011 British Ecological Society.

  19. Aerodynamic Characteristics of Syllable and Sentence Productions in Normal Speakers. (United States)

    Thiel, Cedric; Yang, Jin; Crawley, Brianna; Krishna, Priya; Murry, Thomas


    Aerodynamic measures of subglottic air pressure (Ps) and airflow rate (AFR) are used to select behavioral voice therapy versus surgical treatment for voice disorders. However, these measures are usually taken during a series of syllables, which differs from conversational speech. Repeated syllables do not share the variation found in even simple sentences, and patients may use their best rather than typical voice unless specifically instructed otherwise. This study examined the potential differences in estimated Ps and AFR in syllable and sentence production and their effects on a measure of vocal efficiency in normal speakers. Prospective study. Measures of estimated Ps, AFR, and aerodynamic vocal efficiency (AVE) were obtained from 19 female and four male speakers ages 22-44 years with no history of voice disorders. Subjects repeated a series of /pa/ syllables and a sentence at comfortable effort level into a face mask with a pressure-sensing tube between the lips. AVE varies as a function of the speech material in normal subjects. Ps measures were significantly higher for the sentence-production samples than for the syllable-production samples. AFR was higher during sentence production than syllable production, but the difference was not statistically significant. AVE values were significantly higher for syllable versus sentence productions. The results suggest that subjects increase Ps and AFR in sentence compared with syllable production. Speaking task is a critical factor when considering measures of AVE, and this preliminary study provides a basis for further aerodynamic studies of patient populations. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Audio-Visual Speaker Diarization Based on Spatiotemporal Bayesian Fusion. (United States)

    Gebru, Israel D; Ba, Sileye; Li, Xiaofei; Horaud, Radu


    Speaker diarization consists of assigning speech signals to people engaged in a dialogue. An audio-visual spatiotemporal diarization model is proposed. The model is well suited for challenging scenarios that consist of several participants engaged in multi-party interaction while they move around and turn their heads towards the other participants rather than facing the cameras and the microphones. Multiple-person visual tracking is combined with multiple speech-source localization in order to tackle the speech-to-person association problem. The latter is solved within a novel audio-visual fusion method on the following grounds: binaural spectral features are first extracted from a microphone pair, then a supervised audio-visual alignment technique maps these features onto an image, and finally a semi-supervised clustering method assigns binaural spectral features to visible persons. The main advantage of this method over previous work is that it processes in a principled way speech signals uttered simultaneously by multiple persons. The diarization itself is cast into a latent-variable temporal graphical model that infers speaker identities and speech turns, based on the output of an audio-visual association process, executed at each time slice, and on the dynamics of the diarization variable itself. The proposed formulation yields an efficient exact inference procedure. A novel dataset, that contains audio-visual training data as well as a number of scenarios involving several participants engaged in formal and informal dialogue, is introduced. The proposed method is thoroughly tested and benchmarked with respect to several state-of-the art diarization algorithms.