Sample records for monolingual spanish speakers

  1. 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…

  2. The Monolingual Cataloging Monolith: A Barrier to Library Access for Readers of Spanish. (United States)

    Jensen, Bruce


    Asserts that despite growing awareness of frontline public service concerns in accommodating Spanish speakers, little care is invested in the technical processing side of the library's responsibility to Spanish speakers. Examines the usefulness and accessibility of online public access catalogs for monolingual Spanish readers, focusing on records…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Novel word retention in bilingual and monolingual speakers. (United States)

    Kan, Pui Fong; Sadagopan, Neeraja


    The goal of this research was to examine word retention in bilinguals and monolinguals. Long-term word retention is an essential part of vocabulary learning. Previous studies have documented that bilinguals outperform monolinguals in terms of retrieving newly-exposed words. Yet, little is known about whether or to what extent bilinguals are different from monolinguals in word retention. Participants were 30 English-speaking monolingual adults and 30 bilingual adults who speak Spanish as a home language and learned English as a second language during childhood. In a previous study (Kan et al., 2014), the participants were exposed to the target novel words in English, Spanish, and Cantonese. In this current study, word retention was measured a week after the fast mapping task. No exposures were given during the one-week interval. Results showed that bilinguals and monolinguals retain a similar number of words. However, participants produced more words in English than in either Spanish or Cantonese. Correlation analyses revealed that language knowledge plays a role in the relationships between fast mapping and word retention. Specifically, within- and across-language relationships between bilinguals' fast mapping and word retention were found in Spanish and English, by contrast, within-language relationships between monolinguals' fast mapping and word retention were found in English and across-language relationships between their fast mapping and word retention performance in English and Cantonese. Similarly, bilinguals differed from monolinguals in the relationships among the word retention scores in three languages. Significant correlations were found among bilinguals' retention scores. However, no such correlations were found among monolinguals' retention scores. The overall findings suggest that bilinguals' language experience and language knowledge most likely contribute to how they learn and retain new words.

  6. 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)

  7. Compiling a Monolingual Dictionary for Native Speakers

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    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.


  8. Novel word retention in bilingual and monolingual speakers

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    Pui Fong eKan


    Full Text Available The goal of this research was to examine word retention in bilinguals and monolinguals. Long-term word retention is an essential part of vocabulary learning. Previous studies have documented that bilinguals outperform monolinguals in terms of retrieving newly-exposed words. Yet, little is known about whether or to what extent bilinguals are different from monolinguals in word retention. Participants were 30 English-speaking monolingual adults and 30 bilingual adults who speak Spanish as a home language and learned English as a second language during childhood. In a previous study (Kan, Sadagopan, Janich, & Andrade, 2014, the participants were exposed to the target novel words in English, Spanish, and Cantonese. In this current study, word retention was measured a week after the fast mapping task. No exposures were given during the one-week interval. Results showed that bilinguals and monolinguals retain a similar number of words. However, participants produced more words in English than in either Spanish or Cantonese. Correlation analyses revealed that language knowledge plays a role in the relationships between fast mapping and word retention. Specifically, within- and across-language relationships between bilinguals’ fast mapping and word retention were found in Spanish and English, by contrast, within-language relationships between monolinguals’ fast mapping and word retention were found in English and across-language relationships between their fast mapping and word retention performance in English and Cantonese. Similarly, bilinguals differed from monolinguals in the relationships among the word retention scores in three languages. Significant correlations were found among bilinguals’ retention scores. However, no such correlations were found among monolinguals’ retention scores. The overall findings suggest that bilinguals’ language experience and language knowledge most likely contribute to how they learn and retain new words.

  9. Interface strategies in monolingual and end-state L2 Spanish grammars are not that different. (United States)

    Parafita Couto, María C; Mueller Gathercole, Virginia C; Stadthagen-González, Hans


    This study explores syntactic, pragmatic, and lexical influences on adherence to SV and VS orders in native and fluent L2 speakers of Spanish. A judgment task examined 20 native monolingual and 20 longstanding L2 bilingual Spanish speakers' acceptance of SV and VS structures. Seventy-six distinct verbs were tested under a combination of syntactic and pragmatic constraints. Our findings challenge the hypothesis that internal interfaces are acquired more easily than external interfaces (Sorace, 2005, 2011; Sorace and Filiaci, 2006; White, 2006). Additional findings are that (a) bilinguals' judgments are less firm overall than monolinguals' (i.e., monolinguals are more likely to give extreme "yes" or "no" judgments) and (b) individual verbs do not necessarily behave as predicted under standard definitions of unaccusatives and unergatives. Correlations of the patterns found in the data with verb frequencies suggest that usage-based accounts of grammatical knowledge could help provide insight into speakers' knowledge of these constructs.

  10. Interface strategies in monolingual and end-state L2 Spanish grammars are not that different

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    Maria Carmen eParafita Couto


    Full Text Available This study explores syntactic, pragmatic, and lexical influences on adherence to SV and VS orders in native and fluent L2 speakers of Spanish. A judgment task examined 20 native monolingual and 20 longstanding L2 bilingual Spanish speakers’ acceptance of SV and VS structures. Seventy-six distinct verbs were tested under a combination of syntactic and pragmatic constraints. Our findings challenge the hypothesis that internal interfaces are acquired more easily than external interfaces (Sorace, 2005, 2011; Sorace & Filiaci, 2006; White 2006. Additional findings are that (a bilinguals' judgments are less firm overall than monolinguals' (i.e., monolinguals are more likely to give extreme yes or no judgments and (b individual verbs do not necessarily behave as predicted under standard definitions of unaccusatives and unergatives. Correlations of the patterns found in the data with verb frequencies suggest that usage-based accounts of grammatical knowledge could help provide insight into speakers' knowledge of these constructs.

  11. Language Growth in English Monolingual and Spanish-English Bilingual Children from 2.5 to 5 Years. (United States)

    Hoff, Erika; Ribot, Krystal M


    To describe the trajectories of English and Spanish language growth in typically developing children from bilingual homes and compare those with the trajectories of English growth in children from monolingual homes, to assess effects of dual language exposure on language growth in typically developing children. Expressive vocabularies were assessed at 6-month intervals from age 30 to 60 months, in English for monolinguals and English and Spanish for bilinguals. Use of English and Spanish in the home was assessed via parental report. Multilevel modeling, including parent education as a covariate, revealed that children from bilingual homes lagged 6 months to 1 year behind monolingual children in English vocabulary growth. The size of the lag was related to the relative amount of English use in the home, but the relation was not linear. Increments in English use conferred the greatest benefit most among homes with already high levels of English use. These homes also were likely to have 1 parent who was a native English speaker. Bilingual children showed stronger growth in English than in Spanish. Bilingual children can lag 6 months to 1 year behind monolingual children in normal English language development. Such lags may not necessarily signify clinically relevant delay if parents report that children also have skills in the home language. Shorter lags are associated with 2 correlated factors: more English exposure and more exposure from native English speakers. Early exposure to Spanish in the home does not guarantee acquisition of Spanish. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. "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…

  14. Differences between Spanish monolingual and Spanish-English bilingual children in their calculation of entailment-based scalar implicatures

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    Kristen Syrett


    Full Text Available In this paper, we extend investigations of the possible effects of cross-linguistic influence at the pragmatics-syntax interface (Hulk & Müller 2000; Müller & Hulk 2001; Serratrice, Sorace & Paoli 2004, by presenting two experiments designed to probe how Spanish monolingual and Spanish-English bilingual preschool-age children approach the ‘some, but not all’ 'scalar implicature '(SI associated with 'algunos '(‘some’. We compare 'algunos 'and 'unos '(also a ‘some’ indefinite, but one that is not context-linked and does not induce an SI, and 'algunos 'and 'todos '(the universal quantifier ‘every/all’. The performance of the children is compared to fluent adult Spanish heritage speakers. Experiment 1 is a variation of Noveck’s (2001 statement evaluation task, also replicated by Guasti et al'. '(2005. Experiment 2 is a forced-choice picture selection task. Results demonstrate that adults were the only group to consistently calculate the SI associated with 'algunos '– a finding that was expected to some extent, given that our tasks were stripped of the contextual support that could benefit children’s pragmatic reasoning. While bilingual and monolingual children displayed comparable performance across tasks, bilinguals in Experiment 2 appeared to experience difficulty with judgments related to 'todos '– a pattern we attribute (in light of independent findings to the cognitive overload in the task, not the lexical entry of this quantifier. We conclude that young monolingual and bilingual children confront the same challenges when called upon to deploy pragmatic skills in a discourse context. This article is part of the special collection:Acquisition of Quantification

  15. 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…

  16. Communication Interface for Mexican Spanish Dysarthric Speakers

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    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

  17. 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)

  18. El Discurso de Pasado en el Espanol de Houston: Imperfectividad Y Perfectividad Verbal en una Situacion de Contacto (Past Tense in the Discourse of Spanish Speakers in Houston: Use of Preterite and Imperfect in a Language Contact Situation). (United States)

    Mrak, N. Ariana


    Investigates whether, due to the language contact situation in Houston in a group of a Mexican-American speakers, the imperfect forms of subordinate language (Spanish) are going through a process of reduction in favor of the forms of the superordinate language (English) when compared to the speech of Spanish monolinguals. (Author/VWL)

  19. Filial Therapy with Monolingual Spanish-Speaking Mothers: A Phenomenological Study (United States)

    Sangganjanavanich, Varunee Faii; Cook, Katrina; Rangel-Gomez, Maria


    This article describes a phenomenological study of filial therapy with monolingual, Spanish-speaking mothers living in the United States. Four mothers participated in a 5-week training in filial therapy. Data from the interviews revealed four emergent themes. These include (a) challenges in integrating play therapy skills in everyday life, (b)…

  20. Spanish Is Foreign: Heritage Speakers' Interpretations of the Introductory Spanish Language Curriculum (United States)

    DeFeo, Dayna Jean


    This article presents a case study of the perceptions of Spanish heritage speakers enrolled in introductory-level Spanish foreign language courses. Despite their own identities that were linked to the United States and Spanish of the Borderlands, the participants felt that the curriculum acknowledged the Spanish of Spain and foreign countries but…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Validation of the Spanish SIRS with monolingual Hispanic outpatients. (United States)

    Correa, Amor A; Rogers, Richard; Hoersting, Raquel


    Psychologists are faced with formidable challenges in making their assessment methods relevant to growing numbers of Hispanic clients for whom English is not the primary or preferred language. Among other clinical issues, the determination of malingering has profound consequences for clients. In this investigation, we evaluated a Spanish translation of the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (SIRS; Rogers, Bagby, & Dickens, 1992) with 80 Spanish-speaking Hispanic American outpatients. Using a between-subjects simulation design, the Spanish SIRS was found to produce reliable results with small standard errors of measurement. Regarding validity, very large effect sizes (mean Cohen's d= 2.00) were observed between feigners and honest responders for the SIRS primary scales. We consider the potential role of the Spanish SIRS with reference to Spanish translations for other assessment instruments.

  4. Case, Inflection, and Subject Licensing in Child Catalan and Spanish. (United States)

    Grindstead, John


    Development of specified tense and number morphology in child Catalan and Spanish was found to correlate with the onset of overt subject use in one monolingual child Spanish speaker and four monolingual child Catalan speakers who were studied longitudinally. (Author/VWL)

  5. Articulation Skills in Spanish-Speaking Children. (United States)

    Linares, Thomas A.

    The purpose of the research was to develop an articulation test for Spanish-speakers and to field-test the instrument in both a monolingual Spanish-speaking environment and a bilingual Spanish/English environment. Such a test is needed because there has been little available to enable the diagnostician, whose clientele includes Spanish-speakers,…

  6. Pragmatic Instruction May Not Be Necessary among Heritage Speakers of Spanish: A Study on Requests (United States)

    Barros García, María J.; Bachelor, Jeremy W.


    This paper studies the pragmatic competence of U.S. heritage speakers of Spanish in an attempt to determine (a) the degree of pragmatic transfer from English to Spanish experienced by heritage speakers when producing different types of requests in Spanish; and (b) how to best teach pragmatics to students of Spanish as a Heritage Language (SHL).…

  7. Vocabulary Use by Low, Moderate, and High ASL-Proficient Writers Compared to Hearing ESL and Monolingual Speakers. (United States)

    Singleton, Jenny L; Morgan, Dianne; DiGello, Elizabeth; Wiles, Jill; Rivers, Rachel


    The written English vocabulary of 72 deaf elementary school students of various proficiency levels in American Sign Language (ASL) was compared with the performance of 60 hearing English-as-a-second-language (ESL) speakers and 61 hearing monolingual speakers of English, all of similar age. Students were asked to retell "The Tortoise and the Hare" story (previously viewed on video) in a writing activity. Writing samples were later scored for total number of words, use of words known to be highly frequent in children's writing, redundancy in writing, and use of English function words. All deaf writers showed significantly lower use of function words as compared to their hearing peers. Low-ASL-proficient students demonstrated a highly formulaic writing style, drawing mostly on high-frequency words and repetitive use of a limited range of function words. The moderate- and high-ASL-proficient deaf students' writing was not formulaic and incorporated novel, low-frequency vocabulary to communicate their thoughts. The moderate- and high-ASL students' performance revealed a departure from findings one might expect based on previous studies with deaf writers and their vocabulary use. The writing of the deaf writers also differed from the writing of hearing ESL speakers. Implications for deaf education and literacy instruction are discussed, with special attention to the fact that ASL-proficient, deaf second-language learners of English may be approaching English vocabulary acquisition in ways that are different from hearing ESL learners.

  8. Environmental Considerations: Home and School Comparison of Spanish-English Speakers' Vocalizations (United States)

    Jackson, Carla W.; Callender, Maya F.


    This study examined differences in the quantity of child vocalizations (CVs) between preschool and home environments using the Language Environmental Analysis (LENA). The sample included monolingual English-speaking children (n = 27) and Spanish-English speaking dual language learners (n = 30). A two-way mixed effects analysis of variance with one…

  9. Interpreting Mini-Mental State Examination Performance in Highly Proficient Bilingual Spanish-English and Asian Indian-English Speakers: Demographic Adjustments, Item Analyses, and Supplemental Measures. (United States)

    Milman, Lisa H; Faroqi-Shah, Yasmeen; Corcoran, Chris D; Damele, Deanna M


    Performance on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), among the most widely used global screens of adult cognitive status, is affected by demographic variables including age, education, and ethnicity. This study extends prior research by examining the specific effects of bilingualism on MMSE performance. Sixty independent community-dwelling monolingual and bilingual adults were recruited from eastern and western regions of the United States in this cross-sectional group study. Independent sample t tests were used to compare 2 bilingual groups (Spanish-English and Asian Indian-English) with matched monolingual speakers on the MMSE, demographically adjusted MMSE scores, MMSE item scores, and a nonverbal cognitive measure. Regression analyses were also performed to determine whether language proficiency predicted MMSE performance in both groups of bilingual speakers. Group differences were evident on the MMSE, on demographically adjusted MMSE scores, and on a small subset of individual MMSE items. Scores on a standardized screen of language proficiency predicted a significant proportion of the variance in the MMSE scores of both bilingual groups. Bilingual speakers demonstrated distinct performance profiles on the MMSE. Results suggest that supplementing the MMSE with a language screen, administering a nonverbal measure, and/or evaluating item-based patterns of performance may assist with test interpretation for this population.

  10. Measures of speech rhythm and the role of corpus-based word frequency: a multifactorial comparison of Spanish(-English speakers

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    Michael J. Harris


    Full Text Available In this study, we address various measures that have been employed to distinguish between syllable and stress- timed languages. This study differs from all previous ones by (i exploring and comparing multiple metrics within a quantitative and multifactorial perspective and by (ii also documenting the impact of corpus-based word frequency. We begin with the basic distinctions of speech rhythms, dealing with the differences between syllable-timed languages and stress-timed languages and several methods that have been used to attempt to distinguish between the two. We then describe how these metrics were used in the current study comparing the speech rhythms of Mexican Spanish speakers and bilingual English/Spanish speakers (speakers born to Mexican parents in California. More specifically, we evaluate how well various metrics of vowel duration variability as well as the so far understudied factor of corpus-based frequency allow to classify speakers as monolingual or bilingual. A binary logistic regression identifies several main effects and interactions. Most importantly, our results call the utility of a particular rhythm metric, the PVI, into question and indicate that corpus data in the form of lemma frequencies interact with two metrics of durational variability, suggesting that durational variability metrics should ideally be studied in conjunction with corpus-based frequency data.

  11. Exploring problem solving strategies on multiple-choice science items: Comparing native Spanish-speaking English Language Learners and mainstream monolinguals (United States)

    Kachchaf, Rachel Rae

    The purpose of this study was to compare how English language learners (ELLs) and monolingual English speakers solved multiple-choice items administered with and without a new form of testing accommodation---vignette illustration (VI). By incorporating theories from second language acquisition, bilingualism, and sociolinguistics, this study was able to gain more accurate and comprehensive input into the ways students interacted with items. This mixed methods study used verbal protocols to elicit the thinking processes of thirty-six native Spanish-speaking English language learners (ELLs), and 36 native-English speaking non-ELLs when solving multiple-choice science items. Results from both qualitative and quantitative analyses show that ELLs used a wider variety of actions oriented to making sense of the items than non-ELLs. In contrast, non-ELLs used more problem solving strategies than ELLs. There were no statistically significant differences in student performance based on the interaction of presence of illustration and linguistic status or the main effect of presence of illustration. However, there were significant differences based on the main effect of linguistic status. An interaction between the characteristics of the students, the items, and the illustrations indicates considerable heterogeneity in the ways in which students from both linguistic groups think about and respond to science test items. The results of this study speak to the need for more research involving ELLs in the process of test development to create test items that do not require ELLs to carry out significantly more actions to make sense of the item than monolingual students.

  12. Muchas Caras: Engaging Spanish Speakers in the Planetarium and K--12 Classroom (United States)

    Traub-Metlay, S.; Salas, F.; Duncan, D.


    Reaching out to Spanish speakers is increasingly vital to workforce development and public support of space science projects. Fiske Planetarium offers Spanish translations of our newest planetarium shows, such as ``Las Personas del Telescopio Hubble'' (``The Many Faces of Hubble'') and ``Tormenta Espacial'' (``Space Storm'').

  13. 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…

  14. Development and Validation of Extract the Base: An English Derivational Morphology Test for Third through Fifth Grade Monolingual Students and Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners (United States)

    Goodwin, Amanda P.; Huggins, A. Corinne; Carlo, Maria; Malabonga, Valerie; Kenyon, Dorry; Louguit, Mohammed; August, Diane


    This study describes the development and validation of the Extract the Base test (ETB), which assesses derivational morphological awareness. Scores on this test were validated for 580 monolingual students and 373 Spanish-speaking English language learners (ELLs) in third through fifth grade. As part of the validation of the internal structure,…

  15. Tormenta Espacial: Engaging Spanish Speakers in the Planetarium and K-12 Classroom (United States)

    Salas, F.; Duncan, D.; Traub-Metlay, S.


    Reaching out to Spanish speakers is increasingly vital to workforce development and public support of space science projects. Building on a successful partnership with NASA's TIMED mission, LASP and Space Science Institute, Fiske Planetarium has translated its original planetarium show - ``Space Storm'' - into ``Tormenta Espacial.''

  16. A comparison of proficiency levels in 4-year-old monolingual and trilingual speakers of Afrikaans, isiXhosa and South African English across SES boundaries, using LITMUS-CLT. (United States)

    Perold Potgieter, Anneke; Southwood, Frenette


    This study investigated how trilinguals fare on the cross-linguistic lexical tasks (CLT)-Afrikaans, -isiXhosa and -South African English (SAE) (cf. Haman et al., 2015) compared to monolingual controls, and whether the CLT-Afrikaans renders comparable results across socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. The LITMUS-CLTs were administered to 41 low SES 4-year-olds (11 trilinguals; 10 monolingual speakers of Afrikaans, isiXhosa and SAE) and the LITMUS-CLT-Afrikaans to 11 mid-SES 4-year-old monolinguals. Results (a) indicate that trilinguals' proficiency in their exposure-dominant language did not differ significantly from monolinguals' proficiency, but their proficiency in their additional two languages was significantly lower than monolinguals' proficiency; (b) reflect the extent, but not current amount, of exposure trilinguals had had over time to each of their languages; and (c) show that low and mid-SES monolinguals differed significantly on noun-related, but not verb-related, CLT measures. Possible reasons for and the clinical implications of these results are discussed.

  17. On the status of the phoneme /b/ in heritage speakers of Spanish

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    Rajiv Rao


    Full Text Available This study examined intervocalic productions of /b/ in heritage speakers of Spanish residing in the United States. Eleven speakers were divided into two groups based on at-home exposure to Spanish, and subsequently completed reading and picture description tasks eliciting productions of intervocalic /b/ showing variation in word position, syllable stress, and orthography. The mixed-effects results revealed that while both groups manifested three clear phonetic categories, the group with more at-home experience followed a phonological rule of spirantization to a pure approximant to a higher degree across the data. The less-target-like stop and tense approximant allophones appeared more in the reading task, in stressed syllables, and in the less experienced group. Word boundary position interacted with group and task to induce less-target-like forms as well. The findings emphasize the influence of language background, linguistic context, orthography, and cognitive demands of tasks in accounting for heritage phonetics and phonology.


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    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.

  19. "Necesita una vacuna": what Spanish-speakers want in text-message immunization reminders. (United States)

    Ahlers-Schmidt, Carolyn R; Chesser, Amy; Brannon, Jennifer; Lopez, Venessa; Shah-Haque, Sapna; Williams, Katherine; Hart, Traci


    Appointment reminders help parents deal with complex immunization schedules. Preferred content of text-message reminders has been identified for English-speakers. Spanish-speaking parents of children under three years old were recruited to develop Spanish text-message immunization reminders. Structured interviews included questions about demographic characteristics, use of technology, and willingness to receive text reminders. Each participant was assigned to one user-centered design (UCD) test: card sort, needs analysis or comprehension testing. Respondents (N=54) were female (70%) and averaged 27 years of age (SD=7). A card sort of 20 immunization-related statements resulted in identification of seven pieces of critical information, which were compiled into eight example texts. These texts were ranked in the needs assessment and the top two were assessed for comprehension. All participants were able to understand the content and describe intention to act. Utilizing UCD testing, Spanish-speakers identified short, specific text content that differed from preferred content of English-speaking parents.

  20. Development of the Spanish Language Houston Pain Outcome Instrument for Spanish Speakers. (United States)

    McNeill, Jeanette; Sherwood, Gwen


    To address reported disparities in pain management among Hispanic patients, this article reports the psychometrics of the newly developed Spanish language Houston Pain Outcome Instrument (HPOI) with postoperative Hispanic patients. Findings from qualitative interviews conducted with 35 self-identified Hispanics in Phase 1 of the overall project were used to generate items for a new Spanish language instrument, Cuestionario de Houston Sobre el Dolor (HPOI). The second phase tested the psychometric properties with 95 self-identified Hispanic postoperative inpatients in three Texas hospitals. HPOI subscale reliabilities ranged from .63 to .91, with similar reliabilities for Spanish and English versions. Concurrent validity was demonstrated by moderate significant correlations with similar items on the Brief Pain Inventory. Participants reported moderate and severe worst pain in the last 24 hours; 38% were undertreated for pain according to the Pain Management Index; and 75% reported nonpharmacologic strategies including family support, prayer, and position change as highly effective in managing pain. The HPOI is a reliable instrument for addressing disparities in pain management for the rapidly growing Hispanic population in the United States. Subscales for interference with mood and physical function and patient-reported nonpharmacologic strategies facilitate a more comprehensive assessment of the pain experience.

  1. 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

  2. "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?

  3. A Cardiovascular Health Intervention for Spanish Speakers: The Health Literacy and ESL Curriculum. (United States)

    Soto Mas, Francisco; Schmitt, Cheryl L; Jacobson, Holly E; Myers, Orrin B


    Spanish speakers in the United States are in need of effective interventions that address both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and health literacy. However, the literature lacks interventions that have used and evaluated a strategies that focus on both, particularly at the community level. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of a health literacy curriculum on cardiovascular health behavior among Spanish speaking adults. It used a randomized controlled pre-posttest design. Participants included Hispanic adults with a low-to-intermediate level of English proficiency. The intervention group received the health literacy and English as a second language (ESL) Curriculum with CVD specific content, while the control group received a conventional ESL curriculum. Tools included the Spanish Cardiovascular Health Questionnaire (CSC), the test of functional health literacy in adults (TOFHLA), and the Combined English Language Skills Assessment. Analysis of change scores included independent sample t test and multiple linear regression. A total of 155 participants completed the study. There was a significant greater improvement for the intervention group in change of CSC score from pretest to posttest (P = 0.049) compared to controls. The study also found significantly improved TOFHLA (P = 0.011), however it did not find a relationship between changes in CVD behavior and health literacy or English proficiency. The Health Literacy and ESL Curriculum constitutes a valuable resource for addressing the cardiovascular health, literacy, and language needs of Spanish-speaking adults. Interventions that take a multilevel education and health approach may be more effective in addressing the needs of immigrants. Research should further explore the interactions between CVD behavior, health literacy, and English proficiency.

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

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    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.

  5. 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…

  6. Little Houses and Casas Pequenas: Message Formulation and Syntactic Form in Unscripted Speech with Speakers of English and Spanish (United States)

    Brown-Schmidt, Sarah; Konopka, Agnieszka E.


    During unscripted speech, speakers coordinate the formulation of pre-linguistic messages with the linguistic processes that implement those messages into speech. We examine the process of constructing a contextually appropriate message and interfacing that message with utterance planning in English ("the small butterfly") and Spanish ("la mariposa…

  7. 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.

  8. Muchas Caras: Engaging Spanish Speakers in the Planetarium and K-12 Classroom (United States)

    Traub-Metlay, Suzanne; Salas, F.


    Reaching out to Spanish speakers is increasingly vital to workforce development and public support of space science projects. Fiske Planetarium offers Spanish translations of our newest planetarium shows, such as "Las Muchas Caras del Telescopio Hubble” ("The Many Faces of Hubble") and "Tormenta Espacial” ("Space Storm"). Funded by NASA, "Las Muchas Caras...” showcases the people involved in successful use of the Hubble Space Telescope. From building and launching HST to how proposals are selected and data analyzed, "Las Muchas Caras...” engages viewers to see themselves in careers related to space science. Detailed interviews with real people who work with HST reveal the humanity behind the science. Awesome imagery provided by HST inspires viewers to look at the night sky themselves. In partnership with NASA's TIMED mission, LASP and Space Science Institute, Fiske Planetarium translated its original planetarium show - "Space Storm” - into "Tormenta Espacial". This show explores the Sun-Earth connection and explains how solar activity affects technology and life on Earth. Solar scientists from NOAA's Space Environment Center and the University of Colorado at Boulder contributed to provide scientific accuracy. Show content and accompanying educational materials are aligned with state and national science standards. Curricular materials extend the planetarium experience into the K-12 classroom so that students inspired and engaged by the show continue to see real-life applications and workplace opportunities. Fiske Planetarium offers "Las Muchas Caras...” and "Tormenta Espacial” to other planetariums at a minimal rate, including technical support for the life of the show. Versions of "The Many Faces of Hubble” and "Space Storm” are available with no spoken dialogue so that languages other than English or Spanish may be accommodated.

  9. Quantifying risk: verbal probability expressions in Spanish and English. (United States)

    Cohn, Lawrence D; Vázquez, Miguel E Cortés; Alvarez, Adolfo


    To investigate how Spanish- and English-speaking adults interpret verbal probability expressions presented in Spanish and English (eg, posiblemente and possibly, respectively). Professional translators and university students from México and the United States read a series of likelihood statements in Spanish or English and then estimated the certainty implied by each statement. Several terms that are regarded as cognates in English and Spanish elicited significantly different likelihood ratings. Several language equivalencies were also identified. These findings provide the first reported evaluation of Spanish likelihood terms for use in risk communications directed towards monolingual and bilingual Spanish speakers.

  10. The Role of Oral Language Skills in Reading and Listening Comprehension of Text: A Comparison of Monolingual (L1) and Bilingual (L2) Speakers of English Language (United States)

    Babayigit, Selma


    The study examined the role of oral language skills in reading comprehension and listening comprehension levels of 125 monolingual (L1) and bilingual (L2) English-speaking learners (M = 121.5 months, SD = 4.65) in England. All testing was conducted in English. The L1 learners outperformed their L2 peers on the measures of oral language and text…

  11. 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

  12. Novel Morpheme Learning in Monolingual and Bilingual Children (United States)

    Gross, Megan; Sheena, Enanna; Roman, Rachel


    Purpose The purpose of the present study was to examine the utility of a novel morpheme learning task for indexing typical language abilities in children characterized by diverse language backgrounds. Method Three groups of 5- to 6-year-old children were tested: monolingual speakers of English, native speakers of Spanish who also spoke English (Spanish-L1 bilinguals), and native speakers of English who also spoke Spanish (English-L1 bilinguals). All children were taught a new derivational morpheme /ku/ marking part–whole distinction in conjunction with English nouns. Retention was measured via a receptive task, and sensitivity and reaction time (RT) data were collected. Results All three groups of children learned the novel morpheme successfully and were able to generalize its use to untaught nouns. Furthermore, language characteristics (degree of exposure and levels of performance on standardized measures) did not contribute to bilingual children's learning outcomes. Conclusion Together, the findings indicate that this particular version of the novel morpheme learning task may be resistant to influences associated with language background and suggest potential usefulness of the task to clinical practice. PMID:28399578

  13. Item-Level Psychometrics and Predictors of Performance for Spanish/English Bilingual Speakers on "An Object and Action Naming Battery" (United States)

    Edmonds, Lisa A.; Donovan, Neila J.


    Purpose: There is a pressing need for psychometrically sound naming materials for Spanish/English bilingual adults. To address this need, in this study the authors examined the psychometric properties of An Object and Action Naming Battery (An O&A Battery; Druks & Masterson, 2000) in bilingual speakers. Method: Ninety-one Spanish/English…

  14. The Proficiency Continuum in Quechua-Spanish Bilingual Speakers: An Analysis of the Verbal Clitic System. (United States)

    Paredes, Liliana


    Examines the variable use of verbal clitics in bilingual Spanish and proposes that the contact between Quechua and Spanish is expressed in the existence of more than one clitic system across an oral proficiency continuum in Spanish. Proposes that the clitic use in these different systems is variable and constrained by different factors.…

  15. Using web 2.0 tools in a community service program with spanish heritage speakers in the United States

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    Jennifer LEEMAN


    Full Text Available Normal 0 21 false false false ES X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Tabla normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";} This article analyzes the use of the Web 2.0 in a critical community service program in which students of Spanish from a large public institution in the United States were in charge of organizing, planning and delivering a Spanish course to young heritage speakers of Spanish. After a short description of the program and its context, the article analyzes how a class blog and a wiki were implemented as communication and collaboration tools, as well as their strengths and weaknesses in helping achieve the program’s goals. Through these technologies, it was possible to enhance participant interaction and to provide opportunities for self-reflection. In addition, the blog and the wiki helped students develop their Spanish written skills and played a role in the development of other literacies. Suggestions for future service learning programs are included at the end of the article.

  16. Using qualitative methods to improve questionnaires for Spanish speakers: assessing face validity of a food behavior checklist. (United States)

    Banna, Jinan C; Vera Becerra, Luz E; Kaiser, Lucia L; Townsend, Marilyn S


    Development of outcome measures relevant to health nutrition behaviors requires a rigorous process of testing and revision. Whereas researchers often report performance of quantitative data collection to assess questionnaire validity and reliability, qualitative testing procedures are often overlooked. This report outlines a procedure for assessing face validity of a Spanish-language dietary assessment tool. Reviewing the literature produced no rigorously validated Spanish-language food behavior assessment tools for the US Department of Agriculture's food assistance and education programs. In response to this need, this study evaluated the face validity of a Spanish-language food behavior checklist adapted from a 16-item English version of a food behavior checklist shown to be valid and reliable for limited-resource English speakers. The English version was translated using rigorous methods involving initial translation by one party and creation of five possible versions. Photos were modified based on client input and new photos were taken as necessary. A sample of low-income, Spanish-speaking women completed cognitive interviews (n=20). Spanish translation experts (n=7) fluent in both languages and familiar with both cultures made minor modifications but essentially approved client preferences. The resulting checklist generated a readability score of 93, indicating low reading difficulty. The Spanish-language checklist has adequate face validity in the target population and is ready for further validation using convergent measures. At the conclusion of testing, this instrument may be used to evaluate nutrition education interventions in California. These qualitative procedures provide a framework for designing evaluation tools for low-literate audiences participating in the US Department of Agriculture food assistance and education programs. Copyright 2010 American Dietetic Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Semantic and Conceptual Factors in Spanish-English Bilinguals' Processing of Lexical Categories in Their Two Languages (United States)

    Gathercole, Virginia C. Mueller; Stadthagen-González, Hans; Pérez-Tattam, Rocío; Yava?, Feryal


    This study examines possible semantic interaction in fully fluent adult simultaneous and early second language (L2) bilinguals. Monolingual and bilingual speakers of Spanish and English (n = 144) were tested for their understanding of lexical categories that differed in their two languages. Simultaneous bilinguals came from homes in which Spanish…

  18. Analyzing the natural resource extension needs of Spanish-speakers: A perspective from Florida (United States)

    Miriam Wyman; Francisco Escobedo; Sebastian Varela; Cesar Asuaje; Henry Mayer; Mickie Swisher; Annie Hermansen


    Hispanics are the country's fastest growing minority group. The study reported here surveyed and assessed Extension agents from two demographically different regions in Florida on perceptions and attitudes about the need, quality, and dissemination of Spanish Extension materials. Results showed Extension programs are important sources of information for Spanish-...

  19. Assessing the Double Phonemic Representation in Bilingual Speakers of Spanish and English: An Electrophysiological Study (United States)

    Garcia-Sierra, Adrian; Ramirez-Esparza, Nairan; Silva-Pereyra, Juan; Siard, Jennifer; Champlin, Craig A.


    Event Related Potentials (ERPs) were recorded from Spanish-English bilinguals (N = 10) to test pre-attentive speech discrimination in two language contexts. ERPs were recorded while participants silently read magazines in English or Spanish. Two speech contrast conditions were recorded in each language context. In the "phonemic in English"…

  20. Rethinking Spanish: Understanding Spanish Speakers Motivations and Reasons to Opt for Either an English Only or a Dual English-Spanish Educational Program (United States)

    Wright, Adrienne C.


    Spanish-speaking parents choose to enroll their children in either an English only or English-Spanish dual immersion program when presented with both choices. This ethnographic study explored parent's perceptions of the purpose, advantages, and disadvantages of learning in school in English only or in a dual English-Spanish. Through focus group…

  1. Different mechanisms in learning different second languages: Evidence from English speakers learning Chinese and Spanish. (United States)

    Cao, Fan; Sussman, Bethany L; Rios, Valeria; Yan, Xin; Wang, Zhao; Spray, Gregory J; Mack, Ryan M


    Word reading has been found to be associated with different neural networks in different languages, with greater involvement of the lexical pathway for opaque languages and greater invovlement of the sub-lexical pathway for transparent langauges. However, we do not know whether this language divergence can be demonstrated in second langauge learners, how learner's metalinguistic ability would modulate the langauge divergence, or whether learning method would interact with the language divergence. In this study, we attempted to answer these questions by comparing brain activations of Chinese and Spanish word reading in native English-speaking adults who learned Chinese and Spanish over a 2 week period under three learning conditions: phonological, handwriting, and passive viewing. We found that mapping orthography to phonology in Chinese had greater activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and left inferior temporal gyrus (ITG) than in Spanish, suggesting greater invovlement of the lexical pathway in opaque langauges. In contrast, Spanish words evoked greater activation in the left superior temporal gyrus (STG) than English, suggesting greater invovlement of the sublexical pathway for transparant languages. Furthermore, brain-behavior correlation analyses found that higher phonological awareness and rapid naming were associated with greater activation in the bilateral IFG for Chinese and in the bilateral STG for Spanish, suggesting greater language divergence in participants with higher meta-linguistic awareness. Finally, a significant interaction between the language and learning condition was found in the left STG and middle frontal gyrus (MFG), with greater activation in handwriting learning than viewing learning in the left STG only for Spanish, and greater activation in handwriting learning than phonological learning in the left MFG only for Chinese. These findings suggest that handwriting facilitates assembled phonology in Spanish and addressed

  2. Expressive Vocabulary Development in Children from Bilingual and Monolingual Homes: A Longitudinal Study from Two to Four Years. (United States)

    Hoff, Erika; Rumiche, Rosario; Burridge, Andrea; Ribot, Krystal M; Welsh, Stephanie N


    The early course of language development among children from bilingual homes varies in ways that are not well described and as a result of influences that are not well understood. Here, we describe trajectories of relative change in expressive vocabulary from 22 to 48 months and vocabulary achievement at 48 months in two groups of children from bilingual homes (children with one and children with two native Spanish-speaking parents [ n s = 15 and 11]) and in an SES-equivalent group of children from monolingual English homes ( n = 31). The two groups from bilingual homes differed in their mean levels of English and Spanish skills, in their developmental trajectories during this period, and in the relation between language use at home and their vocabulary development. Children with two native Spanish-speaking parents showed steepest gains in total vocabulary and were more nearly balanced bilinguals at 48 months. Children with one native Spanish- and one native English-speaking parent showed trajectories of relative decline in Spanish vocabulary. At 48 months, mean levels of English skill among the bilingual children were comparable to monolingual norms, but children with two native Spanish-speaking parents had lower English scores than the SES-equivalent monolingual group. Use of English at home was a significant positive predictor of English vocabulary scores only among children with a native English-speaking parent. These findings argue that efforts to optimize school readiness among children from immigrant families should facilitate their access to native speakers of the community language, and efforts to support heritage language maintenance should include encouraging heritage language use by native speakers in the home.

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. Group Differences between English and Spanish Speakers' Reading Fluency Growth in Bilingual Immersion Education (United States)

    Taub, Gordon E.; Sivo, Stephen A.; Puyana, Olivia E.


    This study investigates second language acquisition of learners enrolled in a dual language/two-way bilingual immersion program. Two groups of third-grade students participated in this study. The first group was composed of Spanish-dominant participants learning English, and the second group was composed of English-dominant students learning…

  6. 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…

  7. Spanish Speakers Apologizing in English: A Cross-Cultural Pragmatic Study. (United States)

    Cordella, Marisa


    The speech act of apologizing in English between Chileans and Australians is examined in terms of the frequency, distribution, and function of apology-strategies. It is argued that positive politeness strategies are more frequently used in Spanish than English, and the sex of the apologizer and recipient must be considered. (41 references)…

  8. Performance on Auditory and Visual Tasks of Inhibition in English Monolingual and Spanish-English Bilingual Adults: Do Bilinguals Have a Cognitive Advantage? (United States)

    Desjardins, Jamie L.; Fernandez, Francisco


    Purpose: Bilingual individuals have been shown to be more proficient on visual tasks of inhibition compared with their monolingual counterparts. However, the bilingual advantage has not been evidenced in all studies, and very little is known regarding how bilingualism influences inhibitory control in the perception of auditory information. The…

  9. Item-level psychometrics and predictors of performance for Spanish/English bilingual speakers on an object and action naming battery. (United States)

    Edmonds, Lisa A; Donovan, Neila J


    There is a pressing need for psychometrically sound naming materials for Spanish/English bilingual adults. To address this need, in this study the authors examined the psychometric properties of An Object and Action Naming Battery (An O&A Battery; Druks & Masterson, 2000) in bilingual speakers. Ninety-one Spanish/English bilinguals named O&A Battery items in English and Spanish. Responses underwent a Rasch analysis. Using correlation and regression analyses, the authors evaluated the effect of psycholinguistic (e.g., imageability) and participant (e.g., proficiency ratings) variables on accuracy. Rasch analysis determined unidimensionality across English and Spanish nouns and verbs and robust item-level psychometric properties, evidence for content validity. Few items did not fit the model, there were no ceiling or floor effects after uninformative and misfit items were removed, and items reflected a range of difficulty. Reliability coefficients were high, and the number of statistically different ability levels provided indices of sensitivity. Regression analyses revealed significant correlations between psycholinguistic variables and accuracy, providing preliminary construct validity. The participant variables that contributed most to accuracy were proficiency ratings and time of language use. Results suggest adequate content and construct validity of O&A items retained in the analysis for Spanish/English bilingual adults and support future efforts to evaluate naming in older bilinguals and persons with bilingual aphasia.

  10. Cognitive Development in Bilingual and Monolingual Lower-Class Children. (United States)

    Myers, Barbara; Goldstein, David


    The cognitive development of lower-class English-speaking monolingual and English-Spanish speaking bilingual children in kindergarten, third, and sixth grades was compared by means of standard verbal and nonverbal measures. The verbal ability of bilingual children was assessed in both English and Spanish. Their scores in both languages were low.…

  11. Differences in the Association between Segment and Language: Early Bilinguals Pattern with Monolinguals and Are Less Accurate than Late Bilinguals (United States)

    Blanco, Cynthia P.; Bannard, Colin; Smiljanic, Rajka


    Early bilinguals often show as much sensitivity to L2-specific contrasts as monolingual speakers of the L2, but most work on cross-language speech perception has focused on isolated segments, and typically only on neighboring vowels or stop contrasts. In tasks that include sounds in context, listeners’ success is more variable, so segment discrimination in isolation may not adequately represent the phonetic detail in stored representations. The current study explores the relationship between language experience and sensitivity to segmental cues in context by comparing the categorization patterns of monolingual English listeners and early and late Spanish–English bilinguals. Participants categorized nonce words containing different classes of English- and Spanish-specific sounds as being more English-like or more Spanish-like; target segments included phonemic cues, cues for which there is no analogous sound in the other language, or phonetic cues, cues for which English and Spanish share the category but for which each language varies in its phonetic implementation. Listeners’ language categorization accuracy and reaction times were analyzed. Our results reveal a largely uniform categorization pattern across listener groups: Spanish cues were categorized more accurately than English cues, and phonemic cues were easier for listeners to categorize than phonetic cues. There were no differences in the sensitivity of monolinguals and early bilinguals to language-specific cues, suggesting that the early bilinguals’ exposure to Spanish did not fundamentally change their representations of English phonology. However, neither did the early bilinguals show more sensitivity than the monolinguals to Spanish sounds. The late bilinguals however, were significantly more accurate than either of the other groups. These findings indicate that listeners with varying exposure to English and Spanish are able to use language-specific cues in a nonce-word language categorization

  12. Prosodic Transfer in Learner and Contact Varieties: Speech Rhythm and Intonation of Buenos Aires Spanish and L2 Castilian Spanish Produced by Italian Native Speakers (United States)

    Gabriel, Christoph; Kireva, Elena


    A remarkable example of Spanish-Italian contact is the Spanish variety spoken in Buenos Aires (Porteño), which is said to be prosodically "Italianized" due to migration-induced contact. The change in Porteño prosody has been interpreted as a result of transfer from the first language (L1) that occurred when Italian immigrants learned…

  13. The Efficacy of Child-Centered Play Therapy with Hispanic Spanish-Speaking Children when Conducted by a Monolingual English-Speaking Counselor (United States)

    McGee, Lola V.


    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of child-centered play therapy as an intervention when the client and the counselor do not speak the same language. The participants of the study were 34 Spanish-speaking children of Hispanic descent ranging in age from 4 to 8 who were referred to counseling for exhibiting…

  14. Research applications for an Object and Action Naming Battery to assess naming skills in adult Spanish-English bilingual speakers. (United States)

    Edmonds, Lisa A; Donovan, Neila J


    Virtually no valid materials are available to evaluate confrontation naming in Spanish-English bilingual adults in the U.S. In a recent study, a large group of young Spanish-English bilingual adults were evaluated on An Object and Action Naming Battery (Edmonds & Donovan in Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 55:359-381, 2012). Rasch analyses of the responses resulted in evidence for the content and construct validity of the retained items. However, the scope of that study did not allow for extensive examination of individual item characteristics, group analyses of participants, or the provision of testing and scoring materials or raw data, thereby limiting the ability of researchers to administer the test to Spanish-English bilinguals and to score the items with confidence. In this study, we present the in-depth information described above on the basis of further analyses, including (1) online searchable spreadsheets with extensive empirical (e.g., accuracy and name agreeability) and psycholinguistic item statistics; (2) answer sheets and instructions for scoring and interpreting the responses to the Rasch items; (3) tables of alternative correct responses for English and Spanish; (4) ability strata determined for all naming conditions (English and Spanish nouns and verbs); and (5) comparisons of accuracy across proficiency groups (i.e., Spanish dominant, English dominant, and balanced). These data indicate that the Rasch items from An Object and Action Naming Battery are valid and sensitive for the evaluation of naming in young Spanish-English bilingual adults. Additional information based on participant responses for all of the items on the battery can provide researchers with valuable information to aid in stimulus development and response interpretation for experimental studies in this population.

  15. What Can Errors Tell Us about Differences between Monolingual and Bilingual Vocabulary Learning? (United States)

    Kaushanskaya, Margarita


    Error patterns in vocabulary learning data were used as a window into the mechanisms that underlie vocabulary learning performance in bilinguals vs. monolinguals. English--Spanish bilinguals (n = 18) and English-speaking monolinguals (n = 18) were taught novel vocabulary items in association with English translations. At testing, participants…

  16. Gender agreement in interface contexts in the oral production of heritage speakers of Spanish in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Osch, B.; Hulk, A.; Sleeman, P.; Irizarri van Suchtelen, P.


    In this paper we present an analysis of Spanish heritage speakers’ oral production of gender agreement outside the DP as an innovative source of support for the Interface Hypothesis (Sorace & Filiaci 2006). We demonstrate that, besides commonly known factors such as the gender, animacy and

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. Surmounting the Tower of Babel: Monolingual and bilingual 2-year-olds' understanding of the nature of foreign language words. (United States)

    Byers-Heinlein, Krista; Chen, Ke Heng; Xu, Fei


    Languages function as independent and distinct conventional systems, and so each language uses different words to label the same objects. This study investigated whether 2-year-old children recognize that speakers of their native language and speakers of a foreign language do not share the same knowledge. Two groups of children unfamiliar with Mandarin were tested: monolingual English-learning children (n=24) and bilingual children learning English and another language (n=24). An English speaker taught children the novel label fep. On English mutual exclusivity trials, the speaker asked for the referent of a novel label (wug) in the presence of the fep and a novel object. Both monolingual and bilingual children disambiguated the reference of the novel word using a mutual exclusivity strategy, choosing the novel object rather than the fep. On similar trials with a Mandarin speaker, children were asked to find the referent of a novel Mandarin label kuò. Monolinguals again chose the novel object rather than the object with the English label fep, even though the Mandarin speaker had no access to conventional English words. Bilinguals did not respond systematically to the Mandarin speaker, suggesting that they had enhanced understanding of the Mandarin speaker's ignorance of English words. The results indicate that monolingual children initially expect words to be conventionally shared across all speakers-native and foreign. Early bilingual experience facilitates children's discovery of the nature of foreign language words. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. [Monolingualism, an overlooked multilingual? (United States)

    Vincent, E

    There has been some emphasis on the practice of multi­lingualism. It is seen as encouraging children creativity, lin­guis­­tic sensitivity and openness. In this article, we seek to find out if the different qualities demonstrated in multilingualism can also be developed in a monolingualism context. Despite the fact that it is a single language system - where grammar, accents, the rhythm of the sentence remain unchanged - it will be interesting to draw some parallels with multilingualism. This will lead us to study the processes of oral and written language acquisition in children. The associations with stuttering will also be mentioned.

  1. 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...

  2. Vowel reduction in word-final position by early and late Spanish-English bilinguals (United States)


    Vowel reduction is a prominent feature of American English, as well as other stress-timed languages. As a phonological process, vowel reduction neutralizes multiple vowel quality contrasts in unstressed syllables. For bilinguals whose native language is not characterized by large spectral and durational differences between tonic and atonic vowels, systematically reducing unstressed vowels to the central vowel space can be problematic. Failure to maintain this pattern of stressed-unstressed syllables in American English is one key element that contributes to a “foreign accent” in second language speakers. Reduced vowels, or “schwas,” have also been identified as particularly vulnerable to the co-articulatory effects of adjacent consonants. The current study examined the effects of adjacent sounds on the spectral and temporal qualities of schwa in word-final position. Three groups of English-speaking adults were tested: Miami-based monolingual English speakers, early Spanish-English bilinguals, and late Spanish-English bilinguals. Subjects performed a reading task to examine their schwa productions in fluent speech when schwas were preceded by consonants from various points of articulation. Results indicated that monolingual English and late Spanish-English bilingual groups produced targeted vowel qualities for schwa, whereas early Spanish-English bilinguals lacked homogeneity in their vowel productions. This extends prior claims that schwa is targetless for F2 position for native speakers to highly-proficient bilingual speakers. Though spectral qualities lacked homogeneity for early Spanish-English bilinguals, early bilinguals produced schwas with near native-like vowel duration. In contrast, late bilinguals produced schwas with significantly longer durations than English monolinguals or early Spanish-English bilinguals. Our results suggest that the temporal properties of a language are better integrated into second language phonologies than spectral

  3. Vowel reduction in word-final position by early and late Spanish-English bilinguals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Byers

    Full Text Available Vowel reduction is a prominent feature of American English, as well as other stress-timed languages. As a phonological process, vowel reduction neutralizes multiple vowel quality contrasts in unstressed syllables. For bilinguals whose native language is not characterized by large spectral and durational differences between tonic and atonic vowels, systematically reducing unstressed vowels to the central vowel space can be problematic. Failure to maintain this pattern of stressed-unstressed syllables in American English is one key element that contributes to a "foreign accent" in second language speakers. Reduced vowels, or "schwas," have also been identified as particularly vulnerable to the co-articulatory effects of adjacent consonants. The current study examined the effects of adjacent sounds on the spectral and temporal qualities of schwa in word-final position. Three groups of English-speaking adults were tested: Miami-based monolingual English speakers, early Spanish-English bilinguals, and late Spanish-English bilinguals. Subjects performed a reading task to examine their schwa productions in fluent speech when schwas were preceded by consonants from various points of articulation. Results indicated that monolingual English and late Spanish-English bilingual groups produced targeted vowel qualities for schwa, whereas early Spanish-English bilinguals lacked homogeneity in their vowel productions. This extends prior claims that schwa is targetless for F2 position for native speakers to highly-proficient bilingual speakers. Though spectral qualities lacked homogeneity for early Spanish-English bilinguals, early bilinguals produced schwas with near native-like vowel duration. In contrast, late bilinguals produced schwas with significantly longer durations than English monolinguals or early Spanish-English bilinguals. Our results suggest that the temporal properties of a language are better integrated into second language phonologies than

  4. Quantitative and qualitative differences in the lexical knowledge of monolingual and bilingual children on the LITMUS-CLT task. (United States)

    Altman, Carmit; Goldstein, Tamara; Armon-Lotem, Sharon


    While bilingual children follow the same milestones of language acquisition as monolingual children do in learning the syntactic patterns of their second language (L2), their vocabulary size in L2 often lags behind compared to monolinguals. The present study explores the comprehension and production of nouns and verbs in Hebrew, by two groups of 5- to 6-year olds with typical language development: monolingual Hebrew speakers (N = 26), and Russian-Hebrew bilinguals (N = 27). Analyses not only show quantitative gaps between comprehension and production and between nouns and verbs, with a bilingual effect in both, but also a qualitative difference between monolinguals and bilinguals in their production errors: monolinguals' errors reveal knowledge of the language rules despite temporary access difficulties, while bilinguals' errors reflect gaps in their knowledge of Hebrew (L2). The nature of Hebrew as a Semitic language allows one to explore this qualitative difference in the semantic and morphological level.

  5. Do bilinguals outperform monolinguals?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sejdi Sejdiu


    Full Text Available The relationship between second dialect acquisition and the psychological capacity of the learner is still a divisive topic that generates a lot of debate. A few researchers contend that the acquisition of the second dialect tends to improve the cognitive abilities in various individuals, but at the same time it could hinder the same abilities in other people. Currently, immersion is a common occurrence in some countries. In the recent past, it has significantly increased in its popularity, which has caused parents, professionals, and researchers to question whether second language acquisition has a positive impact on cognitive development, encompassing psychological ability. In rundown, the above might decide to comprehend the effects of using a second language based on the literal aptitudes connected with the native language. The issue of bilingualism was seen as a disadvantage until recently because of two languages being present which would hinder or delay the development of languages. However, recent studies have proven that bilinguals outperform monolinguals in tasks which require more attention.

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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...

  8. Monolingual Lexicography and Linguistic Variation in Shona

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    R.B. Ruthven

    when working on monolingual Shona dictionaries. ... ciplines often refer to the term variation. ... phers of monolingual dictionaries encounter in their work. 2. ..... used or the literal sense first and the rarely used or the metaphorical sense(s).

  9. Adult Second Language Learning of Spanish Vowels (United States)

    Cobb, Katherine; Simonet, Miquel


    The present study reports on the findings of a cross-sectional acoustic study of the production of Spanish vowels by three different groups of speakers: 1) native Spanish speakers; 2) native English intermediate learners of Spanish; and 3) native English advanced learners of Spanish. In particular, we examined the production of the five Spanish…

  10. Phonological Awareness and Vocabulary Performance of Monolingual and Bilingual Preschool Children with Hearing Loss (United States)

    Lund, Emily; Werfel, Krystal L.; Schuele, C. Melanie


    This pilot study compared the phonological awareness skills and vocabulary performance of English monolingual and Spanish-English bilingual children with and without hearing loss. Preschool children with varying degrees of hearing loss (n = 18) and preschool children without hearing loss (n = 19) completed measures of phonological awareness and…

  11. Effects of Length, Complexity, and Grammatical Correctness on Stuttering in Spanish-Speaking Preschool Children (United States)

    Watson, Jennifer B.; Byrd, Courtney T.; Carlo, Edna J.


    Purpose: To explore the effects of utterance length, syntactic complexity, and grammatical correctness on stuttering in the spontaneous speech of young, monolingual Spanish-speaking children. Method: Spontaneous speech samples of 11 monolingual Spanish-speaking children who stuttered, ages 35 to 70 months, were examined. Mean number of syllables,…

  12. Cultura, comunicacion e interaccion: hacia el contexto total del lenguage y el hombre hispanicos (Culture, Communication and Interaction: Towards a Global Context of the Spanish Language and Speaker) (United States)

    Poyatos, Fernando


    The new science of Proxemic Behavior (introduced by Edward T. Hall) should be included in the basic triple structure of human communicative behavior: language-paralanguage-kinesthesia. The applications of such a science are many e.g., analysis and study of the narrative character in novels. (Text is in Spanish.) (DS)

  13. Cultura, Comunicacion e interaccion: Hacia el contexto total del lenguage y el hombre hispanicos (Culture, Communication and Interaction: Towards a Total Context of the Spanish Language and Speaker) (United States)

    Poyatos, Fernando


    Described the methodological problems in setting up a kinesic inventory. Concludes that it is highly unrealistic to study language by itself without analyzing the formal and semantic make-up of the triple basic structure of language-paralanguage-kinesics. (Text is in Spanish.) (DS)

  14. 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...

  15. Learning foreign labels from a foreign speaker: the role of (limited) exposure to a second language. (United States)

    Akhtar, Nameera; Menjivar, Jennifer; Hoicka, Elena; Sabbagh, Mark A


    Three- and four-year-olds (N = 144) were introduced to novel labels by an English speaker and a foreign speaker (of Nordish, a made-up language), and were asked to endorse one of the speaker's labels. Monolingual English-speaking children were compared to bilingual children and English-speaking children who were regularly exposed to a language other than English. All children tended to endorse the English speaker's labels when asked 'What do you call this?', but when asked 'What do you call this in Nordish?', children with exposure to a second language were more likely to endorse the foreign label than monolingual and bilingual children. The findings suggest that, at this age, exposure to, but not necessarily immersion in, more than one language may promote the ability to learn foreign words from a foreign speaker.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paloma Sánchez Hernández


    Full Text Available This study includes both theoretical and qualitative research and falls within the framework of semantics and lexicography. It is based on work conducted as a part of the COMBIDIGILEX research project: MINECO-FEDER FFI2015-64476-P. The lexicographical description proposed in the COMBIDIGILEX project is based on the foundations of bilingual lexicography from an onomasiological perspective, including paradigmatic information and syntagmatic analysis, which is useful to users creating texts for students at an advanced level. The project analyses verbal lexemes in German and Spanish based on a paradigmatic, syntagmatic, orthographic and morphological perspective (among others. Subsequently, a contrastive analysis was conducted between both languages. In this contribution, we first analyse what paradigmatic information is, including its relevance to a dictionary. Paradigmatic information includes not only synonyms and antonyms but also hyperonyms and hyponyms, which often complete the lexicographical article in a general dictionary. Paradigmatic relations can be observed in light of semantic definitions or may independently become part of the lexical entry. Forming the paradigmatic information of an entry in an independent manner is known as “intentionelle Paradigmatik”, and it constitutes a series of advantages in the dictionary (Hausmann 1991b: 2794. This type of information aids the processes of production and expands vocabulary. Next, we examine the appearance of synonyms in three German online monolingual dictionaries – DWDS, WORTSCHATZLEXIKON and DUDEN ONLINE – from the semantic perspective of cognition verbs. The primary objective of the study is to demonstrate the relevance of this type of information as well as the needs it covers from a user’s perspective. Offering the user a series of lexical elements along with information on semantic relations of a paradigmatic nature thus addresses the issue of users having an array of

  17. Monolingual Lexicography and Linguistic Variation in Shona

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    R.B. Ruthven

    Abstract: This article focuses on the problems lexicographers of monolingual dictionaries face when dealing with a language characterised by differences associated with geographical variation. The article specifically seeks to explore problems with which Shona lexicographers are confronted when working on monolingual ...

  18. 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.

  19. Multinational Validation of the Spanish Bracken Basic Concept Scale for Cross-Cultural Assessments. (United States)

    Bracken, Bruce A.; And Others


    Investigated construct validity of the Spanish translation of the Bracken Basic Concept Scale (BBCS) in Latino children (n=293) including monolingual Spanish-speaking children from Puerto Rico and Venezuela and Spanish-dominant bilingual Latino children from Texas. Results provided support for construct validity of the Spanish version of the…

  20. Comparing Narrative Microstructure between Bilingual Balochi-Persian and Monolingual Persian Preschoolers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryam Arabpour


    Full Text Available Background: To date, with rapid increase of bilingual children, more attention about different patterns of the bilingual children narratives is needed. The aim of this study was to compare microstructure level of narratives generated by typical developing kindergarten children who were bilingual in Persian and Balochi with monolingual Persian speakers. Method: Thirty Persian-speaking monolingual and thirteen available bilingual children (aged 48 months old participated in this study. Children’s story telling was audio-recorded and analyzed using the Persian-NAP (Narrative Assessment Protocol guidelines. Results: All of the NAP indicators include of group structure, phrase structure, modifiers, noun and verbs didn’t show significant difference between monolingual and bilingual children (0.06≤p≤0.5. Conclusion: We didn’t find different performance in the five NAP indicators between bilingual and monolingual children. It may be suggested that the different patterns of creating phrases and sentences in two languages don’t affect the grammatical use of them in second language.

  1. 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).

  2. Monolingual and Bilingual Learners' Dictionaries*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rufus H. Gouws


    Full Text Available

    Abstract: When deciding on the best learners' dictionary for a specific user and a specificsituation of usage one often has to make a choice between a monolingual and a bilingual learners'dictionary. This article discusses some aspects of the user-driven approach so prevalent in moderndaylexicographic thought, focuses broadly on dictionary typology and takes a closer look at monolingualand bilingual learners' dictionaries. Some problems users experience when learning a newlanguage, e.g. language distortion and problems related to the phenomenon of false friends, especiallyin closely related languages, are mentioned. It is indicated that a typological hybrid dictionarycould assist certain users. The importance of an unambiguous identification of the relevantlexicographic functions is emphasised and the notions of function condensation and function mergingare introduced. It is shown that the typological choice should be determined by a function-basedapproach to dictionary usage.


    Opsomming: Eentalige en tweetalige aanleerderwoordeboeke. Wanneerbesluit moet word oor die beste aanleerderwoordeboek vir 'n spesifieke gebruiker en 'n spesifiekegebruiksituasie moet daar dikwels gekies word tussen 'n eentalige en 'n tweetalige aanleerderwoordeboek.Hierdie artikel bespreek bepaalde aspekte van die gebruikersgedrewe benaderingwat kenmerkend is van die moderne leksikografiese denke, fokus breedweg op woordeboektipologieen gee in meer besonderhede aandag aan sekere aspekte van eentalige en tweetalige aanleerderwoordeboeke.Bepaalde probleme wat gebruikers ervaar by die aanleer van 'n vreemde taal,bv. taalversteuring en probleme verwant aan die verskynsel van valse vriende, veral in nou verwantetale, kry aandag

  3. Beating the Odds: A Longitudinal Investigation of Low-Income Dual-Language and Monolingual Children's English Language and Literacy Performance (United States)

    Han, Myae; Vukelich, Carol; Buell, Martha; Meacham, Sohyun


    Research Findings: The current study reports on the results of a longitudinal investigation of the language and early literacy development of a sample of dual-language learners (DLLs) and monolingual English speakers from low-income families who received an Early Reading First intervention during their Head Start preschool year. A total of 62…

  4. Planning Abilities in Bilingual and Monolingual Children: Role of Verbal Mediation (United States)

    Gangopadhyay, Ishanti; McDonald, Margarethe; Ellis Weismer, Susan; Kaushanskaya, Margarita


    We examined the role of verbal mediation in planning performance of English–Spanish-speaking bilingual children and monolingual English-speaking children, between the ages of 9 and 12 years. To measure planning, children were administered the Tower of London (ToL) task. In a dual-task paradigm, children completed ToL problems under three conditions: with no secondary task (baseline), with articulatory suppression, and with non-verbal motor suppression. Analyses revealed generally shorter planning times for bilinguals than monolinguals but both groups performed similarly on number of moves and execution times. Additionally, bilingual children were more efficient at planning throughout the duration of the task while monolingual children showed significant gains with more practice. Children’s planning times under articulatory suppression were significantly shorter than under motor suppression as well as the baseline condition, and there was no difference in planning times between monolingual and bilingual children during articulatory suppression. These results demonstrate that bilingualism influences performance on a complex EF measure like planning, and that these effects are not related to verbal mediation. PMID:29593620

  5. Planning Abilities in Bilingual and Monolingual Children: Role of Verbal Mediation. (United States)

    Gangopadhyay, Ishanti; McDonald, Margarethe; Ellis Weismer, Susan; Kaushanskaya, Margarita


    We examined the role of verbal mediation in planning performance of English-Spanish-speaking bilingual children and monolingual English-speaking children, between the ages of 9 and 12 years. To measure planning, children were administered the Tower of London (ToL) task. In a dual-task paradigm, children completed ToL problems under three conditions: with no secondary task (baseline), with articulatory suppression, and with non-verbal motor suppression. Analyses revealed generally shorter planning times for bilinguals than monolinguals but both groups performed similarly on number of moves and execution times. Additionally, bilingual children were more efficient at planning throughout the duration of the task while monolingual children showed significant gains with more practice. Children's planning times under articulatory suppression were significantly shorter than under motor suppression as well as the baseline condition, and there was no difference in planning times between monolingual and bilingual children during articulatory suppression. These results demonstrate that bilingualism influences performance on a complex EF measure like planning, and that these effects are not related to verbal mediation.

  6. Semantic and Pragmatic Functions of the Spanish Diminutive in Spanish in Contact with Quechua. (United States)

    Escobar, Anna Maria


    Presents data from the Spanish of Quechua-Spanish bilinguals that exemplify a contact situation that gives rise to a process called structural interference. Concentrates on the use of the diminutive in the Spanish of speakers of Spanish in the Andes. (Author/VWL)

  7. 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)

  8. Lexicalisation Patterns in Danish and Spanish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Woldersgaard, Casper A. G

    In this dissertation, I investigate the theoretical framework by Leonard Talmy (2000b) on lexicalisation patterns in Motion events. I examine his characterisations of Co-event languages (e.g., Danish) and Path-event languages (e.g., Spanish), and I relate his work to a Danish language setting....... Furthermore, my objective is to determine whether the predictions set forth by Talmy apply to Danish and Spanish from an empirical perspective, i.e., in a Danish monolingual reference corpus, Korpus-DK, and a Spanish monolingual reference corpus, CORPES. I present different methods for testing Talmy’s theory....... As a consequence, to identify Motion events and discard false positives is an extremely time-consuming process. I suggest that a context-free grammar is a way to facilitate the retrieval and analysis of linguistic data that contain Motion events. Thus, I implement a context-free grammar for Spanish. More...

  9. Monolingual Dictionary Use in an EFL Context (United States)

    Ali, Holi Ibrahim Holi


    Caledonian College of Engineering, Oman, has been encouraging its students to use monolingual dictionaries rather than bilingual or bilingualized ones in classroom and during the exams. This policy with has been received with mixed feelings and attitudes. Therefore, this study strives to explore teachers' and students' attitudes about the use of…

  10. Translanguaging in Higher Education: Beyond Monolingual Ideologies (United States)

    Mazak, Catherine M., Ed.; Carroll, Kevin S., Ed.


    This book examines translanguaging in higher education and provides clear examples of what translanguaging looks like in practice in particular contexts around the world. While higher education has historically been seen as a monolingual space, the case studies from the international contexts included in this collection show us that institutions…

  11. Who can communicate with whom? Language experience affects infants' evaluation of others as monolingual or multilingual. (United States)

    Pitts, Casey E; Onishi, Kristine H; Vouloumanos, Athena


    Adults recognize that people can understand more than one language. However, it is unclear whether infants assume other people understand one or multiple languages. We examined whether monolingual and bilingual 20-month-olds expect an unfamiliar person to understand one or more than one language. Two speakers told a listener the location of a hidden object using either the same or two different languages. When different languages were spoken, monolinguals looked longer when the listener searched correctly, bilinguals did not; when the same language was spoken, both groups looked longer for incorrect searches. Infants rely on their prior language experience when evaluating the language abilities of a novel individual. Monolingual infants assume others can understand only one language, although not necessarily the infants' own; bilinguals do not. Infants' assumptions about which community of conventions people belong to may allow them to recognize effective communicative partners and thus opportunities to acquire language, knowledge, and culture. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Vowel reduction patterns of early Spanish- English bilinguals receiving continuous L1 and L2 input

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Byers Emily


    Full Text Available This study investigates the production of three morphophonetic variations of schwa in American English: the plural allomorph {-s} as in watches, the possessive allomorph {-s} as in Sasha’s, and word-finally as in Russia. The production of these three allomorphs were examined in Miami’s English monolingual and early Spanish-English bilingual populations. Our purpose was to determine how native-like early Spanish-English bilinguals′ spectral qualities and reduced vowel durations were compared to Miami English monolinguals during a reading task. Results indicate that early bilinguals′ reduced vowels followed the same overall pattern as monolinguals, but had different acoustic properties.

  13. Measuring growth in bilingual and monolingual children's english productive vocabulary development: the utility of combining parent and teacher report. (United States)

    Vagh, Shaher Banu; Pan, Barbara Alexander; Mancilla-Martinez, Jeannette


    This longitudinal study examined growth in the English productive vocabularies of bilingual and monolingual children between ages 24 and 36 months and explored the utility and validity of supplementing parent reports with teacher reports to improve the estimation of children's vocabulary. Low-income, English-speaking and English/Spanish-speaking parents and Early Head Start and Head Start program teachers completed the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory, Words and Sentences for 85 children. Results indicate faster growth rates for monolingual than for bilingual children and larger vocabularies for bilingual children who spoke mostly English than mostly Spanish at home. Parent-teacher composite reports, like parent reports, significantly related to children's directly assessed productive vocabulary at ages 30 and 36 months, but parent reports fit the model better. Implications for vocabulary assessment are discussed.

  14. A Cultural Perspective on Sexual Health: HIV Positive and Negative Monolingual Hispanic Women in South Florida. (United States)

    Villar-Loubet, Olga M; Vamos, Szonja; Jones, Deborah L; Lopez, Eliot; Weiss, Stephen M


    This study explored feelings and attitudes with regard to HIV and sexual health among 82 monolingual Spanish-speaking, HIV-positive ( n = 30) and at-risk women ( n = 52), participating in the NOW en Español Project-a cognitive behavioral sexual risk-reduction intervention in Miami, Florida. Hispanic cultural values and beliefs, such as machismo, marianismo, and sexual silence, emerged throughout the intervention as important determinants of sexual behavior. Recommendations for integrating these culture-specific issues in sexual health interventions for Hispanic women are provided.

  15. Monolingual accounting dictionaries for EFL text production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Sandro


    Monolingual accounting dictionaries are important for producing financial reporting texts in English in an international setting, because of the lack of specialised bilingual dictionaries. As the intended user groups have different factual and linguistic competences, they require specific types...... text production. The monolingual accounting dictionary needs to include information about UK, US and international accounting terms, their grammatical properties, their potential for being combined with other words in collocations, phrases and sentences in order to meet user requirements. Data items...... of information. By identifying and analysing the users' factual and linguistic competences, user needs, use-situations and the stages involved in producing accounting texts in English as a foreign language, lexicographers will have a sound basis for designing the optimal English accounting dictionary for EFL...

  16. Monolingual Accounting Dictionaries for EFL Text Production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Sandro


    Monolingual accounting dictionaries are important for producing financial reporting texts in English in an international setting, because of the lack of specialised bilingual dictionaries. As the intended user groups have different factual and linguistic competences, they require specific types...... text production. The monolingual accounting dictionary needs to include information about UK, US and international accounting terms, their grammatical properties, their potential for being combined with other words in collocations, phrases and sentences in order to meet user requirements. Data items...... of information. By identifying and analysing the users' factual and linguistic competences, user needs, use-situations and the stages involved in producing accounting texts in English as a foreign language, lexicographers will have a sound basis for designing the optimal English accounting dictionary for EFL...

  17. Predictors of Processing-Based Task Performance in Bilingual and Monolingual Children (United States)

    Buac, Milijana; Gross, Megan; Kaushanskaya, Margarita


    In the present study we examined performance of bilingual Spanish-English-speaking and monolingual English-speaking school-age children on a range of processing-based measures within the framework of Baddeley’s working memory model. The processing-based measures included measures of short-term memory, measures of working memory, and a novel word-learning task. Results revealed that monolinguals outperformed bilinguals on the short-term memory tasks but not the working memory and novel word-learning tasks. Further, children’s vocabulary skills and socioeconomic status (SES) were more predictive of processing-based task performance in the bilingual group than the monolingual group. Together, these findings indicate that processing-based tasks that engage verbal working memory rather than short-term memory may be better-suited for diagnostic purposes with bilingual children. However, even verbal working memory measures are sensitive to bilingual children’s language-specific knowledge and demographic characteristics, and therefore may have limited clinical utility. PMID:27179914

  18. Multilingual Researchers Internationalizing Monolingual English-Only Education through Post-Monolingual Research Methodologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Singh


    Full Text Available The argument advanced in this Special Issue of Education Sciences favors democratizing knowledge production and dissemination across the humanities and social sciences through the mainstreaming of multilingual researchers capabilities for theorizing using their full linguistic repertoire. An important contribution of the papers in this Special Issue is the promise that post-monolingual research methodology holds for collaborative projects among multilingual and monolingual researchers that tap into intercultural divergences across languages. Together these papers give warrant to multilingual researchers, including Higher Degree Researchers develop their capabilities for theorizing using their full linguistic repertoire, an educational innovation that could be of immense benefit to scholars working predominantly monolingual universities. Through their thought provoking papers presented in this Special Issue, these researchers invites those working in the education sciences to seriously consider the potential benefits of multiplying the intellectual resources used for theorizing that is possible through activating, mobilizing and deploying researchers’ multilingual resources in knowledge production and dissemination.

  19. L'application de l'appareil Suvaglingua de correction phonetique a l'enseignement de l'espagnol aux francophones (The Use of the Suvaglingua Synthesizer for Phonetic Correction in Spanish Courses for French Speakers) (United States)

    Sarmiento, Jose; And Others


    Describes the use of the verbo-tonal method of phonetic correction and the Suvaglingua synthesizer in Spanish courses at the International School of Interpreters at Mons, France. (Text is in French.) (PMP)

  20. Spanish as a Second Language when L1 Is Quechua: Endangered Languages and the SLA Researcher (United States)

    Kalt, Susan E.


    Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Quechua is the largest indigenous language family to constitute the first language (L1) of second language (L2) Spanish speakers. Despite sheer number of speakers and typologically interesting contrasts, Quechua-Spanish second language acquisition is a nearly untapped research area,…

  1. Exploratory factor analysis of borderline personality disorder criteria in monolingual Hispanic outpatients with substance use disorders† (United States)

    Becker, Daniel F.; Añez, Luis Miguel; Paris, Manuel; Grilo, Carlos M.


    This study examined the factor structure of the DSM-IV criteria for borderline personality disorder (BPD) in Hispanic patients. Subjects were 130 monolingual Hispanic adults who had been admitted to a specialty outpatient clinic that provides psychiatric and substance abuse services to Spanish-speaking individuals. All were reliably assessed with the Spanish-Language Version of the Diagnostic Interview for DSM-IV Personality Disorders. After evaluating internal consistency of the BPD criterion set, an exploratory factor analysis was performed using principal axis factoring. Results suggested a unidimensional structure, and were consistent with similar studies of the DSM-IV criteria for BPD in non-Hispanic samples. These findings have implications for understanding borderline psychopathology in this population, and for the overall validity of the DSM-IV BPD construct. PMID:20472296

  2. More Limitations to Monolingualism: Bilinguals Outperform Monolinguals in Implicit Word Learning. (United States)

    Escudero, Paola; Mulak, Karen E; Fu, Charlene S L; Singh, Leher


    To succeed at cross-situational word learning, learners must infer word-object mappings by attending to the statistical co-occurrences of novel objects and labels across multiple encounters. While past studies have investigated this as a learning mechanism for infants and monolingual adults, bilinguals' cross-situational word learning abilities have yet to be tested. Here, we compared monolinguals' and bilinguals' performance on a cross-situational word learning paradigm that featured phonologically distinct word pairs (e.g., BON-DEET) and phonologically similar word pairs that varied by a single consonant or vowel segment (e.g., BON-TON, DEET-DIT, respectively). Both groups learned the novel word-referent mappings, providing evidence that cross-situational word learning is a learning strategy also available to bilingual adults. Furthermore, bilinguals were overall more accurate than monolinguals. This supports that bilingualism fosters a wide range of cognitive advantages that may benefit implicit word learning. Additionally, response patterns to the different trial types revealed a relative difficulty for vowel minimal pairs than consonant minimal pairs, replicating the pattern found in monolinguals by Escudero et al. (2016) in a different English accent. Specifically, all participants failed to learn vowel contrasts differentiated by vowel height. We discuss evidence for this bilingual advantage as a language-specific or general advantage.

  3. Lexical and grammatical development in trilingual speakers of isiXhosa, English and Afrikaans. (United States)

    Potgieter, Anneke P


    There is a dearth of normative data on linguistic development among child speakers of Southern African languages, especially in the case of the multilingual children who constitute the largest part of this population. This inevitably impacts on the accuracy of developmental assessments of such speakers. Already negative lay opinion on the effect of early multilingualism on language development rates could be exacerbated by the lack of developmental data, ultimately affecting choices regarding home and school language policies. To establish whether trilinguals necessarily exhibit developmental delay when compared to monolinguals and, if so, whether this delay (1) occurs in terms of both lexical and grammatical development; and (2) in all three the trilinguals' languages, regardless of input quantity. Focusing on isiXhosa, South African English and Afrikaans, the study involved a comparison of 11 four-year-old developing trilinguals' acquisition of vocabulary and passive constructions with that of 10 age-matched monolingual speakers of each language. The trilinguals proved to be monolingual-like in their lexical development in the language to which, on average, they had been exposed most over time, that is, isiXhosa. No developmental delay was found in the trilinguals' acquisition of passive constructions, regardless of the language of testing. As previously found for bilingual development, necessarily reduced quantity of exposure does not hinder lexical development in the trilinguals' input dominant language. The overall lack of delay in their acquisition of the passive is interpreted as possible evidence of cross-linguistic bootstrapping and support for early multilingual exposure.

  4. Temporal Analysis of English and Spanish Narratives. (United States)

    de Johnson, Teresa H.; O'Connell, Daniel C.

    In order to ascertain the effect of different demands on cognitive processes as reflected in speech rate, pause and hesitation phenomena, 90 young men, 45 native speakers of English (U.S.A.) and 45 native speakers of Spanish (Mexico), were asked to retell a story presented in one of three ways: (1) film plus narration; (2) film only; (3) narration…

  5. Verb Errors of Bilingual and Monolingual Basic Writers (United States)

    Griswold, Olga


    This study analyzed the grammatical control of verbs exercised by 145 monolingual English and Generation 1.5 bilingual developmental writers in narrative essays using quantitative and qualitative methods. Generation 1.5 students made more errors than their monolingual peers in each category investigated, albeit in only 2 categories was the…

  6. Swahili learners' views on the need for a monolingual Swahili ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Swahili is a second language to many East and Central Africans, and a foreign language to its learners from Europe, America, Asia and other parts of Africa as well. Yet it lacks a monolingual Swahili learners' dictionary specifically designed for them. The paper discusses the need for a monolingual Swahili pedagogical ...

  7. Swahili Learners' Views on the Need for a Monolingual Swahili ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    monolingual Swahili learners' dictionary specifically designed for them. The paper discusses the need for a monolingual Swahili pedagogical dictionary which helps the foreigner learn the language. A pedagogical dictionary is oriented towards encoding Swahili, hence it is logical that some Swahili grammatical aspects are ...

  8. 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

  9. Psychometric validation and reliability analysis of a Spanish version of the patient satisfaction with cancer-related care measure: a patient navigation research program study. (United States)

    Jean-Pierre, Pascal; Fiscella, Kevin; Winters, Paul C; Paskett, Electra; Wells, Kristen; Battaglia, Tracy


    Patient satisfaction (PS), a key measure of quality of cancer care, is a core study outcome of the multi-site National Cancer Institute-funded Patient Navigation Research Program. Despite large numbers of underserved monolingual Spanish speakers (MSS) residing in USA, there is no validated Spanish measure of PS that spans the whole spectrum of cancer-related care. The present study reports on the validation of the Patient Satisfaction with Cancer Care (PSCC) measure for Spanish (PSCC-Sp) speakers receiving diagnostic and therapeutic cancer-related care. Original PSCC items were professionally translated and back translated to ensure cultural appropriateness, meaningfulness, and equivalence. Then, the resulting 18-item PSCC-Sp measure was administered to 285 MSS. We evaluated latent structure and internal consistency of the PSCC-Sp using principal components analysis (PCA) and Cronbach coefficient alpha (α). We used correlation analyses to demonstrate divergence and convergence of the PSCC-Sp with a Spanish version of the Patient Satisfaction with Interpersonal Relationship with Navigator (PSN-I-Sp) measure and patients' demographics. The PCA revealed a coherent set of items that explicates 47% of the variance in PS. Reliability assessment demonstrated that the PSCC-Sp had high internal consistency (α = 0.92). The PSCC-Sp demonstrated good face validity and convergent and divergent validities as indicated by moderate correlations with the PSN-I-Sp (p = 0.003) and nonsignificant correlations with marital status and household income (all p(s) > 0.05). The PSCC-Sp is a valid and reliable measure of PS and should be tested in other MSS populations.

  10. Monolingual accounting dictionaries for EFL text production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandro Nielsen


    Full Text Available Monolingual accounting dictionaries are important for producing financial reporting texts in English in an international setting, because of the lack of specialised bilingual dictionaries. As the intended user groups have different factual and linguistic competences, they require specific types of information. By identifying and analysing the users' factual and linguistic competences, user needs, use-situations and the stages involved in producing accounting texts in English as a foreign language, lexicographers will have a sound basis for designing the optimal English accounting dictionary for EFL text production. The monolingual accounting dictionary needs to include information about UK, US and international accounting terms, their grammatical properties, their potential for being combined with other words in collocations, phrases and sentences in order to meet user requirements. Data items that deal with these aspects are necessary for the international user group as they produce subject-field specific and register-specific texts in a foreign language, and the data items are relevant for the various stages in text production: draft writing, copyediting, stylistic editing and proofreading.

  11. Developmental change in tone perception in Mandarin monolingual, English monolingual, and Mandarin-English bilingual infants: Divergences between monolingual and bilingual learners. (United States)

    Singh, Leher; Fu, Charlene S L; Seet, Xian Hui; Tong, Ashley P Y; Wang, Joelle L; Best, Catherine T


    Most languages use lexical tone to discriminate the meanings of words. There has been recent interest in tracking the development of tone categories during infancy. These studies have focused largely on monolingual infants learning either a tone language or a non-tone language. It remains to be seen how bilingual infants learning one tone language (e.g., Mandarin) and one non-tone language (e.g., English) discriminate tones. Here, we examined infants' discrimination of two Mandarin tones pairs: one salient and one subtle. Discrimination was investigated in three groups: Mandarin-English bilinguals, English monolinguals, and Mandarin monolinguals at 6 months and 9 months of age in a cross-sectional design. Results demonstrated relatively strong Mandarin tone discrimination in Mandarin monolinguals, with salient tone discrimination at 6 months and both salient and subtle tone discrimination at 9 months. English monolinguals discriminated neither contrast at 6 months but discriminated the salient contrast at 9 months. Surprisingly, there was no evidence for tone discrimination in Mandarin-English bilingual infants. In a second experiment, 12- and 13-month-old Mandarin-English bilingual and English monolingual infants were tested to determine whether bilinguals would demonstrate tone sensitivity at a later age. Results revealed a lack of tone sensitivity at 12 or 13 months in bilingual infants, yet English monolingual infants were sensitive to both salient and subtle Mandarin tone contrasts at 12 or 13 months. Our findings provide evidence for age-related convergence in Mandarin tone discrimination in English and Mandarin monolingual infants and for a distinct pattern of tone discrimination in bilingual infants. Theoretical implications for phonetic category acquisition are discussed. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. Language effects in second-language learners: A longitudinal electrophysiological study of spanish classroom learning. (United States)

    Soskey, Laura; Holcomb, Phillip J; Midgley, Katherine J


    How do the neural mechanisms involved in word recognition evolve over the course of word learning in adult learners of a new second language? The current study sought to closely track language effects, which are differences in electrophysiological indices of word processing between one's native and second languages, in beginning university learners over the course of a single semester of learning. Monolingual L1 English-speakers enrolled in introductory Spanish were first trained on a list of 228 Spanish words chosen from the vocabulary to be learned in class. Behavioral data from the training session and the following experimental sessions spaced over the course of the semester showed expected learning effects. In the three laboratory sessions participants read words in three lists (English, Spanish and mixed) while performing a go/no-go lexical decision task in which event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. As observed in previous studies there were ERP language effects with larger N400s to native than second language words. Importantly, this difference declined over the course of L2 learning with N400 amplitude increasing for new second language words. These results suggest that even over a single semester of learning that new second language words are rapidly incorporated into the word recognition system and begin to take on lexical and semantic properties similar to native language words. Moreover, the results suggest that electrophysiological measures can be used as sensitive measures for tracking the acquisition of new linguistic knowledge. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Cross-Language Modulation of Visual Attention Span: An Arabic-French-Spanish Comparison in Skilled Adult Readers. (United States)

    Awadh, Faris H R; Phénix, Thierry; Antzaka, Alexia; Lallier, Marie; Carreiras, Manuel; Valdois, Sylviane


    In delineating the amount of orthographic information that can be processed in parallel during a single fixation, the visual attention (VA) span acts as a key component of the reading system. Previous studies focused on the contribution of VA span to normal and pathological reading in monolingual and bilingual children from different European languages, without direct cross-language comparison. In the current paper, we explored modulations of VA span abilities in three languages -French, Spanish, and Arabic- that differ in transparency, reading direction and writing systems. The participants were skilled adult readers who were native speakers of French, Spanish or Arabic. They were administered tasks of global and partial letter report, single letter identification and text reading. Their VA span abilities were assessed using tasks that require the processing of briefly presented five consonant strings (e.g., R S H F T). All five consonants had to be reported in global report but a single cued letter in partial report. Results showed that VA span was reduced in Arabic readers as compared to French or Spanish readers who otherwise show a similar high performance in the two report tasks. The analysis of VA span response patterns in global report showed a left-right asymmetry in all three languages. A leftward letter advantage was found in French and Spanish but a rightward advantage in Arabic. The response patterns were symmetric in partial report, regardless of the language. Last, a significant relationship was found between VA span abilities and reading speed but only for French. The overall findings suggest that the size of VA span, the shape of VA span response patterns and the VA Span-reading relationship are modulated by language-specific features.

  15. Cross-language modulation of visual attention span: An Arabic-French-Spanish comparison in adult skilled readers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faris Haroon Rasheed Awadh


    Full Text Available In delineating the amount of orthographic information that can be processed in parallel during a single fixation, the visual attention (VA span acts as a key component of the reading system. Previous studies focused on the contribution of VA span to normal and pathological reading in monolingual and bilingual children from different European languages, without direct cross-language comparison. In the current paper, we explored modulations of VA span abilities in three languages --French, Spanish and Arabic-- that differ in transparency, reading direction and writing systems. The participants were adult skilled readers who were native speakers of French, Spanish or Arabic. They were administered tasks of global and partial letter report, single letter identification and text reading. Their VA span abilities were assessed using tasks that require the processing of briefly presented 5 consonant strings (e.g., R S H F T. All five consonants had to be reported in global report but a single cued letter in partial report. Results showed that the VA span was reduced in Arabic readers as compared to French or Spanish readers who otherwise show a similar high performance in the two report tasks. The analysis of VA span response patterns in global report showed a left-right asymmetry in all three languages. A leftward letter advantage was found in French and Spanish but a rightward advantage in Arabic. The response patterns were symmetric in partial report, regardless of the language. Last, a significant relationship was found between visual attention span abilities and reading speed but only for French. The overall findings suggest that the size of VA span, the shape of VA span response patterns and the VA Span-reading relationship are modulated by language-specific features.

  16. Linguistic and Cognitive Effects of Bilingualism with Regional Minority Languages: A Study of Sardinian–Italian Adult Speakers (United States)

    Garraffa, Maria; Obregon, Mateo; Sorace, Antonella


    This study explores the effects of bilingualism in Sardinian as a regional minority language on the linguistic competence in Italian as the dominant language and on non-linguistic cognitive abilities. Sardinian/Italian adult speakers and monolingual Italian speakers living in the same geographical area of Sardinia were compared in two kinds of tasks: (a) verbal and non-verbal cognitive tasks targeting working memory and attentional control and (b) tasks of linguistic abilities in Italian focused on the comprehension of sentences differing in grammatical complexity. Although no difference was found between bilinguals and monolinguals in the cognitive control of attention, bilinguals performed better on working memory tasks. Bilinguals with lower formal education were found to be faster at comprehension of one type of complex sentence (center embedded object relative clauses). In contrast, bilinguals and monolinguals with higher education showed comparable slower processing of complex sentences. These results show that the effects of bilingualism are modulated by type of language experience and education background: positive effects of active bilingualism on the dominant language are visible in bilinguals with lower education, whereas the effects of higher literacy in Italian obliterate those of active bilingualism in bilinguals and monolinguals with higher education. PMID:29163288

  17. Advanced Cantonese ESL Learners' Use of a Monolingual ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    monolingual dictionaries by Hong Kong advanced Cantonese ESL learners in the production of .... (COBUILD6), and one using Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 5th ...... A Contrastive Study of Pocket Electronic Diction- aries and ...

  18. Age of Acquisition and Sensitivity to Gender in Spanish Word Recognition (United States)

    Foote, Rebecca


    Speakers of gender-agreement languages use gender-marked elements of the noun phrase in spoken-word recognition: A congruent marking on a determiner or adjective facilitates the recognition of a subsequent noun, while an incongruent marking inhibits its recognition. However, while monolinguals and early language learners evidence this…

  19. Unsupervised Word Mapping Using Structural Similarities in Monolingual Embeddings


    Aldarmaki, Hanan; Mohan, Mahesh; Diab, Mona


    Most existing methods for automatic bilingual dictionary induction rely on prior alignments between the source and target languages, such as parallel corpora or seed dictionaries. For many language pairs, such supervised alignments are not readily available. We propose an unsupervised approach for learning a bilingual dictionary for a pair of languages given their independently-learned monolingual word embeddings. The proposed method exploits local and global structures in monolingual vector ...

  20. Infant sensitivity to speaker and language in learning a second label. (United States)

    Bhagwat, Jui; Casasola, Marianella


    Two experiments examined when monolingual, English-learning 19-month-old infants learn a second object label. Two experimenters sat together. One labeled a novel object with one novel label, whereas the other labeled the same object with a different label in either the same or a different language. Infants were tested on their comprehension of each label immediately following its presentation. Infants mapped the first label at above chance levels, but they did so with the second label only when requested by the speaker who provided it (Experiment 1) or when the second experimenter labeled the object in a different language (Experiment 2). These results show that 19-month-olds learn second object labels but do not readily generalize them across speakers of the same language. The results highlight how speaker and language spoken guide infants' acceptance of second labels, supporting sociopragmatic views of word learning. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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).

  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. 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.

  4. Optimal Diphthongs: An OT Analysis of the Acquisition of Spanish Diphthongs (United States)

    Krause, Alice


    This dissertation investigates the acquisition of Spanish diphthongs by adult native speakers of English. The following research questions will be addressed: 1) How do adult native speakers of English pronounce sequences of two vowels in their L2 Spanish at different levels of acquisition? 2) Can OT learnability models, specifically the GLA,…

  5. The auditory attention status in Iranian bilingual and monolingual people

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nayiere Mansoori


    Full Text Available Background and Aim: Bilingualism, as one of the discussing issues of psychology and linguistics, can influence the speech processing. Of several tests for assessing auditory processing, dichotic digit test has been designed to study divided auditory attention. Our study was performed to compare the auditory attention between Iranian bilingual and monolingual young adults. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 60 students including 30 Turkish-Persian bilinguals and 30 Persian monolinguals aged between 18 to 30 years in both genders. Dichotic digit test was performed on young individuals with normal peripheral hearing and right hand preference. Results: No significant correlation was found between the results of dichotic digit test of monolinguals and bilinguals (p=0.195, and also between the results of right and left ears in monolingual (p=0.460 and bilingual (p=0.054 groups. The mean score of women was significantly more than men (p=0.031. Conclusion: There was no significant difference between bilinguals and monolinguals in divided auditory attention; and it seems that acquisition of second language in lower ages has no noticeable effect on this type of auditory attention.

  6. Compiling the First Monolingual Lusoga Dictionary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minah Nabirye


    Full Text Available

    Abstract: In this research article a study is made of the approach followed to compile the first-ever monolingual dictionary for Lusoga. Lusoga is a Bantu language spoken in Uganda by slightly over two mil-lion people. Being an under-resourced language, the Lusoga orthography had to be designed, a grammar written, and a corpus built, before embarking on the compilation of the dictionary. This compilation was aimed at attaining an academic degree, hence requiring a rigorous research methodology. Firstly, the prevail-ing methods for compiling dictionaries were mainly practical and insufficient in explaining the theoretical linguistic basis for dictionary compilation. Since dictionaries are based on meaning, the theory of meaning was used to account for all linguistic data considered in dictionaries. However, meaning is considered at a very abstract level, far removed from the process of compiling dictionaries. Another theory, the theory of modularity, was used to bridge the gap between the theory of meaning and the compilation process. The modular theory explains how the different modules of a language contribute information to the different parts of the dictionary article or dictionary information in general. Secondly, the research also had to contend with the different approaches for analysing Bantu languages for Bantu and European audiences. A descrip-tion of the Bantu- and European-centred approaches to Bantu studies was undertaken in respect of (a the classification of Lusoga words, and (b the specification of their citations. As a result, Lusoga lexicography deviates from the prevailing Bantu classification and citation of nouns, adjectives and verbs in particular. The dictionary was tested on two separate occasions and all the feedback was considered in the compilation pro-cess. This article, then, gives an overall summary of all the steps involved in the compilation of the Eiwanika ly'Olusoga, i.e. the Monolingual Lusoga Dictionary

  7. Lexical and grammatical development in trilingual speakers of isiXhosa, English and Afrikaans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anneke P. Potgieter


    Full Text Available Background: There is a dearth of normative data on linguistic development among child speakers of Southern African languages, especially in the case of the multilingual children who constitute the largest part of this population. This inevitably impacts on the accuracy of developmental assessments of such speakers. Already negative lay opinion on the effect of early multilingualism on language development rates could be exacerbated by the lack of developmental data, ultimately affecting choices regarding home and school language policies. Objectives: To establish whether trilinguals necessarily exhibit developmental delay when compared to monolinguals and, if so, whether this delay (1 occurs in terms of both lexical and grammatical development; and (2 in all three the trilinguals’ languages, regardless of input quantity. Method: Focusing on isiXhosa, South African English and Afrikaans, the study involved a comparison of 11 four-year-old developing trilinguals’ acquisition of vocabulary and passive constructions with that of 10 age-matched monolingual speakers of each language. Results: The trilinguals proved to be monolingual-like in their lexical development in the language to which, on average, they had been exposed most over time, that is, isiXhosa. No developmental delay was found in the trilinguals’ acquisition of passive constructions, regardless of the language of testing. Conclusion: As previously found for bilingual development, necessarily reduced quantity of exposure does not hinder lexical development in the trilinguals’ input dominant language. The overall lack of delay in their acquisition of the passive is interpreted as possible evidence of cross-linguistic bootstrapping and support for early multilingual exposure.

  8. Lexical and grammatical development in trilingual speakers of isiXhosa, English and Afrikaans (United States)


    Background There is a dearth of normative data on linguistic development among child speakers of Southern African languages, especially in the case of the multilingual children who constitute the largest part of this population. This inevitably impacts on the accuracy of developmental assessments of such speakers. Already negative lay opinion on the effect of early multilingualism on language development rates could be exacerbated by the lack of developmental data, ultimately affecting choices regarding home and school language policies. Objectives To establish whether trilinguals necessarily exhibit developmental delay when compared to monolinguals and, if so, whether this delay (1) occurs in terms of both lexical and grammatical development; and (2) in all three the trilinguals’ languages, regardless of input quantity. Method Focusing on isiXhosa, South African English and Afrikaans, the study involved a comparison of 11 four-year-old developing trilinguals’ acquisition of vocabulary and passive constructions with that of 10 age-matched monolingual speakers of each language. Results The trilinguals proved to be monolingual-like in their lexical development in the language to which, on average, they had been exposed most over time, that is, isiXhosa. No developmental delay was found in the trilinguals’ acquisition of passive constructions, regardless of the language of testing. Conclusion As previously found for bilingual development, necessarily reduced quantity of exposure does not hinder lexical development in the trilinguals’ input dominant language. The overall lack of delay in their acquisition of the passive is interpreted as possible evidence of cross-linguistic bootstrapping and support for early multilingual exposure. PMID:27245133

  9. Vocal Fry Use in Adult Female Speakers Exposed to Two Languages. (United States)

    Gibson, Todd A; Summers, Connie; Walls, Sydney


    Several studies have identified the widespread use of vocal fry among American women. Popular explanations for this phenomenon appeal to sociolinguistic purposes that likely take significant time for second language users to learn. The objective of this study was to determine if mere exposure to this vocal register, as opposed to nuanced sociolinguistic motivations, might explain its widespread use. This study used multigroup within- and between-subjects design. Fifty-eight women from one of three language background groups (functionally monolingual in English, functionally monolingual in Spanish, and Spanish-English bilinguals) living in El Paso, Texas, repeated a list of nonwords conforming to the sound rules of English and another list of nonwords conforming to the sound rules of Spanish. Perceptual analysis identified each episode of vocal fry. There were no statistically significant differences between groups in their frequency of vocal fry use despite large differences in their amount of English-language exposure. All groups produced more vocal fry when repeating English than when repeating Spanish nonwords. Because the human perceptual system encodes for vocal qualities even after minimal language experience, the widespread use of vocal fry among female residents in the United States likely is owing to mere exposure to English rather than nuanced sociolinguistic motivations. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Native Speakers in Linguistic Imperialism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  11. Young Spanish-English Speaking Children's Reading Attitudes in Relation to Language Skills (United States)

    Wood, Carla L.; Gabas, Clariebelle M.


    Background: Reading attitudes are recognised as an influencing factor on the language and literacy achievement of school age monolingual English-speaking children. The relationship between reading attitudes and achievement in young Spanish-speaking English Learners (ELs) remains understudied. Purpose: The aim of the current study was to describe…

  12. Spanish and the Church: Intergenerational Language Maintenance in a Hispanic Religious Community (United States)

    Guglani, Laura


    Spanish is being lost at an alarming rate in the United States, for most immigrant families within two to three generations of arrival. Previous research indicates that the third generation of Hispanic immigrants typically becomes English monolingual (Veltman 2000; Appel & Muysken 1987; Fishman 1978). This investigation examines the role…

  13. Executive Functioning in Spanish- and English-Speaking Head Start Preschoolers (United States)

    White, Lisa J.; Greenfield, Daryl B.


    A growing percentage of low-income children in the United States come from Spanish-speaking homes and are dual language learners (DLLs). Recent research shows that bilingual children, compared to monolinguals, have enhanced executive functioning (EF), a set of foundational cognitive skills that predict higher social-emotional competence and…

  14. 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...

  15. Compiling the First Monolingual Lusoga Dictionary | Nabirye | Lexikos

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Another theory, the theory of modularity, was used to bridge the gap between the theory of meaning and the compilation process. The modular ... This article, then, gives an overall summary of all the steps involved in the compilation of the Eiwanika ly'Olusoga, i.e. the Monolingual Lusoga Dictionary. Keywords: lexicography ...

  16. Evaluating Bilingual and Monolingual Dictionaries for L2 Learners. (United States)

    Hunt, Alan


    A discussion of dictionaries and their use for second language (L2) learning suggests that lack of computerized modern language corpora can adversely affect bilingual dictionaries, commonly used by L2 learners, and shows how use of such corpora has benefitted two contemporary monolingual L2 learner dictionaries (1995 editions of the Longman…

  17. The Monolingual Lusoga Dictionary Faced with Demands from a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Monolingual Lusoga Dictionary Faced with Demands from a New User Category. ... Although the information in the WSG may fit the purpose at hand, that information is mainly presented as a summary, with statements of conclusions only. Explanations to ease its access to the new user are thus missing. Findings from a ...

  18. Advanced Cantonese ESL Learners' Use of a Monolingual ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This article reports on the results of a research study which investigated the use of monolingual dictionaries by Hong Kong advanced Cantonese ESL learners in the production of target language sentences. Thirty-one English majors participated in a sentence completion task and a sentence construction task with and ...

  19. School Leadership along the Trajectory from Monolingual to Multilingual (United States)

    Ascenzi-Moreno, Laura; Hesson, Sarah; Menken, Kate


    This article explores the critical role of school leaders in language policy change, and specifically in shifting their language education policies and practices from monolingual to multilingual. We examine the process of language policy change in three schools that were involved in a project aimed at increasing the knowledge base of school…

  20. Which Features of Spanish Learners' Pronunciation Most Impact Listener Evaluations? (United States)

    McBride, Kara


    This study explores which features of Spanish as a foreign language (SFL) pronunciation most impact raters' evaluations. Native Spanish speakers (NSSs) from regions with different pronunciation norms were polled: 147 evaluators from northern Mexico and 99 evaluators from central Argentina. These evaluations were contrasted with ratings from…

  1. Mothers' attitudes toward adolescent confidential services: development and validation of scales for use in English- and Spanish-speaking populations. (United States)

    Tebb, Kathleen P; Pollack, Lance M; Millstein, Shana; Otero-Sabogal, Regina; Wibbelsman, Charles J


    To explore parental beliefs and attitudes about confidential services for their teenagers; and to develop an instrument to assess these beliefs and attitudes that could be used among English and Spanish speakers. The long-term goal is to use this research to better understand and evaluate interventions to improve parental knowledge and attitudes toward their adolescent's access and utilization of comprehensive confidential health services. The instrument was developed using an extensive literature review and theoretical framework followed by qualitative data from focus groups and in-depth interviews. It was then pilot tested with a random sample of English- and Spanish-speaking parents and further revised. The final instrument was administered to a random sample of 1,000 mothers. The psychometric properties of the instrument were assessed for Spanish and English speakers. The instrument consisted of 12 scales. Most Cronbach alphas were >.70 for Spanish and English speakers. Fewer items for Spanish speakers "loaded" for the Responsibility and Communication scales. Parental Control of Health Information failed for Spanish speakers. The Parental Attitudes of Adolescent Confidential Health Services Questionnaire (PAACS-Q) contains 12 scales and is a valid and reliable instrument to assess parental knowledge and attitudes toward confidential health services for adolescents among English speakers and all but one scale was applicable for Spanish speakers. More research is needed to understand key constructs with Spanish speakers. Copyright © 2014 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Speaking with (Dis)respect: A Study of Reactions to Mock Spanish (United States)

    Callahan, Laura


    This paper reports on an investigation into the reactions of 147 participants of various ethnicities to a language practice in the USA that has been characterized as Mock Spanish, a special register in which Spanish words or phrases are used to evoke humor by indexing an often unflattering image of Spanish speakers. Research questions include…

  4. Semantic Categorization of Placement Verbs in L1 and L2 Danish and Spanish (United States)

    Cadierno, Teresa; Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide; Hijazo-Gascón, Alberto


    This study investigates semantic categorization of the meaning of placement verbs by Danish and Spanish native speakers and two groups of intermediate second language (L2) learners (Danish learners of L2 Spanish and Spanish learners of L2 Danish). Participants described 31 video clips picturing different types of placement events. Cluster analyses…

  5. Spanish-Language Learners and Latinos: Two Community-Based Projects (United States)

    López, Sylvia


    The growing U.S. Latino dispersal is allowing for more interactions between students of Spanish and native Spanish speakers. By working with Latino community members, Spanish instructors help meet the standards for foreign language education developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. This article describes 2 projects.…

  6. Marginalization of Local Varieties in the L2 Classroom: The Case of U.S. Spanish (United States)

    Burns, Katharine E.


    The United States is one of the world's most populous Hispanophone countries, with over 35 million Spanish-speakers. In addition, Spanish is the most widely taught foreign language in the United States, with more students enrolled in Spanish at the higher-education level than in all other modern languages combined. How, then, is the United States'…

  7. 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

  8. Initial validation of the Personality Assessment Inventory-Spanish version with clients from Mexican American communities. (United States)

    Rogers, R; Flores, J; Ustad, K; Sewell, K W


    Psychological assessment of Hispanic populations are thwarted by the absence of clinical research on comparability of Spanish translations and the stability of their findings. In this study we examined the potential usefulness of the Spanish Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI; Morey, 1991) for Hispanic clients residing in Mexican American communities. We administered the Spanish version on two occasions to 48 monolingual clients and the Spanish and English versions to 21 bilingual clients. Results indicated that the clinical scales had a moderate to good correspondence for Spanish-English (M r = .72) and good test-retest reliability for Spanish-Spanish (M r = .79). Much more variation was observed for the validity scales and the treatment/interpersonal scales. Also more variability was observed in the convergence of elevations across administrations. Because of these mixed results, we discuss the potential usefulness of the PAI clinical scales to screen for major psychopathology.

  9. 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…

  10. Morphological Errors in Spanish Second Language Learners and Heritage Speakers (United States)

    Montrul, Silvina


    Morphological variability and the source of these errors have been intensely debated in SLA. A recurrent finding is that postpuberty second language (L2) learners often omit or use the wrong affix for nominal and verbal inflections in oral production but less so in written tasks. According to the missing surface inflection hypothesis, L2 learners…

  11. Acquisition of German pluralization rules in monolingual and multilingual children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugen Zaretsky


    Full Text Available Existing studies on plural acquisition in German have relied on small samples and thus hardly deliver generalizable and differentiated results. Here, overgeneralizations of certain plural allomorphs and other tendencies in the acquisition of German plural markers are described on the basis of test data from 7,394 3- to 5-yearold monolingual German and bi/multilingual immigrant children tested with a modified, validated version of the Marburger Sprachscreening (MSS language test and 476 children tested with the SETK 3-5 language test. Classified correct and wrong answers to MSS and SETK 3-5 plural items were compared. The acquisition patterns of immigrants corresponded to those of younger German children. Both monolingual German and immigrant children demonstrated generally the same universal frequency and phonetically/phonologically based error patterns, irrespective of their linguistic background, but with different tendencies such as overgeneralization of -s by German children only.

  12. Effective Look-up Techniques to Approach a Monolingual Dictionary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nauman Al Amin Ali El Sayed


    Full Text Available A dictionary is (a learning tool that can help the language learner in acquiring great knowledge of and about a foreign language. Almost all language learners buy or at least possess, at one time, a monolingual or bilingual dictionary, to which the learner may refer to look up the meaning of words. Unfortunately, using dictionary to look up the meaning of words seems to be the most important service, which a dictionary is expected to provide to language learners. In fact, a dictionary provides much data about language to its readers such as telling them about: the word spelling, phonology, phonetics, etymology, stylistics and definitions among other aspects. This paper sheds light on how the dictionary can teach its readers with special focus on monolingual dictionary. Hence, the discussion of this paper will centre on how dictionaries can teach students rather than on how students can learn from them.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyuchukov, H.


    Full Text Available The study presents a small research project on Russian monolingual children in Moscow, and Turkish bilingual children living in Berlin, Germany. The children were examined with using the Test of Early Language Development (3rd ed., and despite the limitations of the study, the findings point up interesting tendencies. In the comprehension section of the test, the Russian monolinguals did much better than the Turkish bilinguals; however, in the section testing production, both groups of children had the same results. All children had difficulties in acquisition of abstract terms, certain prepositions, complex sentences and retelling or creating a story narrative from pictures. Bilingualism is not an obstacle for mother tongue development, but it seems there are universal factors which influence the process of language acquisition.

  14. Criteria for Selecting a Monolingual Dictionary for Learners


    Colin, Rogers


    There are a bewildering number of monolingual dictionaries on the market in Japan, including new learner dictionaries which give students a great deal of potentially useful information about how to use words. However it is essential to carefully evaluate dictionaries to ensure that they meet the needs of the learners who will use them. This article sets out some criteria to help make such decisions.

  15. Spanish I

    CERN Document Server

    Rodriguez, Jill


    CliffsQuickReview course guides cover the essentials of your toughest classes. Get a firm grip on core concepts and key material, and test your newfound knowledge with review questions. CliffsQuickReview Spanish I is meant to provide all the foundations of basic Spanish pronunciation, spelling, and sentence construction. Spanish grammar is systematically explained in its most simplistic way, so there's no need for any prerequisite before beginning this ""review"" of the equivalent of two years of high school Spanish. As you work your way through this review, you'll be ready to tackle such conc

  16. Trends of development of monolingualism and bilingualism in the educational policy of the United States


    Bakhov, Ivan


    The article analyzes the monolingualism policy opposed to the policy of bilingualism inthe language policy of the United States. The author considers the historical background,issues and implementation mechanisms of the monolingualism policy in the multiethnic state,the result of which is directed against cultural diversity and immigrant minority languages.The article defines sources of English monolingualism ideology, racial hostility of majoritytoward minority, ethnic conflict between the m...

  17. Limits on Monolingualism? A comparison of monolingual and bilingual infants’ abilities to integrate lexical tone in novel word learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leher eSingh


    Full Text Available To construct their first lexicon, infants must determine the relationship between native phonological variation and the meanings of words. This process is arguably more complex for bilingual learners who are often confronted with phonological conflict: phonological variation that is lexically relevant in one language may be lexically irrelevant in the other. In a series of four experiments, the present study investigated English-Mandarin bilingual infants’ abilities to negotiate phonological conflict introduced by learning both a tone and a non-tone language. In a novel word learning task, bilingual children were tested on their sensitivity to tone variation in English and Mandarin contexts. Their abilities to interpret tone variation in a language-dependent manner were compared to those of monolingual Mandarin learning infants. Results demonstrated that at 12 to 13 months, bilingual infants demonstrated the ability to bind tone to word meanings in Mandarin, but to disregard tone variation when learning new words in English. In contrast, monolingual learners of Mandarin did not show evidence of integrating tones into word meanings in Mandarin at the same age even though they were learning a tone language. However, a tone discrimination paradigm confirmed that monolingual Mandarin learning infants were able to tell these tones apart at 12 to 13 months under a different set of conditions. Later, at 17 to 18 months, monolingual Mandarin learners were able to bind tone variation to word meanings when learning new words. Our findings are discussed in terms of cognitive adaptations associated with bilingualism that may ease the negotiation of phonological conflict and facilitate precocious uptake of certain properties of each language.

  18. Preliminary Evaluation of the Validity and Reliability of the Spanish Version of the Therapeutic Alliance with Clinician (TAC) Questionnaire (United States)

    Bedregal, Luis E.; Paris, Manuel Jr.; Anez, Luis M.; Shahar, Golan; Davidson, Larry


    As part of a broader study aimed at evaluating perceived alliance with service providers and level of satisfaction with services received, 103 monolingual Spanish speaking Hispanic women were interviewed. Participants were receiving ongoing behavioral health treatment at three different community service provider sites located in the greater New…

  19. "You Know Spanish, Right?": Language for Specific Purposes and the Challenge of Teaching Content Areas and Lexical Domain (United States)

    Jackson, Douglas A.; Polchow, Shannon M.


    In a typically monolingual state, those students who do possess a second language are poised to better integrate themselves into the international business community, yet, possessing (for example) a Spanish degree does not indicate proficiency. Unless students have been exposed to a variety of subjects relating to law, health care, business, and…

  20. Total and Conceptual Vocabulary in Spanish-English Bilinguals from 22 to 30 Months: Implications for Assessment (United States)

    Core, Cynthia; Hoff, Erika; Rumiche, Rosario; Senor, Melissa


    Purpose: Vocabulary assessment holds promise as a way to identify young bilingual children at risk for language delay. This study compares 2 measures of vocabulary in a group of young Spanish-English bilingual children to a single-language measure used with monolingual children. Method: Total vocabulary and conceptual vocabulary were used to…

  1. Age of acquisition and allophony in Spanish-English bilinguals (United States)

    Barlow, Jessica A.


    This study examines age of acquisition (AoA) in Spanish-English bilinguals’ phonetic and phonological knowledge of /l/ in English and Spanish. In English, the lateral approximant /l/ varies in darkness by context [based on the second formant (F2) and the difference between F2 and the first formant (F1)], but the Spanish /l/ does not. Further, English /l/ is overall darker than Spanish /l/. Thirty-eight college-aged adults participated: 11 Early Spanish-English bilinguals who learned English before the age of 5 years, 14 Late Spanish-English bilinguals who learned English after the age of 6 years, and 13 English monolinguals. Participants’ /l/ productions were acoustically analyzed by language and context. The results revealed a Spanish-to-English phonetic influence on /l/ productions for both Early and Late bilinguals, as well as an English-to-Spanish phonological influence on the patterning of /l/ for the Late Bilinguals. These findings are discussed in terms of the Speech Learning Model and the effect of AoA on the interaction between a bilingual speaker’s two languages. PMID:24795664

  2. The Treatment of Polysemy and Homonymy in Monolingual General ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Whatever results are obtained from a particular criterion, these findings must be compared with those of other criteria, and verified against native speakers' intuitive knowledge and introspective judgements. Keywords: Polysemy, Homonymy, Metaphor, Conceptual Meaning, Etymology, Homophones, Homographs, Lemma, ...

  3. Longitudinal analysis of receptive vocabulary growth in young Spanish English-speaking children from migrant families. (United States)

    Jackson, Carla Wood; Schatschneider, Christopher; Leacox, Lindsey


    The authors of this study described developmental trajectories and predicted kindergarten performance of Spanish and English receptive vocabulary acquisition of young Latino/a English language learners (ELLs) from socioeconomically disadvantaged migrant families. In addition, the authors examined the extent to which gender and individual initial performance in Spanish predict receptive vocabulary performance and growth rate. The authors used hierarchical linear modeling of 64 children's receptive vocabulary performance to generate growth trajectories, predict performance at school entry, and examine potential predictors of rate of growth. The timing of testing varied across children. The ELLs (prekindergarten to 2nd grade) participated in 2-5 testing sessions, each 6-12 months apart. The ELLs' average predicted standard score on an English receptive vocabulary at kindergarten was nearly 2 SDs below the mean for monolingual peers. Significant growth in the ELLs' receptive vocabulary was observed between preschool and 2nd grade, indicating that the ELLs were slowly closing the receptive vocabulary gap, although their average score remained below the standard score mean for age-matched monolingual peers. The ELLs demonstrated a significant decrease in Spanish receptive vocabulary standard scores over time. Initial Spanish receptive vocabulary was a significant predictor of growth in English receptive vocabulary. High initial Spanish receptive vocabulary was associated with greater growth in English receptive vocabulary and decelerated growth in Spanish receptive vocabulary. Gender was not a significant predictor of growth in either English or Spanish receptive vocabulary. ELLs from low socioeconomic backgrounds may be expected to perform lower in English compared with their monolingual English peers in kindergarten. Performance in Spanish at school entry may be useful in identifying children who require more intensive instructional support for English vocabulary

  4. Effective Look-up Techniques to Approach a Monolingual Dictionary


    Nauman Al Amin Ali El Sayed; Ahmed Gumaa Siddiek


    A dictionary is (a) learning tool that can help the language learner in acquiring great knowledge of and about a foreign language. Almost all language learners buy or at least possess, at one time, a monolingual or bilingual dictionary, to which the learner may refer to look up the meaning of words. Unfortunately, using dictionary to look up the meaning of words seems to be the most important service, which a dictionary is expected to provide to language learners. In fact, a dictionary provid...

  5. The Role of Accessibility of Semantic Word Knowledge in Monolingual and Bilingual Fifth-Grade Reading (United States)

    Cremer, M.; Schoonen, R.


    The influences of word decoding, availability, and accessibility of semantic word knowledge on reading comprehension were investigated for monolingual "("n = 65) and bilingual children ("n" = 70). Despite equal decoding abilities, monolingual children outperformed bilingual children with regard to reading comprehension and…

  6. Differential Language Functioning of Monolinguals and Bilinguals on Positive-Negative Emotional Expression (United States)

    Kheirzadeh, Shiela; Hajiabed, Mohammadreza


    The present interdisciplinary research investigates the differential emotional expression between Persian monolinguals and Persian-English bilinguals. In other words, the article was an attempt to answer the questions whether bilinguals and monolinguals differ in the expression of positive and negative emotions elicited through sad and happy…

  7. Orthographic Context Sensitivity in Vowel Decoding by Portuguese Monolingual and Portuguese-English Bilingual Children (United States)

    Vale, Ana Paula


    This study examines the pronunciation of the first vowel in decoding disyllabic pseudowords derived from Portuguese words. Participants were 96 Portuguese monolinguals and 52 Portuguese-English bilinguals of equivalent Portuguese reading levels. The results indicate that sensitivity to vowel context emerges early, both in monolinguals and in…

  8. Language Proficiency and Executive Control in Proactive Interference: Evidence from Monolingual and Bilingual Children and Adults (United States)

    Bialystok, Ellen; Feng, Xiaojia


    Two studies are reported in which monolingual and bilingual children (Study 1) and adults (Study 2) completed a memory task involving proactive interference. In both cases, the bilinguals attained lower scores on a vocabulary test than monolinguals but performed the same on the proactive interference task. For the children, bilinguals made fewer…

  9. Behavioral and Electrophysiological Differences in Executive Control between Monolingual and Bilingual Children (United States)

    Barac, Raluca; Moreno, Sylvain; Bialystok, Ellen


    This study examined executive control in sixty-two 5-year-old children who were monolingual or bilingual using behavioral and event-related potentials (ERPs) measures. All children performed equivalently on simple response inhibition (gift delay), but bilingual children outperformed monolinguals on interference suppression and complex response…

  10. Development and preliminary evaluation of a pediatric Spanish-English speech perception task. (United States)

    Calandruccio, Lauren; Gomez, Bianca; Buss, Emily; Leibold, Lori J


    The purpose of this study was to develop a task to evaluate children's English and Spanish speech perception abilities in either noise or competing speech maskers. Eight bilingual Spanish-English and 8 age-matched monolingual English children (ages 4.9-16.4 years) were tested. A forced-choice, picture-pointing paradigm was selected for adaptively estimating masked speech reception thresholds. Speech stimuli were spoken by simultaneous bilingual Spanish-English talkers. The target stimuli were 30 disyllabic English and Spanish words, familiar to 5-year-olds and easily illustrated. Competing stimuli included either 2-talker English or 2-talker Spanish speech (corresponding to target language) and spectrally matched noise. For both groups of children, regardless of test language, performance was significantly worse for the 2-talker than for the noise masker condition. No difference in performance was found between bilingual and monolingual children. Bilingual children performed significantly better in English than in Spanish in competing speech. For all listening conditions, performance improved with increasing age. Results indicated that the stimuli and task were appropriate for speech recognition testing in both languages, providing a more conventional measure of speech-in-noise perception as well as a measure of complex listening. Further research is needed to determine performance for Spanish-dominant listeners and to evaluate the feasibility of implementation into routine clinical use.

  11. Who Will Be Bilingual? A Critical Discourse Analysis of a Spanish-English Bilingual Pair (United States)

    Nuñez, Idalia; Palmer, Deborah


    This article presents a basic interpretive qualitative study that examined how two students, a dominant Spanish speaker (Joel) and a dominant English speaker (Carter) used languages during their microinteractions in pair work in a dual language kindergarten classroom. The purpose of this study was to understand the relationship between language…

  12. 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

  13. The immediate and chronic influence of spatio-temporal metaphors on the mental representations of time in English, Mandarin, and Mandarin-English speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vicky T. Lai


    Full Text Available In this paper we examine whether experience with spatial metaphors for time has an influence on people’s representation of time. In particular we ask whether spatiotemporal metaphors can have both chronic and immediate effects on temporal thinking. In Study 1, we examine the prevalence of ego-moving representations for time in Mandarin speakers, English speakers, and Mandarin-English (ME bilinguals. As predicted by observations in linguistic analyses, we find that Mandarin speakers are less likely to take an ego-moving perspective than are English speakers. Further, we find that ME bilinguals tested in English are less likely to take an ego-moving perspective than are English monolinguals (an effect of L1 on meaning-making in L2, and also that ME bilinguals tested in Mandarin are more likely to take an ego-moving perspective than are Mandarin monolinguals (an effect of L2 on meaning-making in L1. These findings demonstrate that habits of metaphor use in one language can influence temporal reasoning in another language, suggesting the metaphors can have a chronic effect on patterns in thought. In Study 2 we test Mandarin speakers using either horizontal or vertical metaphors in the immediate context of the task. We find that Mandarin speakers are more likely to construct front-back representations of time when understanding front-back metaphors, and more likely to construct up-down representations of time when understanding up-down metaphors. These findings demonstrate that spatiotemporal metaphors can also have an immediate influence on temporal reasoning. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that the metaphors we use to talk about time have both immediate and long-term consequences for how we conceptualize and reason about this fundamental domain of experience.

  14. Noun and verb knowledge in monolingual preschool children across 17 languages: Data from Cross-linguistic Lexical Tasks (LITMUS-CLT). (United States)

    Haman, Ewa; Łuniewska, Magdalena; Hansen, Pernille; Simonsen, Hanne Gram; Chiat, Shula; Bjekić, Jovana; Blažienė, Agnė; Chyl, Katarzyna; Dabašinskienė, Ineta; Engel de Abreu, Pascale; Gagarina, Natalia; Gavarró, Anna; Håkansson, Gisela; Harel, Efrat; Holm, Elisabeth; Kapalková, Svetlana; Kunnari, Sari; Levorato, Chiara; Lindgren, Josefin; Mieszkowska, Karolina; Montes Salarich, Laia; Potgieter, Anneke; Ribu, Ingeborg; Ringblom, Natalia; Rinker, Tanja; Roch, Maja; Slančová, Daniela; Southwood, Frenette; Tedeschi, Roberta; Tuncer, Aylin Müge; Ünal-Logacev, Özlem; Vuksanović, Jasmina; Armon-Lotem, Sharon


    This article investigates the cross-linguistic comparability of the newly developed lexical assessment tool Cross-linguistic Lexical Tasks (LITMUS-CLT). LITMUS-CLT is a part the Language Impairment Testing in Multilingual Settings (LITMUS) battery (Armon-Lotem, de Jong & Meir, 2015). Here we analyse results on receptive and expressive word knowledge tasks for nouns and verbs across 17 languages from eight different language families: Baltic (Lithuanian), Bantu (isiXhosa), Finnic (Finnish), Germanic (Afrikaans, British English, South African English, German, Luxembourgish, Norwegian, Swedish), Romance (Catalan, Italian), Semitic (Hebrew), Slavic (Polish, Serbian, Slovak) and Turkic (Turkish). The participants were 639 monolingual children aged 3;0-6;11 living in 15 different countries. Differences in vocabulary size were small between 16 of the languages; but isiXhosa-speaking children knew significantly fewer words than speakers of the other languages. There was a robust effect of word class: accuracy was higher for nouns than verbs. Furthermore, comprehension was more advanced than production. Results are discussed in the context of cross-linguistic comparisons of lexical development in monolingual and bilingual populations.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Eventive and Stative Passives in Spanish L2 Acquisition: A Matter of Aspect (United States)

    De Garavito, Joyce Bruhn; Valenzuela, Elena


    This paper reports on an empirical study that examined knowledge of eventive and stative passives in the L2 Spanish grammar of L1 speakers of English. Although the two types of passive exist in English, the difference between them is not signaled in any specific way. In Spanish, in contrast, the distinction is marked by the choice of copula: "ser"…

  18. Negative Transfer from Spanish and English to Portuguese Pronunciation: The Roles of Inhibition and Working Memory (United States)

    Trude, Alison M.; Tokowicz, Natasha


    We examined negative transfer from English and Spanish to Portuguese pronunciation. Participants were native English speakers, some of whom spoke Spanish. Participants completed a computer-based Portuguese pronunciation tutorial and then pronounced trained letter-to-sound correspondences in unfamiliar Portuguese words; some shared orthographic…

  19. Use of Monolingual and Bilingual Dictionaries among Students of English

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Kavalir


    Full Text Available The study of dictionary use in 32 firstyear students of English at the University of Ljubljana in the academic year 2009/2010 shows that students use a variety of dictionaries with a slight preponderance of monolingual dictionaries over bilingual ones. The bilingual dictionaries listed do not include some of the most recent and most comprehensive dictionaries while some of the most frequently used resources are quite modest sized. The students are already predominantly users of electronic and online dictionaries with a lower frequency of printed resources – a trend which is only likely to accelerate with the advent of new bilingual online dictionaries. These results have practical relevance for teachers in all sectors, from primary and secondary schools to universities, as they point towards a need for additional training in the use of bilingual dictionaries. The transition from printed to electronic and online resources can also be expected to induce changes in EFL methodology at all levels.

  20. Awareness of Racial Diversity in the Spanish-Speaking World among L2 Spanish Speakers (United States)

    Abreu, Laurel


    For more than 30 years, foreign language instructors have considered approaches to teaching their students about Afro-Latin cultures, yet little research appears to address students' actual awareness of these populations. Using a photo ratings survey, the present study explored the perceptions of postsecondary second language learners and their…

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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,

  4. Diccionario de palabras equivocas o malsonantes en Espana, Hispanoamerica y Filipinas: Continuacion. (Dictionary of Ambiguous or Offensive Words in Spain, Spanish America and the Philippines: Continued) (United States)

    Criado de Val, Manuel


    This list of obscene, ambiguous, or offensive Spanish words indicates their off-color meaning in various Spanish-speaking countries. The list comprises words beginning with letters H-M, and is intended to protect the traveller or non-native speaker from embarrassment. It is a continuation of a previous article. (Text is in Spanish.) (CHK)

  5. Effects of primary and secondary morphological family size in monolingual and bilingual word processing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, K.; Dijkstra, A.F.J.; Schreuder, R.; Baayen, Harald


    This study investigated primary and secondary morphological family size effects in monolingual and bilingual processing, combining experimentation with computational modeling. Family size effects were investigated in an English lexical decision task for Dutch-English bilinguals and English

  6. Compositions in English: Comparing the Works of Monolinguals, Passive Bilinguals, and Active Bilinguals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Eka Rini


    Full Text Available This study tries to see whether the subjects’ “monolingualism” and “bilingualism” (monolinguals learning an L2 and bilinguals learning an L3 influence their study on English, especially writing. The term “bilinguals” also means “multilinguals” in this study. Bilinguals in this paper are classified into two; first, passive bilinguals who are only exposed to another local language, besides speaking Bahasa Indonesia at home, and second, active bilinguals who are exposed to and also speak other language(s and Bahasa Indonesia at home. The findings show that the monolingual and the active bilingual are better than the passive one; the active bilingual is better than the monolingual. However, if the passive and the active bilingual are combined, the monolingual is better than the bilinguals.

  7. Translation Priming Effect in Spanish-English Bilinguals (United States)

    Ramírez Sarmiento, Albeiro Miguel Ángel


    This article aims to establish the effects of masked priming by translation equivalents in Spanish-English bilinguals with a high-intermediate level of proficiency in their second language. Its findings serve as evidence to support the hypothesis that semantic representations mediate the mental association among non-cognates from a speaker's first…

  8. 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

  9. An Acoustically Based Sociolinguistic Analysis of Variable Coda /s/ Production in the Spanish of New York City (United States)

    Erker, Daniel Gerard


    This study examines a major linguistic event underway in New York City. Of its 10 million inhabitants, nearly a third are speakers of Spanish. This community is socially and linguistically diverse: Some speakers are recent arrivals from Latin America while others are lifelong New Yorkers. Some have origins in the Caribbean, the historic source of…

  10. Age of dementia diagnosis in community dwelling bilingual and monolingual Hispanic Americans. (United States)

    Lawton, Deborah M; Gasquoine, Philip G; Weimer, Amy A


    Bilingualism has been reported to delay the age of retrospective report of first symptom in dementia. This study determined if the age of clinically diagnosed Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia occurred later for bilingual than monolingual, immigrant and U.S. born, Hispanic Americans. It involved a secondary analysis of the subset of 81 bi/monolingual dementia cases identified at yearly follow-up (1998 through 2008) using neuropsychological test results and objective diagnostic criteria from the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging that involved a random sampling of community dwelling Hispanic Americans (N = 1789). Age of dementia diagnosis was analyzed in a 2 × 2 (bi/monolingualism × immigrant/U.S. born) ANOVA that space revealed both main effects and the interaction were non-significant. Mean age of dementia diagnosis was descriptively (but not significantly) higher in the monolingual (M = 81.10 years) than the bilingual (M = 79.31) group. Overall, bilingual dementia cases were significantly better educated than monolinguals, but U.S. born bilinguals and monolinguals did not differ significantly in education. Delays in dementia symptomatology pertaining to bilingualism are less likely to be found in studies: (a) that use age of clinical diagnosis vs. retrospective report of first dementia symptom as the dependent variable; and (b) involve clinical cases derived from community samples rather than referrals to specialist memory clinics. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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...

  12. Spanish Visit

    CERN Multimedia


    On 23 January, CERN welcomed a visit by Pedro Morenés Eulate, Spanish Secretary of State for Scientific and Technological Policy. He was taken on a tour of the LHC Superconducting test facility, the CMS magnet assembly hall and the civil engineering works at Point 5. After a brief presentation on the AMS (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer) experiment, delivered by Sam Ting, and lunch hosted by Director General Robert Aymar, he continued his tour of the ATLAS assembly hall and the ISOLDE experimental hall. Pedro Morenés finished his visit by meeting with the Spanish scientific community working at CERN. From left to right: Juan-Antonio Rubio, CERN, Responsible for the Education & Communication, Technology transfer and Scientific Information groups; Gonzalo León, General Secretary of the Spanish Ministry; Joaquín Pérez-Villanueva y Tovar, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations Office; Robert Aymar, CERN Director General; Maria-José Garcia-Borge, ISOLDE and NTOF, CSIC Madrid Tea...

  13. The Effects of Shona Language Change on Monolingual Lexicography: The Need for a Revised Alphabet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Zivenge


    Full Text Available

    ABSTRACT: In this article, the phenomenon of Shona language change, its effects on lexicography and the need for a revised alphabet are discussed. Because of the defective Shona alphabet, lexicographers at the African Languages Research Institute (ALRI encountered problems in handling some words that were potential headwords in dictionaries they were compiling under the ALLEX project. The current Shona alphabet is unable to realize quite a number of sounds and morphemes in lexical items in everyday use by the native Shona speakers, because they are alien loanwords. The article was prompted by the challenges encountered during the compilation of Duramazwi reMimhanzi (Shona Musical Terms Dictionary. It shows how language change accounts for the problem of headword selection and how modifying the current alphabet can enhance monolingual Shona lexicographical work vis-à-vis the development of the Shona language. It therefore stresses the need for a revised alphabet so as to solve orthographical problems during dictionary compilation.

    PFUPISO YECHINYORWA: Matambudziko Anosanganwa Nawo Mukugadzira Maduramazwi eMutauro Mumwe chete neKuda Kwekushanduka Kwemutauro weChiShona: Panofanirwa Kuva neManyorerwo eChiShona Matsva. Muchinyorwa chino vanyori vanoongorora kushanduka kuri kuita mutauro weChiShona nekufamba kuri kuita nguva nematambudziko anosanganikwa nawo nekuda kweshanduko iyi zvikurusei mukugadzira maduramazwi ari mururimi rweChiShona chete. Vanyori vanoonesawo pfungwa yekuti panodiwa manyorerwo matsva. Nyanzvi dzinogadzira maduramazwi paAfrican Languages Research Institute (ALRI dzinosangana namadambudziko esarudzo yamazwi padzinenge dzichisarudza mazwi adzinenge dzichida kuisa mumaduramazwi adzinogadzira pachirongwa chokugadzira maduramazwi chinonzi ALLEX. Dambudziko resarudzo yemazwi rinowanikwa nekuda kwechimiro chebumbiro remanyorerwo eChiShona risingatenderi mamwe mavara ari mune imwe mitauro asiri muChiShona. Bumbiro iri

  14. 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)

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Predicting English Word Reading Skills for Spanish-Speaking Students in First Grade. (United States)

    Páez, Mariela; Rinaldi, Claudia


    This article describes the word reading skills in English and Spanish for a sample of 244 Spanish-speaking, English-learning (hence, bilingual) students in first grade and presents a predictive model for English word reading skills. The children in the study were assessed at the end of kindergarten and first grade, respectively. Data were gathered with 3 subtests of the Woodcock Language Proficiency Battery and a researcher-developed phonological awareness task. Results showed that, on average, children's English word reading skills were similar to monolingual norms whereas their Spanish word reading skills averaged 1 SD below the mean. English vocabulary, English phonological awareness, and Spanish word reading skills in kindergarten were found to be significant predictors of English word reading skills in first grade. Educational implications for screening language and reading skills and promising areas for targeted instruction for this population are discussed.

  18. The relation between working memory and language comprehension in signers and speakers. (United States)

    Emmorey, Karen; Giezen, Marcel R; Petrich, Jennifer A F; Spurgeon, Erin; O'Grady Farnady, Lucinda


    This study investigated the relation between linguistic and spatial working memory (WM) resources and language comprehension for signed compared to spoken language. Sign languages are both linguistic and visual-spatial, and therefore provide a unique window on modality-specific versus modality-independent contributions of WM resources to language processing. Deaf users of American Sign Language (ASL), hearing monolingual English speakers, and hearing ASL-English bilinguals completed several spatial and linguistic serial recall tasks. Additionally, their comprehension of spatial and non-spatial information in ASL and spoken English narratives was assessed. Results from the linguistic serial recall tasks revealed that the often reported advantage for speakers on linguistic short-term memory tasks does not extend to complex WM tasks with a serial recall component. For English, linguistic WM predicted retention of non-spatial information, and both linguistic and spatial WM predicted retention of spatial information. For ASL, spatial WM predicted retention of spatial (but not non-spatial) information, and linguistic WM did not predict retention of either spatial or non-spatial information. Overall, our findings argue against strong assumptions of independent domain-specific subsystems for the storage and processing of linguistic and spatial information and furthermore suggest a less important role for serial encoding in signed than spoken language comprehension. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Manifestations of developmental dyslexia in monolingual Persian speaking students. (United States)

    Pouretemad, Hamid R; Khatibi, Ali; Zarei, Mojtaba; Stein, John


    Manifestations of dyslexia depend on language systems and scripts. This study explored the prevalence and clinical features of developmental dyslexia among monolingual Persian students and provided insights on mechanisms involved in reading Persian. To measure reading ability we developed a new instrument, Analysis of Persian Reading Ability, which had acceptable validity and reliability. A total of 1562 children aged 6 ½ - 14 were randomly selected from a population of 109696 primary school students in the city of Qom, Iran. Using a variety of statistical and clinical criteria, 82 (5.2%) of the sample were classified as dyslexics. A detailed analysis of reading errors revealed eight types of errors related to three categories. The most frequent category in both dyslexic and the matched control group was phonological, followed by pragmatic and visual errors. The observed prevalence rate of dyslexia and reading error categories would suggest that Persian in vowel-free format is an opaque language and predominant use of a sub-lexical strategy is involved when reading Persian.

  1. Verbal fluency in bilingual Spanish/English Alzheimer's disease patients. (United States)

    Salvatierra, Judy; Rosselli, Monica; Acevedo, Amarilis; Duara, Ranjan


    Studies have demonstrated that in verbal fluency tests, monolinguals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) show greater difficulties retrieving words based on semantic rather than phonemic rules. The present study aimed to determine whether this difficulty was reproduced in both languages of Spanish/English bilinguals with mild to moderate AD whose primary language was Spanish. Performance on semantic and phonemic verbal fluency of 11 bilingual AD patients was compared to the performance of 11 cognitively normal, elderly bilingual individuals matched for gender, age, level of education, and degree of bilingualism. Cognitively normal subjects retrieved significantly more items under the semantic condition compared to the phonemic, whereas the performance of AD patients was similar under both conditions, suggesting greater decline in semantic verbal fluency tests. This pattern was produced in both languages, implying a related semantic decline in both languages. Results from this study should be considered preliminary because of the small sample size.

  2. Reaching Spanish-speaking smokers online: a 10-year worldwide research program

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    Ricardo Felipe Muñoz


    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To describe a 10-year proof-of-concept smoking cessation research program evaluating the reach of online health interventions throughout the Americas. METHODS: Recruitment occurred from 2002 - 2011, primarily using AdWords. Over 6 million smokers from the Americas entered keywords related to smoking cessation; 57 882 smokers (15 912 English speakers and 41 970 Spanish speakers were recruited into online self-help automated intervention studies. To examine disparities in utilization of methods to quit smoking, cessation aids used by English speakers and Spanish speakers were compared. To determine whether online interventions reduce disparities, abstinence rates were also compared. Finally, the reach of the intervention was illustrated for three large Spanish-speaking countries of the Americas-Argentina, Mexico, and Peru-and the United States of America. RESULTS: Few participants had utilized other methods to stop smoking before coming to the Internet site; most reported using no previous smoking cessation aids: 69.2% of Spanish speakers versus 51.8% of English speakers (P < 0.01. The most used method was nicotine gum, 13.9%. Nicotine dependence levels were similar to those reported for in-person smoking cessation trials. Overall observed quit rate for English speakers was 38.1% and for Spanish speakers, 37.0%; quit rates in which participants with missing data were considered to be smoking were 11.1% and 10.6%, respectively. Neither comparison was significantly different. CONCLUSIONS: The systematic use of evidence-based Internet interventions for health problems could have a broad impact throughout the Americas, at little or no cost to individuals or to ministries of health.

  3. Analyzing cognitive and spelling skills in Spanish-speaking English-language learners and English-speaking Canadian learners Analizando procesos cognitivos y de escritura en niños hispano-parlantes que aprenden inglés como segunda lengua y niños canadienses de habla inglesa

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    Isabel O’Shanahan


    Full Text Available The principal purpose of this study has been to analyze the cognitive processes and spelling skills in Spanish-speaking English-language learners. A sample of English-speaking Canadian learners and Spanish-speaking English-language learners was selected from different Canadian schools in the Vancouver District within British Columbia's province. We examined cognitive and spelling skills of English-speaking students and Spanish-speaking English language learners in the primary grades. We hypothesized that there would be a positive transfer from cognitive and linguistic processes from L1 to L2 spelling skills development, if no significant differences were observed among native English speakers and Spanish-language learners on these measures. There were no significant differences between the English –language learners and the native English speakers on measures of phonological awareness and spelling skills. However, English-speaking Canadian learners performed better than Spanish-speaking English-language learners on vocabulary and syntactic awareness. El objetivo principal de este estudio ha sido analizar los procesos cognitivos y de escritura de niños hispano-parlantes que aprenden el inglés como segunda lengua. Para ello se seleccionó a una muestra de niños canadienses de habla inglesa y otra de hispano-parlantes que reciben instrucción en inglés como segunda lengua en escuelas canadienses del distrito de Vancouver en la provincia canadiense de Columbia Británica (British Columbia. Se tomaron medidas de competencia lingu?ística (vocabulario y conciencia sintáctica, memoria de trabajo, conciencia fonológica y escritura de palabras y pseudopalabras en inglés para el grupo de monolingu?es, y las mismas medidas en los idiomas inglés y español para el grupo de hispano-parlantes. Nuestra predicción es que si existe un efecto de transferencia de L1 sobre L2 entonces existiría relación entre los procesos cognitivos y de escritura que

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Comparing Bilingual to Monolingual Learners on English Spelling: A Meta-analytic Review. (United States)

    Zhao, Jing; Quiroz, Blanca; Dixon, L Quentin; Joshi, R Malatesha


    This study reports on a meta-analysis to examine how bilingual learners compare with English monolingual learners on two English spelling outcomes: real-word spelling and pseudo-word spelling. Eighteen studies published in peer-reviewed journals between 1990 and 2014 were retrieved. The study-level variables and characteristics (e.g. sample size, study design and research instruments) were coded, and 29 independent effect sizes across the 18 retrieved studies were analysed. We found that bilinguals outperformed monolinguals on real-word spelling overall and more so in early grades, but monolinguals outperformed bilinguals on pseudo-word spelling. Further, bilinguals at risk for reading difficulties did better on real-word spelling than monolinguals at risk for reading difficulties. Having investigated systematic sources of variability in effect sizes, we conclude that in comparison with their monolingual peers, bilingual learners, especially those from alphabetic L1 backgrounds, are able to master constrained skills, such as English spelling, in the current instructional context. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The Realization of Focus in Asturian Spanish

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    Covadonga Sánchez-Alvarado


    Full Text Available Spanish was classified as a language that only exploits syntactic mechanisms to mark focus. Recent experimental studies, nonetheless, have shown that speakers of different dialects are also able to use prosody to different degrees. This study aims to provide further understanding on the role played by prosody in the realization of focus in Spanish by looking at Asturian Spanish, a dialect in contact with another Romance language, Asturian. The data from a contextualized sentence completion task revealed that a phonological distinction between specific pitch categories (L+speakers exploit different prosodic features (i.e., pitch range, alignment, and duration to mark focus constituents, although their use differs as a result of that constituents’ function. These findings provide further support for the consideration of languages and specific dialects in a continuum based on the degree to which they use prosody to mark focus and to explore more in detail the phonetic implementation of focal accents.

  11. Inclusion Strategies for Multi-word Units in Monolingual Dictionaries

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    Phillip Louw


    Full Text Available

    Abstract: This article focuses on inclusion strategies for different types of multi-word units, beit as part of the macrostructure or embedded as treatment units in the microstructure of a specificdictionary. The types of multi-word units discussed range from multi-word lexical items to collocationsand multi-word compound lexical items. The general principles set out in this article areapplied specifically to monolingual school dictionaries that target learners of English in the juniorsecondary phase.In order to discuss inclusion strategies adequately it is, however, necessary to make a cursorydistinction between idioms and collocations, on the one hand, and between collocations and multiwordcompound lexical items, on the other. It is shown that current monolingual dictionaries oftenfail to distinguish between these types and therefore apply potentially confusing inclusion strategies.In the discussion of inclusion strategies for multi-word lexical items that follows, it is shownthat, whereas loan groups and group prepositions require lemmatisation as full multilexical lemmas,the strategy for idioms is not as simple. The problems with a full lemmatisation of idioms arepointed out and an alternative system, whereby idioms are consistently included as sublemmaswith full microstructural treatment, is proposed.Next it is shown that collocations do not have lexical item status and can therefore not betreated in the same way as multi-word lexical items. However, provision must be made that somecollocations may need additional microstructural treatment addressed to them.Lastly, inclusion strategies for multi-word compound lexical items, which frequently occur inEnglish, are discussed. The practice of sublemmatising so-called "transparent" compound lexicalitems and giving them no or little microstructural treatment, is shown to be inappropriate forschool dictionaries.Hopefully the guidelines provided in this article can be of some help in clearing up

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Comparison of Iranian Monolingual and Bilingual EFL Students' Listening Comprehension in Terms of Watching English Movie with Latinized Persian Subtitles (United States)

    Yamchi, Roghayeh; Kumar, Vishal


    The main concern of the present study was to compare Iranian monolingual and bilingual EFL students' listening comprehension in terms of Latinized Persian subtitling of English movie to see whether there was a significant difference between monolinguals and bilinguals on immediate linguistic comprehension of the movie. Latinized Persian subtitling…

  15. 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...

  16. Pitch Correlogram Clustering for Fast Speaker Identification

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    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.

  17. Speakers' choice of frame in binary choice

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    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Preliminary Research on Discourse Markers and Politeness in the Spanish of the United States

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    Tania Constanza Gómez Ríos


    Full Text Available This preliminary study determines the dynamics of the discourse markers and politeness in sociolinguistic interviews among Spanish speakers living in the Chicago area. The analysis is based on theories of social relations and politeness strategies (Brown and Levinson, 1987 and Bravo, 1999. By analyzing the markers within the turn organization (i.e. beginning of the turn and during the turn development, this study revealed that speakers make use of three main types of markers: connectors, modals, and appellatives. The findings suggest that the selection of a marker maintains a close relationship with the speaker’s main goal in the conversation. Either, the speaker detaches himself/herself from the interlocutor or he/she gets close to him/her. Thus, the speaker employs mitigation or intensification strategies through various linguistic forms or pauses that appear with the marker or within the turn. This study with Spanish speakers living in the area of Chicago confirms, as other studies in Spanish, that the interaction between markers and politeness is conditioned to the context and the role of the speakers.

  20. Challenging Spanish: ways for nurses to become bilingual. (United States)

    Oderkirk, W


    A desire to provide culturally competent care to an increasing population of non-English-speakers may lead some nurses to consider learning another language as a way to minimize cross-cultural communication barriers. Nurses wishing to learn a second language may be surprised at the variety of ways to acquire bilingual skills, particularly in Spanish, the most common foreign language encountered in the United States. Reasons to learn Spanish are discussed and ways to do so are reviewed. Learning Spanish or another language can enrich the nurse-patient relationship, enhance nurses' self-esteem, and advance nurses' employment opportunities. Bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish (or another language) should be regarded as an authentic clinical skill supporting nurses' cultural and clinical competencies.

  1. Role of Speaker Cues in Attention Inference

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    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.

  2. Automatic Speaker Recognition for Mobile Forensic Applications

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    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.

  3. Learning with and by Language: Bilingual Teaching Strategies for the Monolingual Language-Aware Geography Classroom (United States)

    Morawski, Michael; Budke, Alexandra


    Geography lessons center on a language-based product with socially relevant geographic content. The subject of geography in secondary schools in Germany faces three major challenges that make a stronger focus on language in the monolingual geography classroom necessary. First, more than 30 percent of German pupils in secondary schools have a…

  4. Bilingualised or Monolingual Dictionaries? Preferences and Practices of Advanced ESL Learners in Hong Kong (United States)

    Chan, Alice Y. W.


    This article reports on the results of a questionnaire and interview survey on Cantonese ESL learners' preference for bilingualised dictionaries or monolingual dictionaries. The questionnaire survey was implemented with about 160 university English majors in Hong Kong and three focus group interviews were conducted with 14 of these participants.…

  5. Comparing the Effect of Using Monolingual versus Bilingual Dictionary on Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners' Vocabulary Learning (United States)

    Ahangari, Saeideh; Dogolsara, Shokoufeh Abbasi


    This study aimed to investigate the effect of using two types of dictionaries (monolingual and bilingual) on Iranian intermediate EFL learners' vocabulary learning. An OPT (Oxford placement test, 2001) was administered among 90 students 60 of whom were selected as the participants of this study. They were sophomore students studying English as a…

  6. Behavioral Problems and Reading Difficulties among Language Minority and Monolingual Urban Elementary School Students (United States)

    Pierce, Margaret E.; Wechsler-Zimring, Adrianna; Noam, Gil; Wolf, Maryanne; Katzir, Tami


    This study examined the potentially compounding effect of language minority (LM) status on problem behaviors among urban second and third grade-level poor readers. Univariate analyses showed that a disproportionate percentage of both LM and English monolingual (L1) poor readers already displayed clinically significant levels of anxiety, social…

  7. The Home Language Environment of Monolingual and Bilingual Children and Their Language Proficiency (United States)

    Scheele, Anna F.; Leseman, Paul P. M.; Mayo, Aziza Y.


    This study investigated the relationships between home language learning activities and vocabulary in a sample of monolingual native Dutch (n = 58) and bilingual immigrant Moroccan-Dutch (n = 46) and Turkish-Dutch (n = 55) 3-year-olds, speaking Tarifit-Berber, a nonscripted language, and Turkish as their first language (L1), respectively. Despite…

  8. Differences in Word Recognition between Early Bilinguals and Monolinguals: Behavioral and ERP Evidence (United States)

    Lehtonen, Minna; Hulten, Annika; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Cunillera, Toni; Tuomainen, Jyrki; Laine, Matti


    We investigated the behavioral and brain responses (ERPs) of bilingual word recognition to three fundamental psycholinguistic factors, frequency, morphology, and lexicality, in early bilinguals vs. monolinguals. Earlier behavioral studies have reported larger frequency effects in bilinguals' nondominant vs. dominant language and in some studies…

  9. Narrative Development among Language-Minority Children: The Role of Bilingual versus Monolingual Preschool Education (United States)

    Schwartz, Mila; Shaul, Yehudit


    The development of script schema, as a source of narrative knowledge, is an essential stage in this knowledge construction. This study focused on the role of bilingual versus monolingual preschool education in the development of script schema knowledge in Russian (L1) and Hebrew (L2) among Russian/Hebrew-speaking children in Israel. The preschool…

  10. Phoneme Awareness, Vocabulary and Word Decoding in Monolingual and Bilingual Dutch Children (United States)

    Janssen, Marije; Bosman, Anna M. T.; Leseman, Paul P. M.


    The aim of this study was to investigate whether bilingually raised children in the Netherlands, who receive literacy instruction in their second language only, show an advantage on Dutch phoneme-awareness tasks compared with monolingual Dutch-speaking children. Language performance of a group of 47 immigrant first-grade children with various…

  11. Production and Processing of Subject-Verb Agreement in Monolingual Dutch Children with Specific Language Impairment (United States)

    Blom, Elma; Vasic, Nada; de Jong, Jan


    Purpose: In this study, the authors investigated whether errors with subject-verb agreement in monolingual Dutch children with specific language impairment (SLI) are influenced by verb phonology. In addition, the productive and receptive abilities of Dutch acquiring children with SLI regarding agreement inflection were compared. Method: An SLI…

  12. Monolingualism and Prescriptivism: The Ecology of Slovene in the Twentieth Century (United States)

    Savski, Kristof


    This paper examines the ecology of Slovene in the twentieth century by focusing on two key emergent themes. It focuses firstly on monolingualism as a key goal for Slovene language planners, starting with their efforts to create a standard language with no German influences in the nineteenth century, and continuing in their work to prevent…

  13. Post-Monolingual Research Methodology: Multilingual Researchers Democratizing Theorizing and Doctoral Education

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    Michael Singh


    Full Text Available This paper reports on the ground-breaking research in the study of languages in doctoral education. It argues for democratizing the production and dissemination of original contributions to knowledge through activating and mobilizing multilingual Higher Degree Researchers’ (HDRs capabilities for theorizing through them using their full linguistic repertoire. This paper contributes to this study’s development of post-monolingual research methodology which provides a theoretic-pedagogical framework for multilingual HDRs (a to use their full linguistic repertoire in their research; (b to develop their capabilities for theorizing and (c to construct potentially valuable theoretical tools using metaphors, images, concepts and modes of critique. This paper is based on a longitudinal program of collaborative research whereby monolingual Anglophone and multilingual HDRs jointly developed their capabilities for theorizing through producing Anglo-Chinese analytical tools, and the associated pedagogies for using their languages in doctoral research. This longitudinal research program has been undertaken in the field of doctoral education to further a defining feature of democracy, namely linguistic diversity. This research has been conducted with the aims of promoting the multilingualism of Australian universities and activating linguistic communities of scholars to use their full linguistic repertoire in their research. The main finding arising from this program of research has been the development of post-monolingual research methodology which (a uses the divergences within and between languages to undertake theorizing and (b in co-existence with the tensions posed by monolingualism, especially the insistence on using extant theories available in only one language. Doctoral pedagogies of intellectual/racial equality provide multilingual HDRs with insights into the debates about the geopolitics governing the use of languages in the production and

  14. Processing and Comprehension of Accented Speech by Monolingual and Bilingual Children (United States)

    McDonald, Margarethe; Gross, Megan; Buac, Milijana; Batko, Michelle; Kaushanskaya, Margarita


    This study tested the effect of Spanish-accented speech on sentence comprehension in children with different degrees of Spanish experience. The hypothesis was that earlier acquisition of Spanish would be associated with enhanced comprehension of Spanish-accented speech. Three groups of 5-6-year-old children were tested: monolingual…

  15. Language Proficiency and Sustained Attention in Monolingual and Bilingual Children with and without Language Impairment

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    Tessel Boerma


    Full Text Available Background: The language profiles of children with language impairment (LI and bilingual children can show partial, and possibly temporary, overlap. The current study examined the persistence of this overlap over time. Furthermore, we aimed to better understand why the language profiles of these two groups show resemblance, testing the hypothesis that the language difficulties of children with LI reflect a weakened ability to maintain attention to the stream of linguistic information. Consequent incomplete processing of language input may lead to delays that are similar to those originating from reductions in input frequency.Methods: Monolingual and bilingual children with and without LI (N = 128, aged 5–8 years old, participated in this study. Dutch receptive vocabulary and grammatical morphology were assessed at three waves. In addition, auditory and visual sustained attention were tested at wave 1. Mediation analyses were performed to examine relationships between LI, sustained attention, and language skills.Results: Children with LI and bilingual children were outperformed by their typically developing (TD and monolingual peers, respectively, on vocabulary and morphology at all three waves. The vocabulary difference between monolinguals and bilinguals decreased over time. In addition, children with LI had weaker auditory and visual sustained attention skills relative to TD children, while no differences between monolinguals and bilinguals emerged. Auditory sustained attention mediated the effect of LI on vocabulary and morphology in both the monolingual and bilingual groups of children. Visual sustained attention only acted as a mediator in the bilingual group.Conclusion: The findings from the present study indicate that the overlap between the language profiles of children with LI and bilingual children is particularly large for vocabulary in early (preschool years and reduces over time. Results furthermore suggest that the overlap may be

  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. Home and Community Language Proficiency in Spanish-English Early Bilingual University Students. (United States)

    Schmidtke, Jens


    This study assessed home and community language proficiency in Spanish-English bilingual university students to investigate whether the vocabulary gap reported in studies of bilingual children persists into adulthood. Sixty-five early bilinguals (mean age = 21 years) were assessed in English and Spanish vocabulary and verbal reasoning ability using subtests of the Woodcock-Muñoz Language Survey-Revised (Schrank & Woodcock, 2009). Their English scores were compared to 74 monolinguals matched in age and level of education. Participants also completed a background questionnaire. Bilinguals scored below the monolingual control group on both subtests, and the difference was larger for vocabulary compared to verbal reasoning. However, bilinguals were close to the population mean for verbal reasoning. Spanish scores were on average lower than English scores, but participants differed widely in their degree of balance. Participants with an earlier age of acquisition of English and more current exposure to English tended to be more dominant in English. Vocabulary tests in the home or community language may underestimate bilingual university students' true verbal ability and should be interpreted with caution in high-stakes situations. Verbal reasoning ability may be more indicative of a bilingual's verbal ability.

  18. Estudio sociolinguistico de una variante sintactica el fenomeno "dequeismo" en el espanol canario (Sociolinguistic Study of a Syntactic Variant: The "Dequeismo" Phenomenon in Canary Islands Spanish). (United States)

    Serrano, Maria Jose


    The dequeismo phenomenon is occurring more frequently in spoken Spanish in both Spain and in Latin America. Introduction of the preposition "de" before "que" in nominal complements exploits one recourse in Spanish, namely the deictic capacity of prepositional "de" as a marker or introducer of the speaker's…

  19. El Mantenimiento o Desplazamiento Linguistico: El Futuro del Espanol en los Estados Unidos. (Linguistic Maintenance or Replacement: The Future of Spanish in the United States) (United States)

    Gaarder, Bruce A.


    What is the probability that Spanish, as a vernacular language, will survive in the U.S. with an increasing usage and prestige? Or will its usage, its speakers and its importance diminish rapidly in number and geographical extension? Can it be retained or will there be a shift into English? This article, written in Spanish, addresses these…

  20. Measuring Nutrition Literacy in Spanish-Speaking Latinos: An Exploratory Validation Study. (United States)

    Gibbs, Heather D; Camargo, Juliana M T B; Owens, Sarah; Gajewski, Byron; Cupertino, Ana Paula


    Nutrition is important for preventing and treating chronic diseases highly prevalent among Latinos, yet no tool exists for measuring nutrition literacy among Spanish speakers. This study aimed to adapt the validated Nutrition Literacy Assessment Instrument for Spanish-speaking Latinos. This study was developed in two phases: adaptation and validity testing. Adaptation included translation, expert item content review, and interviews with Spanish speakers. For validity testing, 51 participants completed the Short Assessment of Health Literacy-Spanish (SAHL-S), the Nutrition Literacy Assessment Instrument in Spanish (NLit-S), and socio-demographic questionnaire. Validity and reliability statistics were analyzed. Content validity was confirmed with a Scale Content Validity Index of 0.96. Validity testing demonstrated NLit-S scores were strongly correlated with SAHL-S scores (r = 0.52, p internal consistency was excellent (Cronbach's α = 0.92). The NLit-S demonstrates validity and reliability for measuring nutrition literacy among Spanish-speakers.

  1. Spanish nuclear industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)


    In this book published to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Spanish Nuclear Society, it is included a report on the Spanish Nuclear Industry. The Spanish Companies and Organizations in nuclear world are: CIEMAT, Empresarios Agrupados, ENRESA, ENUSA, ENDESA, Grupo Iberdrola, LAINSA, INITEC AND TECNATOM. Activities, history and research programs of each of them are included

  2. 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


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia S. Salcedo


    Full Text Available Spanish articulatory phonetics, the classification of sounds and the physiological mechanism used in the production of phonemes are discussed in this article. The process of learning a language consists of classifying sounds within the target language. Since the learner may be hearing the utterance in a different way than the native speaker some objective criteria are needed to classify sounds. If these distinctions are not mastered, he may be perceived as sounding awkward. Other phonological processes are applied in informal situations due to socio-linguistic factors such as age, social class, and education. Sound deletion in particular phonological environments are not done randomly by the speaker, but by necessity to retain semantic comprehension. Allophonic choices within phonemes make up the dialect for a particular area.

  1. Monolingual or bilingual intervention for primary language impairment? A randomized control trial. (United States)

    Thordardottir, Elin; Cloutier, Geneviève; Ménard, Suzanne; Pelland-Blais, Elaine; Rvachew, Susan


    This study investigated the clinical effectiveness of monolingual versus bilingual language intervention, the latter involving speech-language pathologist-parent collaboration. The study focuses on methods that are currently being recommended and that are feasible within current clinical contexts. Bilingual children with primary language impairment who speak a minority language as their home language and French as their second (n=29, mean age=5 years) were randomly assigned to monolingual treatment, bilingual treatment, and no-treatment (delayed-treatment) conditions. Sixteen sessions of individual language intervention were offered, targeting vocabulary and syntactic skills in French only or bilingually, through parent collaboration during the clinical sessions. Language evaluations were conducted before and after treatment by blinded examiners; these evaluations targeted French as well as the home languages. An additional evaluation was conducted 2 months after completion of treatment to assess maintenance of gains. Both monolingual and bilingual treatment followed a focused stimulation approach. Results in French showed a significant treatment effect for vocabulary but no difference between treatment conditions. Gains were made in syntax, but these gains could not be attributed to treatment given that treatment groups did not improve more than the control group. Home language probes did not suggest that the therapy had resulted in gains in the home language. The intervention used in this study is in line with current recommendations of major speech-language pathology organizations. However, the findings indicate that the bilingual treatment created through collaboration with parents was not effective in creating a sufficiently intense bilingual context to make it significantly different from the monolingual treatment. Further studies are needed to assess the gains associated with clinical modifications made for bilingual children and to search for effective ways

  2. 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...

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. The Treatment of Polysemy and Homonymy in Monolingual General-purpose Dictionaries with Special Reference to Isichazamazwi SesiNdebele

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eventhough Ndlovu


    Full Text Available

    ABSTRACT: This article focuses on the treatment of polysemy and homonymy in general-purpose monolingual dictionaries with special reference to Isichazamazwi SesiNdebele. It was found that there are some inconsistencies in the treatment of polysemous and homonymous entries in this dictionary. The article shows that an overreliance on one criterion, particularly etymology, to distinguish polysemy and homonymy is often misleading and unreliable. Polysemy itself has its own inherent complexities, among these being the problem of determining the exact number of meanings of a polysemous lemma. When the meanings of a polysemous lemma are listed, the central or primary meaning, which is not always easily ascertainable, should come first. A holistic approach is proposed to distinguish polysemy and homonymy, which entails the use of the following criteria: etymology, relatedness vs unrelatedness of meaning, componential analysis, the identification of the central or core meaning and the test of ambiguity. Whatever results are obtained from a particular criterion, these findings must be compared with those of other criteria, and verified against native speakers' intuitive knowledge and introspective judgements.

    OPSOMMING: Die behandeling van polisemie en homonimie in eentalige algemene woordeboeke met spesiale verwysing na Isichazamazwi SesiNdebele. Hierdie artikel fokus op die behandeling van polisemie en homonimie in algemene eentalige woordeboeke met spesiale verwysing na Isichazamazwi SesiNdebele. Daar is vasgestel dat daar 'n aantal inkonsekwensies in die behandeling van poliseme en homonieme inskrywings in hierdie woordeboek is. Die artikel toon dat 'n te groot steun op een kriterium, veral etimologie, om polisemie en homonimie te onderskei, dikwels misleidend en onbetroubaar is. Polisemie self het sy eie inherente gekompliseerdhede waarvan sommige die probleem is om die presiese aantal betekenisse van 'n poliseme lemma te bepaal. Wanneer

  7. Bilinguals Have Different Hemispheric Lateralization in Visual Word Processing from Monolinguals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sze-Man Lam


    Full Text Available Previous bilingual studies showed reduced hemispheric asymmetry in visual tasks such as face perception in bilinguals compared with monolinguals, suggesting experience in reading one or two languages could be a modulating factor. Here we examined whether difference in hemispheric asymmetry in visual tasks can also be observed in bilinguals who have different language backgrounds. We compared the behavior of three language groups in a tachistoscopic English word sequential matching task: English monolinguals (or alphabetic monolinguals, A-Ms, bilinguals with an alphabetic-L1 and English-L2 (alphabetic-alphabetic bilinguals, AA-Bs, and bilinguals with Chinese-L1 and English-L2 (logographic-alphabetic bilinguals, LA-Bs. The results showed that AA-Bs had a stronger right visual field/ left hemispheric (LH advantage than A-Ms and LA-Bs, suggesting that different language learning experiences can influence how visual words are processed in the brain. In addition, we showed that this effect could be accounted for by a computational model that implements a theory of hemispheric asymmetry in perception (i.e., the Double Filtering by Frequency theory; Ivry & Robertson, 1998; the modeling data suggested that this difference may be due to both the difference in participants' vocabulary size and the difference in word-to-sound mapping between alphabetic and logographic languages.

  8. The moderating effect of orthographic consistency on oral vocabulary learning in monolingual and bilingual children. (United States)

    Jubenville, Kathleen; Sénéchal, Monique; Malette, Melissa


    Two studies were conducted to assess whether (a) the incidental presence of print facilitates the acquisition of oral vocabulary, (b) the facilitative effect of print is moderated by phoneme-to-grapheme consistency, and (c) the findings obtained with monolingual children generalize to bilingual children. In total, 71 monolingual French-speaking children (M age = 9 years 2 months) in Study 1 and 64 bilingual children (M age = 9 years 3 months) in Study 2 participated in one of three conditions: consistent print, inconsistent print, or no print. Children were to learn novel labels for unfamiliar objects in a paired-associate paradigm. In both studies, print facilitated the acquisition and recall of expressive vocabulary. The effect of print consistency, however, varied across studies. As expected, monolingual children exposed to consistent print learned more novel labels than children exposed to inconsistent print. In contrast, bilingual children exposed to inconsistent print learned and recalled more labels than children exposed to consistent print. These intriguing findings might be due to differences in attention allocation during training. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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:

  11. Perceptions of the Pediatric Hospice Experience among English- and Spanish-Speaking Families. (United States)

    Thienprayoon, Rachel; Marks, Emily; Funes, Maria; Martinez-Puente, Louizza Maria; Winick, Naomi; Lee, Simon Craddock


    Many children who die are eligible for hospice enrollment but little is known about parental perceptions of the hospice experience, the benefits, and disappointments. The objective of this study was to explore parental perspectives of the hospice experience in children with cancer, and to explore how race/ethnicity impacts this experience. We held 20 semistructured interviews with 34 caregivers of children who died of cancer and used hospice. Interviews were conducted in the caregivers' primary language: 12 in English and 8 in Spanish. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using accepted qualitative methods. Both English and Spanish speakers described the importance of honest, direct communication by medical providers, and anxieties surrounding the expectation of the moment of death. Five English-speaking families returned to the hospital because of unsatisfactory symptom management and the need for additional supportive services. Alternatively, Spanish speakers commonly stressed the importance of being at home and did not focus on symptom management. Both groups invoked themes of caregiver appraisal, but English-speaking caregivers more commonly discussed themes of financial hardship and fear of insurance loss, while Spanish-speakers focused on difficulties of bedside caregiving and geographic separation from family. The intense grief associated with the loss of a child creates shared experiences, but Spanish- and English-speaking parents describe their hospice experiences in different ways. Additional studies in pediatric hospice care are warranted to improve the care we provide to children at the end of life.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. Investigating Cantonese Speakers' Language Attitudes in Mainland China (United States)

    Ng, Dana Funywe; Zhao, Juanjuan


    The People's Republic of China (PRC) has often been considered a monolithic, monolingual state but, in fact, it is linguistically and culturally diverse. Despite the size, there is still a lack of sociolinguistic studies on the Han Chinese in the PRC. Therefore, this study focuses on the language attitudes of Cantonese-speaking students in…

  16. Acquisition of stress and pitch accent in English-Spanish bilingual children (United States)

    Kim, Sahyang; Andruski, Jean; Nathan, Geoffrey S.; Casielles, Eugenia; Work, Richard


    Although understanding of prosodic development is considered crucial for understanding of language acquisition in general, few studies have focused on how children develop native-like prosody in their speech production. This study will examine the acquisition of lexical stress and postlexical pitch accent in two English-Spanish bilingual children. Prosodic characteristics of English and Spanish are different in terms of frequent stress patterns (trochaic versus penultimate), phonetic realization of stress (reduced unstressed vowel versus full unstressed vowel), and frequent pitch accent types (H* versus L*+H), among others. Thus, English-Spanish bilingual children's prosodic development may provide evidence of their awareness of language differences relatively early during language development, and illustrate the influence of markedness or input frequency in prosodic acquisition. For this study, recordings from the children's one-word stage are used. Durations of stressed and unstressed syllables and F0 peak alignment are measured, and pitch accent types in different accentual positions (nuclear versus prenuclear) are transcribed using American English ToBI and Spanish ToBI. Prosodic development is compared across ages within each language and across languages at each age. Furthermore, the bilingual children's productions are compared with monolingual English and Spanish parents' productions.

  17. 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....

  18. “Spanglish”: Bringing the academic debate into the classroom. Towards critical pedagogy in Spanish heritage instruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lina M. Reznicek-Parrado


    Full Text Available The academic debate that seeks to categorize Spanish spoken in the United States is controversial. The North American Spanish Language Academy publication Hablando bien se entiende la gente, a reference guide for U.S. Spanish speakers, was the catalyst for a series of debates by academics holding one of two main stances: a that Spanish in the United States is a universal language which should be devoid of excessive influence of English (Piña-Rosales, Covarrubias, Dumitrescu, & ANLE, 2014; and b that Spanish in the United States is the reflection of its coexistence with English (Lynch & Potowski, 2014. While this academic conversation is important to the field, the debate has to be brought to the speakers themselves. This study presents a quantitative analysis of a judgment task completed by young heritage speakers of Spanish and a qualitative analysis of short-answer surveys. Results show that, despite participants’ high reported use of “Spanglish,” they vehemently reject its use in the academic context. This strong disconnect between practice and attitude raises serious concerns and has significant implications for pedagogy.

  19. Spanish-speaking patients' satisfaction with clinical pharmacists' communication skills and demonstration of cultural sensitivity. (United States)

    Kim-Romo, Dawn N; Barner, Jamie C; Brown, Carolyn M; Rivera, José O; Garza, Aida A; Klein-Bradham, Kristina; Jokerst, Jason R; Janiga, Xan; Brown, Bob


    OBJECTIVE To assess Spanish-speaking patients' satisfaction with their clinical pharmacists' communication skills and demonstration of cultural sensitivity, while controlling for patients' sociodemographic, clinical, and communication factors, as well as pharmacist factors, and to identify clinical pharmacists' cultural factors that are important to Spanish-speaking patients. DESIGN Cross-sectional study. SETTING Central Texas during August 2011 to May 2012. PARTICIPANTS Spanish-speaking patients of federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S) A Spanish-translated survey assessed Spanish-speaking patients' satisfaction with their clinical pharmacists' communication skills and demonstration of cultural sensitivity. RESULTS Spanish-speaking patients (N = 101) reported overall satisfaction with their clinical pharmacists' communication skills and cultural sensitivity. Patients also indicated that pharmacists' cultural rapport (e.g., ability to speak Spanish, respectfulness) was generally important to Spanish speakers. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that cultural rapport was significantly related to satisfaction with pharmacists' communication skills and demonstration of cultural sensitivity. CONCLUSION Overall, patients were satisfied with pharmacists' communication skills and cultural sensitivity. Patient satisfaction initiatives that include cultural rapport should be developed for pharmacists who provide care to Spanish-speaking patients with limited English proficiency.

  20. 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

  1. Structural brain differences between monolingual and multilingual patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease: Evidence for cognitive reserve. (United States)

    Duncan, Hilary D; Nikelski, Jim; Pilon, Randi; Steffener, Jason; Chertkow, Howard; Phillips, Natalie A


    Two independent lines of research provide evidence that speaking more than one language may 1) contribute to increased grey matter in healthy younger and older adults and 2) delay cognitive symptoms in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer disease (AD). We examined cortical thickness and tissue density in monolingual and multilingual MCI and AD patients matched (within Diagnosis Groups) on demographic and cognitive variables. In medial temporal disease-related (DR) areas, we found higher tissue density in multilingual MCIs versus monolingual MCIs, but similar or lower tissue density in multilingual AD versus monolingual AD, a pattern consistent with cognitive reserve in AD. In areas related to language and cognitive control (LCC), both multilingual MCI and AD patients had thicker cortex than the monolinguals. Results were largely replicated in our native-born Canadian MCI participants, ruling out immigration as a potential confound. Finally, multilingual patients showed a correlation between cortical thickness in LCC regions and performance on episodic memory tasks. Given that multilinguals and monolinguals were matched on memory functioning, this suggests that increased gray matter in these regions may provide support to memory functioning. Our results suggest that being multilingual may contribute to increased gray matter in LCC areas and may also delay the cognitive effects of disease-related atrophy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. How bilingualism shapes the functional architecture of the brain: A study on executive control in early bilinguals and monolinguals. (United States)

    Costumero, Víctor; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Ávila, César


    The existence of a behavioral advantage of bilinguals over monolinguals during executive tasks is controversial. A new approach to this issue is to investigate the effect of bilingualism on neural control when performing these tasks as a window to understand when behavioral differences are produced. Here, we tested if early bilinguals use more language-related networks than monolinguals while performing a go/no-go task that includes infrequent no-go and go trials. The RTs and accuracy in both groups did not differ. An independent component analyses (ICA) revealed, however, that bilinguals used the left fronto-parietal network and the salience network more than monolinguals while processing go infrequent cues and no-go cues, respectively. It was noteworthy that the modulation of these networks had opposite correlates with performance in bilinguals and monolinguals, which suggests that between-group differences were more qualitative than quantitative. Our results suggest that bilinguals may differently develop the involvement of the executive control networks that comprise the left inferior frontal gyrus during cognitive control tasks than monolinguals. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. 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

  4. White-matter development is different in bilingual and monolingual children: a longitudinal DTI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyede Ghazal Mohades

    Full Text Available Although numerous people grow up speaking more than one language, the impact of bilingualism on brain developing neuroanatomy is still poorly understood. This study aimed to determine whether the changes in the mean fractional-anisotropy (MFA of language pathways are different between bilingual and monolingual children. Simultaneous-bilinguals, sequential-bilinguals and monolingual, male and female 10-13 years old children participated in this longitudinal study over a period of two years. We used diffusion tensor tractography to obtain mean fractional-anisotropy values of four language related pathways and one control bundle: 1-left-inferior-occipitofrontal fasciculus/lIFOF, 2-left-arcuate fasciculus/lAF/lSLF, 3-bundle arising from the anterior part of corpus-callosum and projecting to orbital lobe/AC-OL, 4-fibres emerging from anterior-midbody of corpus-callosum (CC to motor cortices/AMB-PMC, 5- right-inferior-occipitofrontal fasciculus rIFOF as the control pathway unrelated to language. These values and their rate of change were compared between 3 groups. FA-values did not change significantly over two years for lAF/lSLF and AC-OL. Sequential-bilinguals had the highest degree of change in the MFA value of lIFOF, and AMB-PMC did not present significant group differences. The comparison of MFA of lIFOF yielded a significantly higher FA-value in simultaneous bilinguals compared to monolinguals. These findings acknowledge the existing difference of the development of the semantic processing specific pathway between children with different semantic processing procedure. These also support the hypothesis that age of second language acquisition affects the maturation and myelination of some language specific white-matter pathways.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Speech perception and vocabulary growth: A longitudinal study of Finnish-Russian bilinguals and Finnish monolinguals from infancy to three years

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silvén, M.; Voeten, M.J.M.; Kouvo, A.M.; Lundén, M.


    Growth modeling was applied to monolingual (N = 26) and bilingual (N = 28) word learning from 14 to 36 months. Level and growth rate of vocabulary were lower for Finnish-Russian bilinguals than for Finnish monolinguals. Processing of Finnish speech sounds at 7 but not at 11 months predicted level,

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. The Spanish gas industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)



    The spanish gas industry has become one of the major actors in the gas sector of the European Economic Community. This paper pictures the spanish gas industry on the basis of a study by Sedigas, the spanish member of the International Gas Union (IGU). The main subjects described are structure of gas companies, natural gas supply, transport and storage, natural gas distribution networks, statistical data on natural gas consumption, manufactured gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gases (LPG) production-consumption in Spain. 7 figs., 10 tabs

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Bailes Tipicos del Mundo Hispano (Typical Dances of the Spanish World). Ways and Customs. Teacher's and Student's Booklets, First Edition. (United States)

    Dade County Public Schools, Miami, FL.

    The materials of this program are written to individualize the teaching of Spanish to English speakers, and are designed to provide as much flexibility as possible for both the teacher and student. The materials can be used for large groups, small groups, and individual work, although direct teacher-student contact is considered to be beneficial.…

  17. Selective attention to the mouth is associated with expressive language skills in monolingual and bilingual infants. (United States)

    Tsang, Tawny; Atagi, Natsuki; Johnson, Scott P


    Infants increasingly attend to the mouths of others during the latter half of the first postnatal year, and individual differences in selective attention to talking mouths during infancy predict verbal skills during toddlerhood. There is some evidence suggesting that trajectories in mouth-looking vary by early language environment, in particular monolingual or bilingual language exposure, which may have differential consequences in developing sensitivity to the communicative and social affordances of the face. Here, we evaluated whether 6- to 12-month-olds' mouth-looking is related to skills associated with concurrent social communicative development-including early language functioning and emotion discriminability. We found that attention to the mouth of a talking face increased with age but that mouth-looking was more strongly associated with concurrent expressive language skills than chronological age for both monolingual and bilingual infants. Mouth-looking was not related to emotion discrimination. These data suggest that selective attention to a talking mouth may be one important mechanism by which infants learn language regardless of home language environment. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Excitatory and inhibitory priming by attended and ignored non-recycled words with monolinguals and bilinguals. (United States)

    Neumann, Ewald; Nkrumah, Ivy K; Chen, Zhe


    Experiments examining identity priming from attended and ignored novel words (words that are used only once except when repetition is required due to experimental manipulation) in a lexical decision task are reported. Experiment 1 tested English monolinguals whereas Experiment 2 tested Twi (a native language of Ghana, Africa)-English bilinguals. Participants were presented with sequential pairs of stimuli composed of a prime followed by a probe, with each containing two items. The participants were required to name the target word in the prime display, and to make a lexical decision to the target item in the probe display. On attended repetition (AR) trials the probe target item was identical to the target word on the preceding attentional display. On ignored repetition (IR) trials the probe target item was the same as the distractor word in the preceding attentional display. The experiments produced facilitated (positive) priming in the AR trials and delayed (negative) priming in the IR trials. Significantly, the positive and negative priming effects also replicated across both monolingual and bilingual groups of participants, despite the fact that the bilinguals were responding to the task in their non-dominant language.

  19. Maryland environmental public health tracking outreach with Spanish-speaking persons living in Baltimore city or county. (United States)

    Braggio, John T; Mitchell, Clifford S; Fierro-Luperini, Sonia


    The 2000 Pew reports became the impetus for the National Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Program, but there was no mention that Spanish-speaking persons are at increased risk of exposure to environmental hazards. To undertake successful EPHT outreach on Spanish-speaking persons (Hispanics), it is necessary to better understand their environmental health profile and barriers to health care access. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey questions were administered orally in Spanish to Spanish-speaking study participants. Volunteers were tested at a non-for-profit social service and referral agency in Baltimore. To control for acculturation, only Spanish-speaking persons who had lived in the United States for less than 10 years were selected. Responses to 40 BRFSS survey questions asked during the assessment and completion of 3 intervention activities. This study provides new information about Spanish-speaking persons, most of whom (85.3%) would not have been included in the landline administration of the BRFSS survey. Although 29.9% of the participants reported indoor pesticide use and another 9.2% reported outdoor pesticide use, lifetime (3.5%) and current (1.2%) asthma prevalence was significantly lower than asthma prevalence reported by Maryland Hispanics and all Maryland residents. There were significantly lower cholesterol screening (21.5%) and a significantly higher prevalence of diabetes (12.5%) in Spanish-speaking participants than in Maryland Hispanics and all Maryland residents. Among study participants, only 7.8% had health insurance and 39.9% reported that they could not see a doctor. Of the 3 outreach efforts completed, the most promising one involved asking Spanish-English-speaking health care professionals to distribute Spanish comic books about pesticides exposures and health outcomes in community settings where Spanish-only speakers and children were found. The effectiveness of passive and community-based EPHT

  20. 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.

  1. Spanish Visit to CERN

    CERN Multimedia


    Last week CERN was visited by the Spanish Minister of Science and Technology, Josep Piqué i Camps. While here, he was able to visit the ATLAS assembly hall where many items of equipment are being built in collaboration with Spanish academic institutions or firms. These include the vacuum vessels for the ATLAS barrel toroid magnets supplied by the Spanish firm Felguera Construcciones Mechanics. Similarly, the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid is participating in the manufacture of the electromagnetic calorimeter endcaps, while the Barcelona Institute for High Energy Physics and the Valencia IFIC (Instituto de Física Corpuscular) are highly involved in the production of barrel modules for the tile calorimeter. The delegation, accompanied by Spanish scientists at CERN, also visited the LHC superconducting magnet test hall (photo). From left to right: Felix Rodriguez Mateos of CERN LHC Division, Josep Piqué i Camps, Spanish Minister of Science and Technology, César Dopazo, Director-General of CIEMAT (Spanish ...

  2. Using Cognitive Interviews to Evaluate the Spanish-Language Translation of Dietary Questionnaire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerry Levin


    Full Text Available We present results from a qualitative evaluation of the Spanish-language version of a dietary intake questionnaire and characterize the types of findings which emerged from several rounds of cognitive testing. Cognitive interviews were used to test the Spanish translation of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS Cancer Control Supplement dietary questions, with 36 Spanish-speaking and 9 English-speaking participants. Analyses of the results identified (a translation issues, (b culture-specific issues, and (c general design issues that affected both English and Spanish speakers. Results indicated that general design-oriented difficulties were particularly frequent. Our findings suggest that when appropriately structured, cognitive interviews that feature flexible probing can be useful for identifying a range of problems in survey translations, even after translations have been developed using currently accepted methods. We make several recommendations concerning practices that may be optimal in the conduct of empirical cross-cultural questionnaire evaluations.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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) ...

  14. (En)countering native-speakerism global perspectives

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. The Use of a Monolingual Dictionary for Meaning Determination by Advanced Cantonese ESL Learners in Hong Kong (United States)

    Chan, Alice Y. W.


    This article reports on the results of a study which investigated advanced Cantonese English as a Second Language (ESL) learners' use of a monolingual dictionary for determining the meanings of familiar English words used in less familiar contexts. Thirty-two university English majors in Hong Kong participated in a dictionary consultation task,…

  19. Assessing the Effectiveness of Monolingual, Bilingual, and "Bilingualised" Dictionaries in the Comprehension and Production of New Words. (United States)

    Laufer, Batia; Hadar, Linor


    Examines the differences in effectiveness of three types of dictionaries--monolingual, bilingual, and "bilingualised" in the comprehension and production of new words by learners of English as a foreign language. The study tested participants on the comprehension of target words and on their ability to use these words in their own sentences. (16…

  20. The English Monolingual Dictionary: Its Use among Second Year Students of University Technology of Malaysia, International Campus, Kuala Lumpur (United States)

    Manan, Amerrudin Abd.; Al-Zubaidi, Khairi Obaid


    This research was conducted to seek information on English Monolingual Dictionary (EMD) use among 2nd year students of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, International Campus, Kuala Lumpur (UTMKL). Specifically, the researchers wish to discover, firstly, the students' habit and attitude in EMD use; secondly, to discover their knowledge with regard to…

  1. The semantic network, lexical access, and reading comprehension in monolingual and bilingual children : An individual differences study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spätgens, T.; Schoonen, R.

    Using a semantic priming experiment, the influence of lexical access and knowledge of semantic relations on reading comprehension was studied in Dutch monolingual and bilingual minority children. Both context-independent semantic relations in the form of category coordinates and context-dependent

  2. Success of Using Technology and Manipulatives To Introduce Numerical Problem Solving Skills in Monolingual/Bilingual Early Childhood Classrooms. (United States)

    Ainsa, Trisha


    Pilots and evaluates a math activity initially utilizing M&Ms as manipulatives, then progressing to computer software math activities, in five early childhood classrooms. Concludes that there were no significant differences between learning tasks, monolingual students vs. bilingual students, and manipulative (hands-off) activities vs. computer…

  3. Terminology and Labelling Words by Subject in Monolingual Dictionaries – What Do Domain Labels Say to Dictionary Users?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nová, Jana; Mžourková, Hana


    Roč. 68, č. 2 (2017), s. 296-304 ISSN 0021-5597 Institutional support: RVO:68378092 Keywords : terminology * terms * lexicography * monolingual dictionary * e- dictionary * domain labels * Czech Subject RIV: AI - Linguistics OBOR OECD: Linguistics

  4. Children’s Third-Party Understanding of Communicative Interactions in a Foreign Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narges Afshordi


    Full Text Available Two studies explored young children’s understanding of the role of shared language in communication by investigating how monolingual English-speaking children interact with an English speaker, a Spanish speaker, and a bilingual experimenter who spoke both English and Spanish. When the bilingual experimenter spoke in Spanish or English to request objects, four-year-old children, but not three-year-olds, used her language choice to determine whom she addressed (e.g. requests in Spanish were directed to the Spanish speaker. Importantly, children used this cue – language choice – only in a communicative context. The findings suggest that by four years, monolingual children recognize that speaking the same language enables successful communication, even when that language is unfamiliar to them. Three-year-old children’s failure to make this distinction suggests that this capacity likely undergoes significant development in early childhood, although other capacities might also be at play.

  5. Natural Science and Technology Terminology in the Sesotho sa Leboa Monolingual Dictionary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W.M. Mojapelo


    Full Text Available

    Abstract: The main purpose of this article is to make a comparative analysis of the structural and the lexical differences between coinage and transliteration, as methods for the acquisition of foreign natural sci-ence and technology lexical items, which are meant for inclusion in the Sesotho sa Leboa comprehensive monolingual dictionary, Pukuntšutlhaloši ya Sesotho sa Leboa. With the exception of the multilingual glossaries ('dictionaries' as they are called, which are compiled by the National Language Service of the Department of Arts and Culture, the Sesotho sa Leboa National Lexicography Unit does not at present have any monolin-gual dictionary specializing in specific subjects like natural science and technology. As a start, the Lexicogra-phy Unit decided to include this specialized terminology in the second edition of its comprehensive monolin-gual dictionary. The main purpose for lemmatizing the natural science and technology terminology is to give these lexical items comprehensive definitions in Sesotho sa Leboa, instead of 'a one word translation defini-tion' as is the case in the bilingual and multilingual dictionaries.


    Opsomming: Natuurwetenskaplike en tegnologiese terminologie in die Sesotho sa Leboa eentalige woordeboek. Die hoofdoel van hierdie artikel is om 'n ver-gelykende ontleding te maak van die strukturele en die leksikale verskille tussen nuutskepping en transliterasie as metodes vir die verwerwing van vreemde natuurwetenskaplike en tegnologiese leksikale items wat bedoel is vir insluiting in die Sesotho sa Leboa omvattende eentalige woorde-boek Pukuntšutlhaloši ya Sesotho sa Leboa. Met die uitsondering van die meertalige woordelyste ("woordeboeke" soos hulle genoem word wat deur die Nasionale Taaldiens van die

  6. 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.

  7. Thoughts and Views on the Compilation of Monolingual Dictionaries in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.C.P Golele


    Full Text Available Abstract: Developing and documenting the eleven official languages of South Africa on all levels of communication in order to fulfil all the roles and uses characteristic of truly official languages is a great challenge. To meet this need various bodies such as the National Lexicography Units have been established by the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB. As far as dictionary compilation is concerned, acquaintance with the state-of-the-art developments in the theory and practice of lexicography is necessary. The focus of the African languages should be directed onto the compilation of monolingual dictionaries. It is important that these monolingual dictionaries should be usable right from the start on a continuous basis. Continued attention should be given to enlarging the corpora and actual consultation of these corpora on the macro- and microstructural levels. The end-products should be of a high lexicographic standard, well-balanced in terms of lemma selection, length of the articles, maximum utilisation of available dictionary space etc. They should also be planned and compiled in such a way that the transition from paper dictionaries to electronic dictionaries could be easily and naturally accomplished. Advanced and continued training in the compilation of monolingual dictionaries should be presented. Keywords: MONOLINGUAL DICTIONARIES, OFFICIAL LANGUAGES, DICTIONARY COMPILATION, CORPORA, NATIONAL LEXICOGRAPHY UNITS, TARGET USERS, DICTIONARY USE, DICTIONARY CULTURE, CORE TERMS Opsomming: Gedagtes en beskouings oor die samestelling van eentalige woordeboeke in Suid-Afrika. Die ontwikkeling en dokumentering van die elf amptelike tale van Suid-Afrika op alle vlakke van kommunikasie om alle rolle en gebruike van werklik amptelike tale te vervul, is 'n groot uitdaging. Om in hierdie behoefte te voorsien, is liggame soos die Nasionale Leksikografie-eenhede deur die Pan Suid-Afrikaanse Taalraad (PanSAT tot stand gebring. Wat

  8. 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

  9. Spanish? What Spanish? The Search for a 'Caribbean Standard.' (United States)

    Hollingsworth, C.


    Variations in lexicon, phonology, morphology, and syntax of Spanish as spoken in Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, and Castile have led to a diversity in the types of Spanish taught in Caribbean schools. The Programa Interamericano de Linguistica y Ensenanza de Idiomas is conducting a survey which will provide authoritative standards for Spanish teachers.…

  10. Influences on preschool children's oral health-related quality of life as reported by English and Spanish-speaking parents and caregivers. (United States)

    Born, Catherine D; Divaris, Kimon; Zeldin, Leslie P; Rozier, R Gary


    This study examined young, preschool children's oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) among a community-based cohort of English and Spanish-speaking parent-child dyads in North Carolina, and sought to quantify the association of parent/caregiver characteristics, including spoken language, with OHRQoL impacts. Data from structured interviews with 1,111 parents of children aged 6-23 months enrolled in the Zero-Out Early Childhood Caries study in 2010-2012 were used. OHRQoL was measured using the overall score (range: 0-52) of the Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (ECOHIS). We examined associations with parents' sociodemographic characteristics, spoken language, self-reported oral and general health, oral health knowledge, children's dental attendance, and dental care needs. Analyses included descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate methods based upon zero-inflated negative binomial regression. To determine differences between English and Spanish speakers, language-stratified model estimates were contrasted using homogeneity χ 2 tests. The mean overall ECOHIS score was 3.9 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 3.6-4.2]; 4.7 among English-speakers and 1.5 among Spanish speakers. In multivariate analyses, caregivers' education showed a positive association with OHRQoL impacts among Spanish speakers [prevalence ratio (PR) = 1.12 (95% CI = 1.03-1.22), for every added year of schooling], whereas caregivers' fair/poor oral health showed a positive association among English speakers (PR = 1.20; 95% CI = 1.02-1.41). The overall severity of ECOHIS impacts was low among this population-based sample of young, preschool children, and substantially lower among Spanish versus English speakers. Further studies are warranted to identify sources of these differences in - actual or reported - OHRQoL impacts. © 2016 American Association of Public Health Dentistry.

  11. 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.

  12. The Development of Bilingual Narrative Retelling Among Spanish-English Dual Language Learners Over Two Years. (United States)

    Lucero, Audrey


    This exploratory study investigates the development of oral narrative retell proficiency among Spanish-English emergent bilingual children longitudinally from kindergarten to second grade in Spanish and English as they learned literacy in the 2 languages concurrently. Oral narrative retell assessments were conducted with children who spoke Spanish at home and were enrolled in a dual language immersion program (N = 12) in the spring of kindergarten and second grade. Retells were transcribed and coded for vocabulary and grammar at the microlevel (Miller, 2012) and story structure at the macrolevel (Heilmann, Miller, Nockerts, & Dunaway, 2010). In microstructure paired-sample t tests, children showed significant improvements in vocabulary in both languages (Spanish total number of words η2 = .43, Spanish number of different words η2 = .44, English total number of words η2 = .61, English number of different words η2 = .62) but not grammar by second grade. At the macrostructure level, children showed significantly higher performance in English only (English narrative scoring scheme η2 = .47). The finding that children significantly improved in vocabulary in both languages but in overall story structure only in English suggests that discourse skills were being facilitated in English whereas Spanish discourse development may have stagnated even within a dual language immersion program. Results contribute to what is currently known about bilingual oral narrative development among young Spanish speakers enrolled in such programs and can inform assessment and instructional decisions.

  13. An Annotated Bibliography on Second Language Acquisition (United States)


    In a study of third graders (Spanish- English), students were interviewed by a monolingual English- speaker and an English-dominant Hispanic...phonological measures with the monolingual interviewer. it was interpreted that there was greater accuracy with the Hispanic interviewer, and greater risk... dictionary containing all the difficult words plus distractors were provided, 3. a short lesson on how to inference was given, and 9 4. no cue was

  14. Cultural Understanding: Spanish Level 1. (United States)

    Scott, Reid

    The teacher's attention is focused on selected elements of Spanish culture which may be taught integrally with instructional materials found in the first-year Spanish texts "Entender y Hablar", "La Familia Fernandez", and "A-LM Spanish, Level One". Items are cross-referenced for 42 cultural concepts ranging from nicknames to streets, roads, and…

  15. Improving Measures of Sexual and Gender Identity in English and Spanish to Identify LGBT Older Adults in Surveys. (United States)

    Michaels, Stuart; Milesi, Carolina; Stern, Michael; Viox, Melissa Heim; Morrison, Heather; Guerino, Paul; Dragon, Christina N; Haffer, Samuel C


    The goal of this research is to advance the study of health disparities faced by older sexual and gender minorities by assessing comprehension of and improving measures of sexual and gender identity in surveys. Cognitive interviews were conducted by expert interviewers with 48 non-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (non-LGBT) and 9 LGBT older English and Spanish speakers. All respondents were able to answer questions about their sex assigned at birth and current gender identity successfully despite some cisgender respondents' lack of clear understanding of the transgender response option. On the contrary, while the vast majority of English speakers could answer the question about their sexual identity successfully, almost 60% of the non-LGBT Spanish speakers did not select the "heterosexual, that is, not gay (or lesbian)" response category. Qualitative probing of their response process pointed mainly to difficulties understanding the term "heterosexual," leading to their choosing "something else" or saying that they didn't know how to answer. A second round of testing of alternative response categories for the sexual identity question with Spanish speakers found a marked improvement when offered "not gay (or lesbian), that is, heterosexual" instead of beginning with the term "heterosexual." This research adds to our understanding of gender and sexual identity questions appropriate for population surveys with older adults. Inclusion of these measures in surveys is a crucial step in advancing insights into the needs of and disparities faced by LGBT older adults.

  16. 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.

  17. Spanish Consensus Statement (United States)

    Rey, Guillermo Álvarez; Cuesta, Jordi Ardevol; Loureda, Rafael Arriaza; España, Fernando Ávila; Matas, Ramón Balius; Pazos, Fernando Baró; de Dios Beas Jiménez, Juan; Rosell, Jorge Candel; Fernandez, César Cobián; Ros, Francisco Esparza; Colmenero, Josefina Espejo; de Prado, Jorge Fernández; Cota, Juan José García; González, Jose Ignacio Garrido; Santander, Manuela González; Munilla, Miguel Ángel Herrador; Ruiz, Francisco Ivorra; Díaz, Fernando Jiménez; Marqueta, Pedro Manonelles; Fernandez, Antonio Maestro; Benito, Juan José Muñoz; Vilás, Ramón Olivé; Teres, Xavier Peirau; Amaro, José Peña; Roque, Juan Pérez San; Parenteu, Christophe Ramírez; Serna, Juan Ribas; Álvarez, Mikel Sánchez; Marchori, Carlos Sanchez; Soto, Miguel del Valle; Alonso, José María Villalón; García, Pedro Guillen; de la Iglesia, Nicolas Hugo; Alcorocho, Juan Manuel Lopez


    On the 21st of March, 2015, experts met at Clínica CEMTRO in Madrid, Spain, under the patronage of The Spanish Society for Sports Traumatology (SETRADE), The Spanish Federation of Sports Medicine (FEMEDE), The Spanish Association of Medical Services for Football Clubs (AEMEF), and The Spanish Association of Medical Services for Basketball Clubs (AEMB) with the aim of establishing a round table that would allow specialists to consider the most appropriate current general actions to be taken when treating muscle tears in sport, based on proven scientific data described in the medical literature. Each expert received a questionnaire prior to the aforementioned meeting comprising a set of questions concerning therapeutic indications generally applied in the different stages present during muscle repair. The present Consensus Document is the result of the answers to the questionnaire and resulting discussion and consensus over which are the best current indications in the treatment of muscle tears in sport. Avoiding immobilization, not taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) randomly, fostering early mobilization, increasing vascularization of injured, site and regulating inflammatory mechanisms—without inhibiting these from the early stages of the recovery period—all stood out as main points of the Consensus Document. Additionally, there is controversy concerning cell stimulation techniques and the use of growth factors or cell inhibitors. The decision concerning discharge was unanimous, as was the criteria considered when it came to performing sport techniques without pain. PMID:27213161

  18. Enhancing Hispanic participation in mental health clinical research: development of a Spanish-speaking depression research site. (United States)

    Aponte-Rivera, Vivianne; Dunlop, Boadie W; Ramirez, Cynthia; Kelley, Mary E; Schneider, Rebecca; Blastos, Beatriz; Larson, Jacqueline; Mercado, Flavia; Mayberg, Helen; Craighead, W Edward


    Hispanics, particularly those with limited English proficiency, are underrepresented in psychiatric clinical research studies. We developed a bilingual and bicultural research clinic dedicated to the recruitment and treatment of Spanish-speaking subjects in the Predictors of Remission in Depression to Individual and Combined Treatments (PReDICT) study, a large clinical trial of treatment-naïve subjects with major depressive disorder (MDD). Demographic and clinical data derived from screening evaluations of the first 1,174 subjects presenting for participation were compared between the Spanish-speaking site (N = 275) and the primary English-speaking site (N = 899). Reasons for ineligibility (N = 888) for the PReDICT study were tallied for each site. Compared to English speakers, Spanish speakers had a lower level of education and were more likely to be female, uninsured, and have uncontrolled medical conditions. Clinically, Spanish speakers demonstrated greater depression severity, with higher mean symptom severity scores, and a greater number of previous suicide attempts. Among the subjects who were not randomized into the PReDICT study, Spanish-speaking subjects were more likely to have an uncontrolled medical condition or refuse participation, whereas English-speaking subjects were more likely to have bipolar disorder or a non-MDD depressive disorder. Recruitment of Hispanic subjects with MDD is feasible and may enhance efforts at signal detection, given the higher severity of depression among Spanish-speaking participants presenting for clinical trials. Specific approaches for the recruitment and retention of Spanish-speaking participants are required. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. How much exposure to English is necessary for a bilingual toddler to perform like a monolingual peer in language tests? (United States)

    Cattani, Allegra; Abbot-Smith, Kirsten; Farag, Rafalla; Krott, Andrea; Arreckx, Frédérique; Dennis, Ian; Floccia, Caroline


    Bilingual children are under-referred due to an ostensible expectation that they lag behind their monolingual peers in their English acquisition. The recommendations of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) state that bilingual children should be assessed in both the languages known by the children. However, despite these recommendations, a majority of speech and language professionals report that they assess bilingual children only in English as bilingual children come from a wide array of language backgrounds and standardized language measures are not available for the majority of these. Moreover, even when such measures do exist, they are not tailored for bilingual children. It was asked whether a cut-off exists in the proportion of exposure to English at which one should expect a bilingual toddler to perform as well as a monolingual on a test standardized for monolingual English-speaking children. Thirty-five bilingual 2;6-year-olds exposed to British English plus an additional language and 36 British monolingual toddlers were assessed on the auditory component of the Preschool Language Scale, British Picture Vocabulary Scale and an object-naming measure. All parents completed the Oxford Communicative Development Inventory (Oxford CDI) and an exposure questionnaire that assessed the proportion of English in the language input. Where the CDI existed in the bilingual's additional language, these data were also collected. Hierarchical regression analyses found the proportion of exposure to English to be the main predictor of the performance of bilingual toddlers. Bilingual toddlers who received 60% exposure to English or more performed like their monolingual peers on all measures. K-means cluster analyses and Levene variance tests confirmed the estimated English exposure cut-off at 60% for all language measures. Finally, for one additional language for which we had multiple participants, additional language CDI production scores were

  20. Metaphoric Reference: An Eye Movement Analysis of Spanish-English and English-Spanish Bilingual Readers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Ramírez Heredia


    Full Text Available This study examines the processing of metaphoric reference by bilingual speakers. English dominant, Spanish dominant, and balanced bilinguals read passages in English biasing either a figurative (e.g., describing a weak and soft fighter that always lost and everyone hated or a literal (e.g., describing a donut and bakery shop that made delicious pastries meaning of a critical metaphoric referential description (e.g., creampuff. We recorded the eye movements (first fixation, gaze duration, go-past duration, and total reading time for the critical region, which was a metaphoric referential description in each passage. The results revealed that literal vs. figurative meaning activation was modulated by language dominance, where Spanish dominant bilinguals were more likely to access the literal meaning, and English dominant and balanced bilinguals had access to both the literal and figurative meanings of the metaphoric referential description. Overall, there was a general tendency for the literal interpretation to be more active, as revealed by shorter reading times for the metaphoric reference used literally, in comparison to when it was used figuratively. Results are interpreted in terms of the Graded Salience Hypothesis (Giora, 2002, 2003 and the Literal Salience Model (Cieślicka, 2006, 2015.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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....

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Validity of a parent-report measure of vocabulary and grammar for Spanish-speaking toddlers. (United States)

    Thal, D; Jackson-Maldonado, D; Acosta, D


    The validity of the Fundación MacArthur Inventario del Desarrollo de Habilidades Comunicativas: Palabras y Enunciados (IDHC:PE) was examined with twenty 20- and nineteen 28-month-old, typically developing, monolingual, Spanish-speaking children living in Mexico. One measure of vocabulary (number of words) and two measures of grammar (mean of the three longest utterances and grammatical complexity score) from the IDHC:PE were compared to behavioral measures of vocabulary (number of different words from a language sample and number of objects named in a confrontation naming task) and one behavioral measure of grammar (mean length of utterance from a language sample). Only vocabulary measures were assessed in the 20-month-olds because of floor effects on the grammar measures. Results indicated validity for assessing expressive vocabulary in 20-month-olds and expressive vocabulary and grammar in 28-month-olds.

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. Constraints on Tone Sensitivity in Novel Word Learning by Monolingual and Bilingual Infants: Tone Properties Are More Influential than Tone Familiarity (United States)

    Burnham, Denis; Singh, Leher; Mattock, Karen; Woo, Pei J.; Kalashnikova, Marina


    This study compared tone sensitivity in monolingual and bilingual infants in a novel word learning task. Tone language learning infants (Experiment 1, Mandarin monolingual; Experiment 2, Mandarin-English bilingual) were tested with Mandarin (native) or Thai (non-native) lexical tone pairs which contrasted static vs. dynamic (high vs. rising) tones or dynamic vs. dynamic (rising vs. falling) tones. Non-tone language, English-learning infants (Experiment 3) were tested on English intonational contrasts or the Mandarin or Thai tone contrasts. Monolingual Mandarin language infants were able to bind tones to novel words for the Mandarin High-Rising contrast, but not for the Mandarin Rising-Falling contrast; and they were insensitive to both the High-Rising and the Rising-Falling tone contrasts in Thai. Bilingual English-Mandarin infants were similar to the Mandarin monolinguals in that they were sensitive to the Mandarin High-Rising contrast and not to the Mandarin Rising-Falling contrast. However, unlike the Mandarin monolinguals, they were also sensitive to the High Rising contrast in Thai. Monolingual English learning infants were insensitive to all three types of contrasts (Mandarin, Thai, English), although they did respond differentially to tone-bearing vs. intonation-marked words. Findings suggest that infants' sensitivity to tones in word learning contexts depends heavily on tone properties, and that this influence is, in some cases, stronger than effects of language familiarity. Moreover, bilingual infants demonstrated greater phonological flexibility in tone interpretation. PMID:29354077

  13. 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…

  14. United States Changing Demographics - English/Spanish Space Education (United States)

    Leon, R.


    Accordingly the United States Census Bureau, the ethnic group adding the largest number of people to the national population is the Hispanic exceeding 12 percent of the population and growing by almost 60 percent between 1990 and 2000. The status of the nation's educational system with respect to Hispanic students is perhaps one of the most influential issues facing the largest economy of the world. The low income, lack of language skills, highest drop-out rate in the nation, are some of the reasons why Hispanics are less likely to receive a university degree than any other ethical group. In short, the government requires to implement compensatory programs and bilingual education to ensure global leadership. Because of ongoing immigration, Spanish persists longer among Hispanics than it did among other immigrant groups. Spanish is the fourth most spoken language in the world after Mandarin, Hindustani and English. Although not all U.S. Hispanics speak Spanish, almost all U.S. Spanish speakers are Hispanics. This paper is intended to outline the challenging implementation of a bilingual education project affiliated to NASA Johnson Space Center encouraging greater academic success of Hispanics in engineering, math and science. The prospective project covers the overall role of space activities in the development of science and technology, socioeconomic issues and international cooperation. An existent JSC project is the starting stage to keep on developing an interactive video teleconference and web-media technology and produce stimulating learning products in English and Spanish for students and teachers across the nation and around the world.

  15. Discipline, Dilemmas, Decisions and Data Distribution in the Planning and Compilation of Monolingual Dictionaries

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    Rufus H Gouws


    Full Text Available

    Abstract: Bilingual dictionaries play an important role in the standardisation of a language and are often the first dictionary type to be compiled for a given speech community. However, this may never lead to an underestimation of the role and importance of monolingual descriptive dictionaries in the early lexicographic development of a language. In the planning of first descriptive dictionaries the choice of the proper subtype and a consistent application of theoretical principles should be regarded as of extreme importance. Even the compilation of a restricted descriptive dictionary should be done according to similar theoretical principles as those applying to comprehensive dictionaries. This contribution indicates a number of dilemmas confronting the lexicographer during the compilation of restricted monolingual descriptive dictionaries. Attention is given to the role of lexicographic functions and the choice and presentation of lexicographic data, with special reference to the presentation of certain types of polysemous senses which are subjected to frequency of use restrictions. Emphasis is placed on the value of a heterogeneous article structure and a micro-architecture in the articles of restricted dictionaries.


    Opsomming: Dissipline, dilemmas, besluite en dataverspreiding in die beplanning en samestelling van eentalige woordeboeke. Tweetalige woordeboeke speel 'n belangrike rol in die standaardisering van taal en is dikwels die eerste woordeboektipe wat vir 'n bepaalde taalgemeenskap saamgestel word. Dit mag egter nie tot 'n geringskatting lei van die rol en waarde van eentalige verklarende woordeboeke in die

  16. Terminology and Labelling Words by Subject in Monolingual Dictionaries – What Do Domain Labels Say to Dictionary Users ?

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    Nová Jana


    Full Text Available The paper focuses on labelling words by subject in a non-specialized dictionary. We compare the existing monolingual dictionaries of Czech and their ways of labelling terms of medicine and related fields; besides apparent differences between dictionaries, there are also inconsistencies within one dictionary. We consider pros and cons of domain labels as such and their usability in the light of needs and limits of dictionary users, with the aim to motivate further discussion on related issues.

  17. Vestimentary eponyms in contemporary Spanish language

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    Yulia V. Slivchikova


    Full Text Available In a consequence of the perpetual changes in the world of fashion, which can be explained by the introduction of new tendencies, materials and designers, the vocabulary that describes clothing enlarges by the internal means of the language and with the help of lexical borrowing. The article considers the characteristic usage of terms-eponyms for clothing description in Spanish language. Eponyms complicate the learning of languages and translation being a result of the worldview reflection of a determinate group of people in a determined period of time. As the study sets out to find out and explain the connotative meanings of vestimentary eponyms and suggest an approach for synonyms choice from their family for the discourse purposes, the toponyms are not taken into consideration, and the study concentrates on the anthroponyms, proper nouns which identify people, because they can adjust special connotative meanings to the terms within cultural linguistics context. The author shows the examples of etymology of originally Spanish and borrowed terms. Their comparison allows to make out the principles for the classification, authenticity and internationality amongst them. This classification divides all the vestimentary terms-eponyms into two main groups (neutral and with connotative meaning. Then it is possible to systematize and explain the meaning of the second group. According to the study international borrowed terms-eponyms look to neutrality, but among other synonyms acquire the meaning of elitism. Not international vestimentary terms-eponyms have a special connotative meaning, which is known amongst native speakers, that is why while teaching or translating more attention should be paid to them.

  18. 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

  19. Disregarding the Corpus: Head-word and Sense Treatment in Shona Monolingual Lexicography*

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    Webster M. Mavhu


    Full Text Available

    Abstract: With specific reference to Shona monolingual lexicography, this article discusses how corpus-based lexicographers might, in some instances, decide not strictly to adhere to the corpus when it comes to headword and sense treatment. The writer is a member of the African Languages Research Institute (ALRI, formerly known as the African Languages Lexical (ALLEX Project. ALRI is a nonfaculty interdisciplinary unit dedicated to research on and the development of African languages in Zimbabwe. The writer is part of the six-member team that compiled the now published Shona monolingual, synchronic, medium-sized and general-purpose dictionary Du-ramazwi Guru ReChiShona (2001. The article originates from the writer's experience of working on this dictionary. The article highlights the fact that being corpus-based does not necessarily imply being corpus-bound.


    Opsomming: Verontagsaming van die korpus: Trefwoord- en betekenisbe-handeling in die Sjona- eentalige leksikografie. Met spesifieke verwysing na die Sjona- eentalige leksikografie bespreek hierdie artikel hoe korpusgebaseerde leksikograwe in som-mige gevalle kan besluit om nie streng by die korpus te bly wanneer dit kom by trefwoord- en betekenisbehandeling nie. Die skrywer is 'n lid van die African Language Research Institute (AL-RI, vroeër bekend as die African Languages Lexical (ALLEX Project. ALRI is 'n niefakulteits- interdissiplinêre eenheid wat hom beywer vir navorsing oor en die ontwikkeling van die Afrikatale in Zimbabwe. Die skrywer is deel van 'n span van ses lede wat die reeds gepubliseerde Sjona- een-talige, sinchroniese, middelgroot en meerdoelige woordeboek Duramazwi Guru ReChiShona (2001 saamgestel het. Die artikel het uit die skrywer se ervaring van werk aan hierdie woordeboek ont-staan. Die artikel belig die feit dat korpusgebaseerdheid nie noodwendig

  20. Cultural Aspects in the Shona Monolingual Dictionary Duramazwi Guru reChiShona*

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    Nomalanga Mpofu


    Full Text Available

    Abstract: In the compilation of dictionaries, lexicographers also take cognisance of the culture which is inherent in a language. This article will look at the way the cultural aspect is interwoven in the practice of dictionary making. Language is at the core of culture and it is the major vehicle for the transmission of a people's beliefs and values. Language is also an expression of social struc-tures and attitudes. No culture can exist which does not have a natural language at its centre. A language thus reflects a particular culture. Culture in this article will be taken to mean whatever a person must know in order to function in a particular society (Wardhaugh 1998: 215. The article will look at two aspects: (1 the interrelationship between language and culture and its bearing on lexicography; and (2 the treatment of cultural aspects in Duramazwi Guru reChiShona (2001. Examples used in this article are drawn from the advanced Shona monolingual dictionary Duramazwi Guru reChiShona, and other Shona dictionaries, both monolingual and bilingual.


    Opsomming: Kulturele aspekte in die Sjona- eentalige woordeboek. By die samestelling van woordeboeke neem leksikograwe ook kennis van die kultuur wat inherent aan 'n taal is. Hierdie artikel sal kyk na die manier waarop die kulturele aspek verweef is met die praktyk van woordeboekmaak. Taal lê aan die kern van kultuur en dit is die hoofmedium vir die oordrag van 'n volk se opvattings en waardes. Taal is ook 'n uitdrukking van sosiale strukture en houdings. Geen kultuur kan bestaan wat nie 'n natuurlike taal as middelpunt het nie. 'n Taal weerspieël gevolglik 'n bepaalde kultuur. Kultuur in hierdie artikel sal verstaan word om alles te beteken wat 'n persoon moet weet om in 'n betrokke maatskappy te funksioneer

  1. Language profiles of monolingual and bilingual Finnish preschool children at risk for language impairment. (United States)

    Westman, Martin; Korkman, Marit; Mickos, Annika; Byring, Roger


    A large proportion of children are exposed to more than one language, yet research on simultaneous bilingualism has been relatively sparse. Traditionally, there has been concern that bilingualism may aggravate language difficulties of children with language impairment. However, recent studies have not found specific language impairment (SLI) or language-related problems to be increased by bilingualism. The topic of bilingualism and its effects has high actuality in Finland, where increasing numbers of children in the country's 6% Swedish-speaking minority grow up in bilingual families, where one parent's primary language is Swedish and the other's Finnish. The present study aimed at exploring the influence of such bilingualism on the language profiles of children from this population at risk for language impairment (LI). Participants were recruited from a language screening of 339 children from kindergartens with instruction only in Swedish, from the Swedish-speaking parts of Finland. Of these children, 33 (9.7%) were defined as a Risk Group for LI, whereas 48 non-risk children were randomly selected to form a control group. When subdividing the children according to home language, 35 were found to be monolingual, Swedish-speaking, and 46 were Swedish-Finnish bilingual. The children underwent neuropsychological assessment during their preschool year. Assessment methods included subtests from the Wechsler Primary and Preschool Scale of Intelligence - Revised and the NEPSY Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment. A repeated-measures multiple analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) showed a significant effect of risk of LI on the NEPSY language scores. The effect of home language was not significant and there was no interaction between home language and risk for LI. Non-verbal IQ was controlled for. Across groups, bilingual children scored lower than monolingual children only on measures of vocabulary and sentence repetition. Although a slight general cost of

  2. English as a Foreign Language in Bilingual Language-minority Children, Children with Dyslexia and Monolingual Typical Readers. (United States)

    Bonifacci, Paola; Canducci, Elisa; Gravagna, Giulia; Palladino, Paola


    The present study was aimed at investigating literacy skills in English as a foreign language in three different groups of children: monolinguals with dyslexia (n = 19), typically developing bilinguals (language-minority) (n = 19) and a control group of monolinguals (Italian) (n = 76). Bilinguals were not expected to fail in English measures, and their gap with monolinguals would be expected to be limited to the instructional language, owing to underexposure. All participants were enrolled in Italian primary schools (fourth and fifth grades). A non-verbal reasoning task and Italian and English literacy tasks were administered. The Italian battery included word and non-word reading (speed and accuracy), word and non-word writing, and reading comprehension; the English battery included similar tasks, except for the non-word writing. Bilingual children performed similarly to typical readers in English tasks, whereas in Italian tasks, their performance was similar to that of typical readers in reading speed but not in reading accuracy and writing. Children with dyslexia underperformed compared with typically developing children in all English and Italian tasks, except for reading comprehension in Italian. Profile analysis and correlational analyses were further discussed. These results suggest that English as a foreign language might represent a challenge for students with dyslexia but a strength for bilingual language-minority children. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  3. Bilingualism at the core of the brain. Structural differences between bilinguals and monolinguals revealed by subcortical shape analysis. (United States)

    Burgaleta, Miguel; Sanjuán, Ana; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Sebastian-Galles, Núria; Ávila, César


    Naturally acquiring a language shapes the human brain through a long-lasting learning and practice process. This is supported by previous studies showing that managing more than one language from early childhood has an impact on brain structure and function. However, to what extent bilingual individuals present neuroanatomical peculiarities at the subcortical level with respect to monolinguals is yet not well understood, despite the key role of subcortical gray matter for a number of language functions, including monitoring of speech production and language control - two processes especially solicited by bilinguals. Here we addressed this issue by performing a subcortical surface-based analysis in a sample of monolinguals and simultaneous bilinguals (N=88) that only differed in their language experience from birth. This analysis allowed us to study with great anatomical precision the potential differences in morphology of key subcortical structures, namely, the caudate, accumbens, putamen, globus pallidus and thalamus. Vertexwise analyses revealed significantly expanded subcortical structures for bilinguals compared to monolinguals, localized in bilateral putamen and thalamus, as well as in the left globus pallidus and right caudate nucleus. A topographical interpretation of our results suggests that a more complex phonological system in bilinguals may lead to a greater development of a subcortical brain network involved in monitoring articulatory processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. ‘Shift’ ‘n ‘control’: The computer as a third interactant in Spanish-language (United States)

    Goble, Ryan; Vickers, Caroline H


    The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of the computer in medical consultations in which English- Spanish-bilingual medical providers interact with Spanish-monolingual patients. Following previous studies that have revealed that the presence of the computer in consultations detracts from direct provider– patient communication, we pay specific attention to how the use of the computer in Spanish-language medical consultations can complement or adversely affect the co-construction of the patient’s health narrative. The data for the present study consist of 36 Spanish-language medical consultations in Southern California. Applying a conversation analytical approach to the health narratives in the corpus, we argue that the computer is essentially a third interactant to which medical providers orient through lowered volume, minimal responses, bureaucratic side talk, and, most importantly, code-switching to English – all of which strip the patients of control over the co-construction of their health narrative with their medical provider. Because the patient does not have access to the computational task and the language, we posit that this exacerbates the already existing adverse effects that the computer has on provider–patient interaction.

  5. The learner as lexicographer: using monolingual and bilingual corpora to deepen vocabulary knowledge

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    Full Text Available Learning vocabulary is one of the most challenging tasks faced by learners with a non-kanji background when learning Japanese as a foreign language. However, learners are often not aware of the range of different aspects of word knowledge they need in order to successfully use Japanese. This includes not only the spoken and written form of a word and its meaning, but also morphological, grammatical, collocational, connotative and pragmatic knowledge as well as knowledge of social constraints to be observed. In this article, we present some background data on the use of dictionaries among students of Japanese at the University of Ljubljana, a selection of resources and a series of exercises developed with the following aims: a to foster greater awareness of the different aspects of Japanese vocabulary, both from a monolingual and a contrastive perspective, b to learn about tools and methods that can be applied in different contexts of language learning and language use, and c to develop strategies for learning new vocabulary, reinforcing knowledge about known vocabulary, and effectively using this knowledge in receptive and productive language tasks.

  6. Comparison of auditory temporal resolution between monolingual Persian and bilingual Turkish-Persian individuals. (United States)

    Omidvar, Shaghayegh; Jafari, Zahra; Tahaei, Ali Akbar; Salehi, Masoud


    The aims of this study were to prepare a Persian version of the temporal resolution test using the method of Phillips et al (1994) and Stuart and Phillips (1996), and to compare the word-recognition performance in the presence of continuous and interrupted noise as well as the temporal resolution abilities between monolingual (ML) Persian and bilingual (BL) Turkish-Persian young adults. Word-recognition scores (WRSs) were obtained in quiet and in the presence of background competing continuous and interrupted noise at signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) of -20, -10, 0, and 10 dB. Two groups of 33 ML Persian and 36 BL Turkish-Persian volunteers participated. WRSs significantly differed between ML and BL subjects at four sensation levels in the presence of continuous and interrupted noise. However, the difference in the release from masking between ML and BL subjects was not significant at the studied SNRs. BL Turkish-Persian listeners seem to show poorer performance when responding to Persian words in continuous and interrupted noise. However, bilingualism may not affect auditory temporal resolution ability.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Phraseology and diatopic variation in Spanish

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    Antonio Pamies Bertrán


    Full Text Available Phraseology and idioms have been scantly investigated in the field of dialectology, compared to the rich tradition of phonetic and lexicological studies that made available long ago accurate dialectal maps and atlases for all the languages of Europe. There is no lack of irony in this given the etymology of the word idiom itself(speakers often accompany the use of idioms and proverbs with pragmatic markers like as we say in my village, as we say in my homeland, as my grandmother said, even for standard expressions. This seems to presuppose the existence of a relationship – within linguistic consciousness – between phraseology and non-standard diatopic (or diaphasic varieties, either as a rhetorical strategy or an intuitive hypercorrection. Spanish phraseology and paremiology allow us to observe certain cues in this respect.

  13. Item analysis of the Spanish version of the Boston Naming Test with a Spanish speaking adult population from Colombia. (United States)

    Kim, Stella H; Strutt, Adriana M; Olabarrieta-Landa, Laiene; Lequerica, Anthony H; Rivera, Diego; De Los Reyes Aragon, Carlos Jose; Utria, Oscar; Arango-Lasprilla, Juan Carlos


    The Boston Naming Test (BNT) is a widely used measure of confrontation naming ability that has been criticized for its questionable construct validity for non-English speakers. This study investigated item difficulty and construct validity of the Spanish version of the BNT to assess cultural and linguistic impact on performance. Subjects were 1298 healthy Spanish speaking adults from Colombia. They were administered the 60- and 15-item Spanish version of the BNT. A Rasch analysis was computed to assess dimensionality, item hierarchy, targeting, reliability, and item fit. Both versions of the BNT satisfied requirements for unidimensionality. Although internal consistency was excellent for the 60-item BNT, order of difficulty did not increase consistently with item number and there were a number of items that did not fit the Rasch model. For the 15-item BNT, a total of 5 items changed position on the item hierarchy with 7 poor fitting items. Internal consistency was acceptable. Construct validity of the BNT remains a concern when it is administered to non-English speaking populations. Similar to previous findings, the order of item presentation did not correspond with increasing item difficulty, and both versions were inadequate at assessing high naming ability.

  14. The Spanish Language in Ireland


    Barnwell, David


    This article provides an overview of the situation of Spanish in the Irish educational system and in wider society. Spain enjoys positive attitudes among Irish people, helped by the considerable amount of property in that country purchased by Irish during the past few years. The Spanish language has over the years experienced mixed fortunes as regards its place in Irish education. Recently, however, there has been a moderate increase in the numbers studying Spanish across all sectors...

  15. 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...

  16. Robust Digital Speech Watermarking For Online Speaker Recognition

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Accelerators Spanish steps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)



    In September, the CERN Accelerator School (CAS) held its third General Accelerator Physics Course, the venue this time being Salamanca, the oldest university in Spain. Spain, which rejoined CERN in 1982, now has a vigorous and steadily growing high energy physics community making substantial contributions to physics detector development and successfully involving Spanish industry. However the embryonic accelerator community cannot yet generate an equivalent level of activity, and this important channel for introducing new high technology into industry has yet to be fully exploited

  1. Area Handbook Series: El Salvador: A Country Study (United States)


    the majority of these people was no longer completely Indian. Most were ladinoized, Hispanic acculturated, monolingual Spanish speakers who did not wear...Latin American Historical Dictionaries , No. 5.) Metuchen, New Jersey: Scare- crow Press, 1972. Harris, Kevin, and Mario Espinosa. "Reform

  2. The Impact of a Collaborative Family Involvement Program on Latino Families and Children's Educational Performance (United States)

    O'Donnell, Julie; Kirkner, Sandra L.


    Latino families highly value education and are committed to their children's educational success; however, Latino students often experience educational challenges. Well-designed family involvement programs can encourage Latino families, especially new immigrants or monolingual Spanish-speakers, to increase their involvement resulting in positive…

  3. Wh-question intonation in Peninsular Spanish: Multiple contours and the effect of task type

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas C. Henriksen


    Full Text Available This paper reports on an experimental investigation of wh-question intonation in Peninsular Spanish. Speech data were collected from six León, Spain Peninsular Spanish speakers, and oral production data were elicited under two conditions: a computerized sentence reading task and an information gap task-oriented dialogue. The latter task was an adaptation of the HCRC Map Task method (cf. Anderson et al., 1991 and was designed to elicit multiple wh-question productions in an unscripted and more spontaneous speech style than the standard sentence reading task. Results indicate that four contours exist in the tonal inventory of the six speakers. The two most frequent contours were a final rise contour and a nuclear circumflex contour. Systematic task-based differences were found for four of the six speakers, indicating that sentence reading task data alone may not accurately reflect spontaneous speech tonal patterns (cf. Cruttenden, 2007; but see also Lickley, Schepman, & Ladd, 2005. The experimental findings serve to clarify a number of assumptions about the syntax-prosody interface underlying wh-question utterance signaling; they also have implications for research methods in intonation and task-based variation in laboratory phonology.

  4. MAHRES: Spanish hydrogen geography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bordallo, C.R.; Moreno, E.; Brey, R.; Guerrero, F.M.; Carazo, A.F.


    Nowadays, it is common to hear about the hydrogen potential as an energetic vector or the renewable character of fuel cells; thus, the conjunction between both of them as a way to produce electricity, decreasing pollutant emission, is often discussed. However, that renewable character is only guaranteed in the case that the hydrogen used comes from some renewable energy source. Because of that, and due to the Spanish great potential related to natural usable resources like water, sun, wind or biomass, for instance, it seems attractive to make a meticulous study (supported by the statistical Multicriteria Decision Making Method) in order to quantify that potential and place it in defined geographical areas. Moreover, the growth of the electricity demand is always significant, and in this way the energy consumption in Spain is estimated to grow up to 3'4 % above the average during the next ten years. On the other hand, it must be taken into account that the contribution of the oil production will not be enough in the future. The study being carried out will try to elaborate 'The Spanish Renewable Hydrogen Map', that would contemplate, not only the current situation but also predictable scenarios and their implementation. (author)

  5. The Spanish flu in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kolte, Ida Viktoria; Skinhøj, Peter; Keiding, Niels


    The spread of H5N1 influenza and the similarity between this avian virus and the Spanish flu virus causes fear of a new influenza pandemic, but data from the Spanish flu may also be of guidance in planning for preventive measures. Using data on influenza cases, influenza deaths and total deaths...

  6. Spanish translation and linguistic validation of the quality of life in neurological disorders (Neuro-QoL) measurement system. (United States)

    Correia, H; Pérez, B; Arnold, B; Wong, Alex W K; Lai, J S; Kallen, M; Cella, D


    The quality of life in neurological disorders (Neuro-QoL) measurement system is a 470-item compilation of health-related quality of life domains for adults and children with neurological disorders. It was developed and cognitively debriefed in English and Spanish, with general population and clinical samples in the USA. This paper describes the Spanish translation and linguistic validation process. The translation methodology combined forward and back-translations, multiple reviews, and cognitive debriefing with 30 adult and 30 pediatric Spanish-speaking respondents in the USA. The adult Fatigue bank was later also tested in Spain and Argentina. A universal approach to translation was adopted to produce a Spanish version that can be used in various countries. Translators from several countries were involved in the process. Cognitive debriefing results indicated that most of the 470 Spanish items were well understood. Translations were revised as needed where difficulty was reported or where participants' comments revealed misunderstanding of an item's intended meaning. Additional testing of the universal Spanish adult Fatigue item bank in Spain and Argentina confirmed good understanding of the items and that no country-specific word changes were necessary. All the adult and pediatric Neuro-QoL measures have been linguistically validated with Spanish speakers in the USA. Instruments are available for use at

  7. 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,…

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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)

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. Cognitive profiles in bilingual children born to immigrant parents and Italian monolingual native children with specific learning disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riva A


    Full Text Available Anna Riva, Renata Nacinovich, Nadia Bertuletti, Valentina Montrasi, Sara Marchetti, Francesca Neri, Monica Bomba Child and Adolescent Mental Health Department, University of Milan Bicocca, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy Purpose: The aim of this study is to compare the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children® – fourth edition IV (WISC IV intellectual profile of two groups of children with specific learning disorder, a group of bilingual children and a group of monolingual Italian children, in order to identify possible significant differences between them. Patients and methods: A group of 48 bilingual children and a group of 48 Italian monolingual children were included in this study. A preliminary comparison showed the homogeneity of the two groups regarding learning disorder typology and sociodemographic characteristics (age at WISC IV assessment, sex and years of education in Italy with the exception of socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic status was then used as a covariate in the analysis. Results: Even if the two groups were comparable in specific learning disorder severity and, in particular, in the text comprehension performance, our findings showed that the WISC IV performances of the bilingual group were significantly worse than the Italian group in Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (P=0.03, in General Ability Index (P=0.03, in Working Memory Index (P=0.009 and in some subtests and clusters requiring advanced linguistic abilities. Conclusion: These results support the hypothesis of a weakness in metalinguistic abilities in bilingual children with specific learning disorders than monolinguals. If confirmed, this result must be considered in the rehabilitation treatment. Keywords: children, bilingualism, WISC IV, SLD

  7. The Lexicographic Treatment of Sublexical and Multilexical Items in a Northern Sotho Monolingual Dictionary: A Challenge for Lexicographers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Motlokwe Clifford Mphahlele


    Full Text Available

    Abstract: Dictionaries have in the past used a word-based approach in which sublexical and multilexical items were not regarded as lemmata. Metalexicography as the theoretical component of lexicography requires that sublexical and multilexical items be lemmatized and treated as independent lemmata in the macrostructure of dictionaries. One of the greater challenges for compiling a better and user-oriented Northern Sotho monolingual dictionary is to treat sublexical and multi-lexical items as macrostructural elements. Treating these items, the lexicographer faces quite a number of challenges. This article proposes possible ways in which sublexical and multilexical elements could be successfully treated in a Northern Sotho monolingual dictionary. Taking stock of these challenges, the writer comes with suggestions that would assist lexicographers in the compi-lation of a user-friendly, lexicon-based monolingual dictionary that would lead users to successful information retrieval.


    Opsomming: Die leksikografiese behandeling van subleksikale en multi-leksikale items in 'n Noord-Sotho- eentalige woordeboek: 'n Uitdaging vir leksikograwe. Woordeboeke het in die verlede 'n woordgebaseerde benadering gevolg waar-by subleksikale en multileksikale items nie as lemmas beskou is nie. Die metaleksikografie as die teoretiese komponent van die leksikografie vereis dat subleksikale en multileksikale items gelem-matiseer word en as onafhanklike lemmas in die makrostuktuur van woordeboeke

  8. Accuracy of weight loss information in Spanish search engine results on the internet. (United States)

    Cardel, Michelle I; Chavez, Sarah; Bian, Jiang; Peñaranda, Eribeth; Miller, Darci R; Huo, Tianyao; Modave, François


    To systematically assess the quality of online information related to weight loss that Spanish speakers in the U.S. are likely to access. This study evaluated the accessibility and quality of information for websites that were identified from weight loss queries in Spanish and compared this with previously published results in English. The content was scored with respect to five dimensions: nutrition, physical activity, behavior, pharmacotherapy, and surgical recommendations. Sixty-six websites met eligibility criteria (21 commercial, 24 news/media, 10 blogs, 0 medical/government/university, 11 unclassified sites). Of 16 possible points, mean content quality score was 3.4 (SD = 2.0). Approximately 1.5% of sites scored greater than 8 (out of 12) on nutrition, physical activity, and behavior. Unsubstantiated claims were made on 94% of the websites. Content quality scores varied significantly by type of website (P searches is suboptimal and relatively worse than weight loss information accessed in English, suggesting that U.S. Spanish speakers accessing weight loss information online may be provided with incomplete and inaccurate information. © 2016 The Obesity Society.

  9. Vliv temporálních manipulací na vnímání kompetence mluvčího / Effect of Temporal Manipulations on the Perception of Speaker Competence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzana Berkovcová


    Full Text Available Speech communication research based on psychological methods currently stands at the forefront of scientific interest. Speech is an integral part of the social identity of a person and has a significant impact on the perception of the speaker by his surroundings. The present study aims to chart the effect of the temporal organization of utterances on the perception of a speaker’s competence. Recordings of four Spanish native speakers were manipulated in a way which destabilized the regular temporal structure of their utterances. A perception test was administered to forty Czech listeners differing in level of proficiency with the Spanish language. The aim of the test was to reveal the listeners’ positive or negative judgments of the original (regular and manipulated (dysfluent items. The basis for the perception test was the Big Five personality traits model, with the factor evaluated being the speakers’ competence that is the ability and readiness to effectively deal with tasks. The results confirmed our main hypothesis, which assumed that both groups of listeners will, in terms of competence, evaluate the manipulated items negatively. Students of Spanish studies were more perceptive of the temporal manipulations, most likely due to their familiarity with the prosodic structure of Spanish and their understanding of the meaning of the tested utterances.

  10. Managerial style in Spanish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dra. Cristina Etayo Pérez


    Full Text Available This paper aims to study the management style of the Spanish advertising agencies. For this purpose, it explores the way in which the dimensions that define the nature of this concept arise in the sector chosen. The analysis begins with the definition of management style as concept followed by an exposition of its main functions and its fundamental dimensions. Then, the paper presents the methodology used to verify how these dimensions appear among managers as well as the results obtained during the fieldwork. Such methodology includes the achievement of in-depth interviews, with the help of a questionnaire of semi-structured questions, and the descriptive analysis of qualitative and quantitative information obtained from those interviews. The revision of these aspects enriches the study of management at the advertising agencies since it contributes to understand why certain actions have as a consequence one particular kind of relationship between directors and collaborators or another.

  11. The spanish nuclear choice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin Blazquez, C.


    The aim of this thesis was to examine the present state and projections of the nuclear energy development in Spain, the limits and conditions of this development, as also the industrial and politic-economical stakes resulting. The analysis is considered through the evolution of the energetic balance up to 1990, taking into account the exceptional role of the nuclear energy: description of the various economic and social development plans since 1964, history of the energy consumption in Spain, structures of the nuclear sector (mining, production, and the private industry), importance of the electric energy in the spanish industry, structures of the electric sector in Spain, roles and interventions of the government in the nuclear electric subsector

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. Cancer Health Literacy Test-30-Spanish (CHLT-30-DKspa), a New Spanish-Language Version of the Cancer Health Literacy Test (CHLT-30) for Spanish-Speaking Latinos. (United States)

    Echeverri, Margarita; Anderson, David; Nápoles, Anna María


    This article describes the adaptation and initial validation of the Cancer Health Literacy Test (CHLT) for Spanish speakers. A cross-sectional field test of the Spanish version of the CHLT (CHLT-30-DKspa) was conducted among healthy Latinos in Louisiana. Diagonally weighted least squares was used to confirm the factor structure. Item response analysis using 2-parameter logistic estimates was used to identify questions that may require modification to avoid bias. Cronbach's alpha coefficients estimated scale internal consistency reliability. Analysis of variance was used to test for significant differences in CHLT-30-DKspa scores by gender, origin, age and education. The mean CHLT-30-DKspa score (N = 400) was 17.13 (range = 0-30, SD = 6.65). Results confirmed a unidimensional structure, χ(2)(405) = 461.55, p = .027, comparative fit index = .993, Tucker-Lewis index = .992, root mean square error of approximation = .0180. Cronbach's alpha was .88. Items Q1-High Calorie and Q15-Tumor Spread had the lowest item-scale correlations (.148 and .288, respectively) and standardized factor loadings (.152 and .302, respectively). Items Q19-Smoking Risk, Q8-Palliative Care, and Q1-High Calorie had the highest item difficulty parameters (difficulty = 1.12, 1.21, and 2.40, respectively). Results generally support the applicability of the CHLT-30-DKspa for healthy Spanish-speaking populations, with the exception of 4 items that need to be deleted or revised and further studied: Q1, Q8, Q15, and Q19.

  14. 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...

  15. 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....

  16. Determinants of Research Productivity in Spanish Academia (United States)

    Albert, Cecilia; Davia, María A.; Legazpe, Nuria


    This article aims to widen the empirical evidence about the determinants of Spanish academics' publication productivity across fields of study. We use the Spanish Survey on Human Resources in Science and Technology addressed to Spanish resident PhDs employed in Spanish universities as academics. Productivity is measured as the total number of…

  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. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Visit of Spanish Government delegation

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN PhotoLab


    A Spanish Government delegation visited CERN before Spain rejoined CERN as a Member State(in 1983). Delegates interested in advanced technologies visited the ISR workshop clean room, where Romeo Perin explained fabrication and properties of stainless steel, titanium and inconel components of vacuum chambers for experiments at the ISR. Left to right: Technical Director Giorgio Brianti, the Spanish Minister of Industry and Energy Mr.Ignacio Bayon Marine , Romeo Perin, a delegate and Director-General Herwig Schopper. See also 8202369.

  10. Spanish Young Generation (JJNN) Activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Millan, Miguel


    Spanish Young Generation has been very active during 2006-2008. JJNN have mainly focused on communication activities, as conferences at universities, schools and nuclear companies. Lately, becoming in referent of the young politics, journalist and the young people in Nuclear Subjects is the new and most challenging target of the Spanish Young Generation. In order to accomplish with their objects and commitments with their members, JJNN are developing all kinds of activities focused in the young people and the JJNN members. (authors)

  11. Spanish-cedar : Cedrela spp. (United States)

    B. F. Kukachka


    From the earliest days of exploration and colonization in tropical America, Spanish-cedar has been one of the most important timber trees of the area. The wood became an article for the export trade during the 1800’s when the cigar industry demanded the use of Spanish-cedar for packing cigars. These fragrant boxes were commonplace before rising costs in the 1930’s...

  12. Spanish Young Generation (JJNN) Activities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Millan, Miguel [INITEC Nuclear- Westinghouse, Padilla 17, 28006 Madrid (Spain)


    Spanish Young Generation has been very active during 2006-2008. JJNN have mainly focused on communication activities, as conferences at universities, schools and nuclear companies. Lately, becoming in referent of the young politics, journalist and the young people in Nuclear Subjects is the new and most challenging target of the Spanish Young Generation. In order to accomplish with their objects and commitments with their members, JJNN are developing all kinds of activities focused in the young people and the JJNN members. (authors)

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Spanish opinion polls 1998

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nufiez Lopez, Maria Pilar


    There is widespread conviction among the professionals working in the nuclear sector that the image of nuclear energy held by the general public is poor. In Spain we insist again and again that an overwhelming majority of people consider nuclear energy to be dangerous, contaminating and relating to war. Depending on individual experience, we even go as far as to venture percentages of acceptability. When asked to explain the reasons for this, some claim that the cause of this attitude of rejection is to do with wastes, others that it is fear of radiation, and so on. Most of these claims are 'subjective perceptions' based on our own personal contacts and xperiences. With a view to establishing a reliable analytical basis and thus be able to carry out an objective study of the problem of public perception of nuclear energy in Spain, the Forum of the Spanish Nuclear Industry commissioned a group of external consultants specializing in this type of studies to carry out a survey designed to provide information on the causes underlying the rejection of nuclear energy and its measure. This survey is one of the first performed in this country since the decision was taken to use nuclear power in the nineteen sixties. The survey, performed by way of telephone conversations, included 2,000 people aged between 15 and 60 years. Of the total number of interviewees, 25 percent lived in areas surrounding a nuclear power plant, but had no direct professional or family ties with the plant. In addition to the 2000 telephone interviews, the study included also a qualitative investigation based on open interviews and focus groups. In general, the image detected during the qualitative phase is that in spite of its being technologically advanced and professionally directed and managed, nuclear energy arouses fear and mistrust. The structure of the survey was based on overall issues: the concerns of Spanish society. Twenty-four percent of the interviewees claimed that the environment was

  19. A Comparison between Verbal Working Memory and Vocabulary in Bilingual and Monolingual South African School Beginners: Implications for Bilingual Language Assessment (United States)

    Cockcroft, Kate


    This study compared bilingual and monolingual school beginners on measures of simple and complex verbal working memory and receptive and expressive vocabulary. The aim was to determine whether the tests of working memory are fairer measures of language ability than the vocabulary tests for bilingual children when tested in their second language.…

  20. Développement phonético-phonologique en fulfulde et bambara d’enfants monolingues et bilingues : étude du babillage et des premiers mots

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cissé, Ibrahima Abdoul Hayou


    This descriptive and analytical study is based on two corpora of audiovisual data of monolingual and multilingual children’s babbling and first words gathered in Mali during a period of nearly a year. It is concerned with fundamental discussions about the development and acquisition of language such

  1. Multilingual Effects on EFL Learning: A Comparison of Foreign Language Anxiety Experienced by Monolingual and Bilingual Tertiary Students in the Lao PDR (United States)

    Phongsa, Manivone; Mohamed Ismail, Shaik Abdul Malik; Low, Hui Min


    Foreign language anxiety is common among adult learners, especially those who lack exposure to the language that they are learning. In this study, we compared the foreign language anxiety experienced by monolingual and bilingual tertiary students in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) who were learning English as a Foreign Language. The…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Bilingual and Monolingual EFL learners’ Use of Writing Metacognitive Strategies and Writing Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Poorebrahim


    Full Text Available Research has shown that writing skill of Iranian learners is not at a satisfactory level. One  of  the  ways  to  develop  writing  ability  is  to  improve  strategic  behavior  of  learners.  The current  study  set  out  to  compare  writing  performances  and  patterns  of  using  metacognitive strategies  in  bilinguals  and  monolinguals  as  well  as  seniors  and  freshmen  students.  A  total  of 176  English  major  university  students  took  part  in  the  study  (88  bilinguals  and  88 monolinguals.  Data  were  collected  through  three  instruments:  a  background  questionnaire,  a writing  metacognitive  strategy  questionnaire,  and  participants’  compositions.  A  two-way factorial  ANOVA  was  used  to  analyze  the  data  obtained  through  the  strategy  questionnaire. Since the composition data were not parametric, two Kruskall-Wallis tests were employed for data  analysis. The  results  revealed  that  bilinguals  used  more  metacognitive  strategies  and  had higher  writing  scores  than  monolinguals.  In  addition,  seniors  had  better  writing  performance than freshmen while the difference between them in using strategies was not significant. Based on the results, it can be concluded that teaching writing metacognitive strategies may result in a better writing performance.   استفاده از راهبردهای فراشناختی نوشتار و مهارت نوشتاری زبان آموزان یک زبانه و دو زبانه   تحقیقات اخیر حاکی از عملکرد ضعیف زبان آموزان ایرانی در مهارت نوشتار زبان انگلیسی است. یکی از روشهای بهبود مهارت نوشتار تقویت رفتار استراتژیک زبان آموزان است. در تحقیق پیش رو به مقایسه مهارت نوشتار و الگوهای

  5. Influence of current input-output and age of first exposure on phonological acquisition in early bilingual Spanish-English-speaking kindergarteners. (United States)

    Ruiz-Felter, Roxanna; Cooperson, Solaman J; Bedore, Lisa M; Peña, Elizabeth D


    Although some investigations of phonological development have found that segmental accuracy is comparable in monolingual children and their bilingual peers, there is evidence that language use affects segmental accuracy in both languages. To investigate the influence of age of first exposure to English and the amount of current input-output on phonological accuracy in English and Spanish in early bilingual Spanish-English kindergarteners. Also whether parent and teacher ratings of the children's intelligibility are correlated with phonological accuracy and the amount of experience with each language. Data for 91 kindergarteners (mean age = 5;6 years) were selected from a larger dataset focusing on Spanish-English bilingual language development. All children were from Central Texas, spoke a Mexican Spanish dialect and were learning American English. Children completed a single-word phonological assessment with separate forms for English and Spanish. The assessment was analyzed for segmental accuracy: percentage of consonants and vowels correct and percentage of early-, middle- and late-developing (EML) sounds correct were calculated. Children were more accurate on vowel production than consonant production and showed a decrease in accuracy from early to middle to late sounds. The amount of current input-output explained more of the variance in phonological accuracy than age of first English exposure. Although greater current input-output of a language was associated with greater accuracy in that language, English-dominant children were only significantly more accurate in English than Spanish on late sounds, whereas Spanish-dominant children were only significantly more accurate in Spanish than English on early sounds. Higher parent and teacher ratings of intelligibility in Spanish were correlated with greater consonant accuracy in Spanish, but the same did not hold for English. Higher intelligibility ratings in English were correlated with greater current English

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Bilingualism does not alter cognitive decline or dementia risk among Spanish-speaking immigrants. (United States)

    Zahodne, Laura B; Schofield, Peter W; Farrell, Meagan T; Stern, Yaakov; Manly, Jennifer J


    Clinic-based studies suggest that dementia is diagnosed at older ages in bilinguals compared with monolinguals. The current study sought to test this hypothesis in a large, prospective, community-based study of initially nondemented Hispanic immigrants living in a Spanish-speaking enclave of northern Manhattan. Participants included 1,067 participants in the Washington/Hamilton Heights Inwood Columbia Aging Project (WHICAP) who were tested in Spanish and followed at 18-24 month intervals for up to 23 years. Spanish-English bilingualism was estimated via both self-report and an objective measure of English reading level. Multilevel models for change estimated the independent effects of bilingualism on cognitive decline in 4 domains: episodic memory, language, executive function, and speed. Over the course of the study, 282 participants developed dementia. Cox regression was used to estimate the independent effect of bilingualism on dementia conversion. Covariates included country of origin, gender, education, time spent in the United States, recruitment cohort, and age at enrollment. Independent of the covariates, bilingualism was associated with better memory and executive function at baseline. However, bilingualism was not independently associated with rates of cognitive decline or dementia conversion. Results were similar whether bilingualism was measured via self-report or an objective test of reading level. This study does not support a protective effect of bilingualism on age-related cognitive decline or the development of dementia. In this sample of Hispanic immigrants, bilingualism is related to higher initial scores on cognitive tests and higher educational attainment and may not represent a unique source of cognitive reserve. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  9. Is adaptation of the word accentuation test of premorbid intelligence necessary for use among older, Spanish-speaking immigrants in the United States? (United States)

    Schrauf, Robert W; Weintraub, Sandra; Navarro, Ellen


    Adaptations of the National Adult Reading Test (NART) for assessing premorbid intelligence in languages other than English requires (a) generating word-items that are rare and do not follow grapheme-to-phoneme mappings common in that language, and (b) subsequent validation against a cognitive battery normed on the population of interest. Such tests exist for Italy, France, Spain, and Argentina, all normed against national versions of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. Given the varieties of Spanish spoken in the United States, the adaptation of the Spanish Word Accentuation Test (WAT) requires re-validating the original word list, plus possible new items, against a cognitive battery that has been normed on Spanish-speakers from many countries. This study reports the generation of 55 additional words and revalidation in a sample of 80 older, Spanish-dominant immigrants. The Batería Woodcock-Muñoz Revisada (BWM-R), normed on Spanish speakers from six countries and five U.S. states, was used to establish criterion validity. The original WAT word list accounted for 77% of the variance in the BWM-R and 58% of the variance in Ravens Colored Progressive Matrices, suggesting that the unmodified list possesses adequate predictive validity as an indicator of intelligence. Regression equations are provided for estimating BWM-R and Ravens scores from WAT scores.

  10. National Institutes of Health Toolbox Emotion Battery for English- and Spanish-speaking adults: normative data and factor-based summary scores. (United States)

    Babakhanyan, Ida; McKenna, Benjamin S; Casaletto, Kaitlin B; Nowinski, Cindy J; Heaton, Robert K


    The National Institutes of Health Toolbox Emotion Battery (NIHTB-EB) is a "common currency", computerized assessment developed to measure the full spectrum of emotional health. Though comprehensive, the NIHTB-EB's 17 scales may be unwieldy for users aiming to capture more global indices of emotional functioning. NIHTB-EB was administered to 1,036 English-speaking and 408 Spanish-speaking adults as a part of the NIH Toolbox norming project. We examined the factor structure of the NIHTB-EB in English- and Spanish-speaking adults and developed factor analysis-based summary scores. Census-weighted norms were presented for English speakers, and sample-weighted norms were presented for Spanish speakers. Exploratory factor analysis for both English- and Spanish-speaking cohorts resulted in the same 3-factor solution: 1) negative affect, 2) social satisfaction, and 3) psychological well-being. Confirmatory factor analysis supported similar factor structures for English- and Spanish-speaking cohorts. Model fit indices fell within the acceptable/good range, and our final solution was optimal compared to other solutions. Summary scores based upon the normative samples appear to be psychometrically supported and should be applied to clinical samples to further validate the factor structures and investigate rates of problematic emotions in medical and psychiatric populations.

  11. Do eye movements reveal differences between monolingual and bilingual children's first-language and second-language reading? A focus on word frequency effects. (United States)

    Whitford, Veronica; Joanisse, Marc F


    An extensive body of research has examined reading acquisition and performance in monolingual children. Surprisingly, however, much less is known about reading in bilingual children, who outnumber monolingual children globally. Here, we address this important imbalance in the literature by employing eye movement recordings to examine both global (i.e., text-level) and local (i.e., word-level) aspects of monolingual and bilingual children's reading performance across their first-language (L1) and second-language (L2). We also had a specific focus on lexical accessibility, indexed by word frequency effects. We had three main findings. First, bilingual children displayed reduced global and local L1 reading performance relative to monolingual children, including larger L1 word frequency effects. Second, bilingual children displayed reduced global and local L2 versus L1 reading performance, including larger L2 word frequency effects. Third, both groups of children displayed reduced global and local reading performance relative to adult comparison groups (across their known languages), including larger word frequency effects. Notably, our first finding was not captured by traditional offline measures of reading, such as standardized tests, suggesting that these measures may lack the sensitivity to detect such nuanced between-group differences in reading performance. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that bilingual children's simultaneous exposure to two reading systems leads to eye movement reading behavior that differs from that of monolingual children and has important consequences for how lexical information is accessed and integrated in both languages. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. The Spanish National Dose Registry and Spanish radiation passbooks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hernandez, A.; Martin, A.; Villanueva, I.; Amor, I.; Butragueno, J.L.


    The Spanish National Dose Registry (BDN) is the Nuclear Safety Council's (CSN) national database of occupational exposure to radiation. Each month BDN receives records of individual external doses from approved dosimetry services. The dose records include information regarding the occupational activities of exposed workers. The dose information and the statistical analysis prepared by the BDN are a useful tool for effective operational protection of occupationally exposed workers and a support for the CSN in the development and application of the ALARA principle. The Spanish radiation passbook was introduced in 1990 and since then CSN, as regulatory authority, has required that all outside workers entering controlled areas should have radiation passbooks. Nowadays, CSN has implemented improvements in the Spanish radiation Passbooks, taking into account previous experience and Directive 96/29/EURATOM. (author)

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Spanish Earth Observation Satellite System (United States)

    Borges, A.; Cerezo, F.; Fernandez, M.; Lomba, J.; Lopez, M.; Moreno, J.; Neira, A.; Quintana, C.; Torres, J.; Trigo, R.; Urena, J.; Vega, E.; Vez, E.


    The Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade (MITyC) and the Ministry of Defense (MoD) signed an agreement in 2007 for the development of a "Spanish Earth Observation Satellite System" based, in first instance, on two satellites: a high resolution optical satellite, called SEOSAT/Ingenio, and a radar satellite based on SAR technology, called SEOSAR/Paz. SEOSAT/Ingenio is managed by MITyC through the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), with technical and contractual support from the European Space Agency (ESA). HISDESA T together with the Spanish Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA, National Institute for Aerospace Technology) will be responsible for the in-orbit operation and the commercial operation of both satellites, and for the technical management of SEOSAR/Paz on behalf of the MoD. In both cases EADS CASA Espacio (ECE) is the prime contractor leading the industrial consortia. The ground segment development will be assigned to a Spanish consortium. This system is the most important contribution of Spain to the European Programme Global Monitoring for Environment and Security, GMES. This paper presents the Spanish Earth Observation Satellite System focusing on SEOSA T/Ingenio Programme and with special emphasis in the potential contribution to the ESA Third Party Missions Programme and to the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative (GMES) Data Access.

  16. Assessment of satisfaction with care and decision-making among English and Spanish-speaking family members of neuroscience ICU patients. (United States)

    Hagerty, Thomas A; Velázquez, Ángela; Schmidt, J Michael; Falo, Cristina


    Patients' and family members' experiences of hospital care are important indicators of quality. "Black, Asian, and Hispanic patients are more at risk than White patients for decreased satisfaction with care." In addition, of any of these groups, Hispanic patients were most likely to report a lack of patient-centered care. In the intensive care setting, (ICU) previous research has indicated that the needs and satisfaction of family members of neurological ICU patients are different from those of family members of other types of ICU patients. The purpose of this study was to determine if there were any differences between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking family members of patients in a neurological ICU. This study was a single center prospective study conducted over a 10-month period from April 2013 to February 2014 in the 18-bed neuroscience ICU of a large, urban, academic medical center. The Family Satisfaction with ICU (FS-ICU) questionnaire was used; it provides an overall score and has two factors: satisfaction with care and satisfaction with decision-making. There was no statistical significance between the two groups in overall satisfaction or in satisfaction with care, however Spanish-speakers (n=22) were significantly less satisfied (p=.04) than English-speakers (n=50) with decision-making. There were three other discreet variables in which Spanish-speakers were also less satisfied: (a) management of patients' pain (OR 3.16, 95% CI [1.12, 8.9]) (b) management of patients' breathlessness (OR 3.5, 95% CI [1.23, 9.96]) as well as (c) ease of getting information (OR 3.25, 95% CI [1.09, 9.64]). Using a standardized survey it was found that Spanish-speakers were statistically less satisfied with decision-making than English-speakers. Additionally, Spanish-speakers were statistically less satisfied with management of patients' pain and breathlessness and ease of getting information. Based on these findings, increased vigilance is recommended regarding decision

  17. Affective norms of 875 Spanish words for five discrete emotional categories and two emotional dimensions. (United States)

    Hinojosa, J A; Martínez-García, N; Villalba-García, C; Fernández-Folgueiras, U; Sánchez-Carmona, A; Pozo, M A; Montoro, P R


    In the present study, we introduce affective norms for a new set of Spanish words, the Madrid Affective Database for Spanish (MADS), that were scored on two emotional dimensions (valence and arousal) and on five discrete emotional categories (happiness, anger, sadness, fear, and disgust), as well as on concreteness, by 660 Spanish native speakers. Measures of several objective psycholinguistic variables--grammatical class, word frequency, number of letters, and number of syllables--for the words are also included. We observed high split-half reliabilities for every emotional variable and a strong quadratic relationship between valence and arousal. Additional analyses revealed several associations between the affective dimensions and discrete emotions, as well as with some psycholinguistic variables. This new corpus complements and extends prior databases in Spanish and allows for designing new experiments investigating the influence of affective content in language processing under both dimensional and discrete theoretical conceptions of emotion. These norms can be downloaded as supplemental materials for this article from .

  18. Specificity of the bilingual advantage for memory: Examining cued recall, generalization, and working memory in monolingual, bilingual, and trilingual toddlers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie Hiromi Brito


    Full Text Available The specificity of the bilingual advantage in memory was examined by testing groups of monolingual, bilingual, and trilingual 24-month-olds on tasks tapping cued recall, memory generalization and working memory. For the cued recall and memory generalization conditions, there was a 24-hour delay between time of encoding and time of retrieval. In addition to the memory tasks, parent-toddler dyads completed a picture-book reading task, in order to observe emotional responsiveness, and a parental report of productive vocabulary. Results indicated no difference between language groups on cued recall, working memory, emotional responsiveness, or productive vocabulary, but a significant difference was found in the memory generalization condition with only the bilingual group outperforming the baseline control group. These results replicate and extend results from past studies (Brito and Barr, 2012; 2014; Brito et al., in press and suggest a bilingual advantage specific to memory generalization.

  19. Specificity of the bilingual advantage for memory: examining cued recall, generalization, and working memory in monolingual, bilingual, and trilingual toddlers. (United States)

    Brito, Natalie H; Grenell, Amanda; Barr, Rachel


    The specificity of the bilingual advantage in memory was examined by testing groups of monolingual, bilingual, and trilingual 24-month-olds on tasks tapping cued recall, memory generalization and working memory. For the cued recall and memory generalization conditions, there was a 24-h delay between time of encoding and time of retrieval. In addition to the memory tasks, parent-toddler dyads completed a picture-book reading task, in order to observe emotional responsiveness, and a parental report of productive vocabulary. Results indicated no difference between language groups on cued recall, working memory, emotional responsiveness, or productive vocabulary, but a significant difference was found in the memory generalization condition with only the bilingual group outperforming the baseline control group. These results replicate and extend results from past studies (Brito and Barr, 2012, 2014; Brito et al., 2014) and suggest a bilingual advantage specific to memory generalization.

  20. Validation of self-reported health literacy questions among diverse English and Spanish-speaking populations. (United States)

    Sarkar, Urmimala; Schillinger, Dean; López, Andrea; Sudore, Rebecca


    Limited health literacy (HL) contributes to poor health outcomes and disparities, and direct measurement is often time-intensive. Self-reported HL questions have not been validated among Spanish-speaking and diverse English-speaking populations. To evaluate three self-reported questions: 1 "How confident are you filling out medical forms?"; 2 "How often do you have problems learning about your medical condition because of difficulty understanding written information?"; and 3 "How often do you have someone help you read hospital materials?" Answers were based on a 5-point Likert scale. This was a validation study nested within a trial of diabetes self-management support in the San Francisco Department of Public Health. English and Spanish-speaking adults with type 2 diabetes receiving primary care. Using the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (s-TOFHLA) in English and Spanish as the reference, we classified HL as inadequate, marginal, or adequate. We calculated the C-index and test characteristics of the three questions and summative scale compared to the s-TOFHLA and assessed variations in performance by language, race/ethnicity, age, and education. Of 296 participants, 48% were Spanish-speaking; 9% were White, non-Hispanic; 47% had inadequate HL and 12% had marginal HL. Overall, 57% reported being confident with forms "somewhat" or less. The "confident with forms" question performed best for detecting inadequate (C-index = 0.82, (0.77-0.87)) and inadequate plus marginal HL (C index = 0.81, (0.76-0.86); pSpanish and English speakers with adequate HL and those with inadequate and/or inadequate plus marginal HL. The "confident with forms" question or the summative scale may be useful for estimating HL in clinical research involving Spanish-speaking and English-speaking, chronically-ill, diverse populations.

  1. Development of an easy-to-use Spanish Health Literacy test. (United States)

    Lee, Shoou-Yih D; Bender, Deborah E; Ruiz, Rafael E; Cho, Young Ik


    The study was intended to develop and validate a health literacy test, termed the Short Assessment of Health Literacy for Spanish-speaking Adults (SAHLSA), for the Spanish-speaking population. The design of SAHLSA was based on the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM), known as the most easily administered tool for assessing health literacy in English. In addition to the word recognition test in REALM, SAHLSA incorporates a comprehension test using multiple-choice questions designed by an expert panel. Validation of SAHLSA involved testing and comparing the tool with other health literacy instruments in a sample of 201 Spanish-speaking and 202 English-speaking subjects recruited from the Ambulatory Care Center at UNC Health Care. With only the word recognition test, REALM could not differentiate the level of health literacy in Spanish. The SAHLSA significantly improved the differentiation. Item response theory analysis was performed to calibrate the SAHLSA and reduce the instrument to 50 items. The resulting instrument, SAHLSA-50, was correlated with the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults, another health literacy instrument, at r=0.65. The SAHLSA-50 score was significantly and positively associated with the physical health status of Spanish-speaking subjects (peducation. The instrument displayed good internal reliability (Cronbach's alpha=0.92) and test-retest reliability (Pearson's r=0.86). The new instrument, SAHLSA-50, has good reliability and validity. It could be used in the clinical or community setting to screen for low health literacy among Spanish speakers.

  2. Validation of the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised in Spanish-Speakers Participants with Autism Spectrum Disorder (United States)

    Martínez-González, A. E.; Piqueras, J. A.


    Restricted and repetitive behavior (RRB) is one of the two key diagnostic features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). DSM-5 highlights the importance of severity-based diagnostic modifiers assigned on the basis of intensity of needed supports. Therefore, there is a need for available measures that assess the severity of RRB. The repetitive…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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....

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Ecologia: Spanish Ecology Packet Resource Units and Materials for Intermediate and Advanced Spanish Classes. (United States)

    Bell, Mozelle Sawyer; Arribas, E. Jaime

    This Spanish ecology packet contains resource units and materials for intermediate and advanced Spanish classes. It is designed to be used for individual and small-group instruction in the senior high school to supplement the Spanish language curriculum. Included are articles, pictures, and cartoons from Spanish-language newspapers and magazines…

  11. Language-specific stress perception by 9-month-old French and Spanish infants. (United States)

    Skoruppa, Katrin; Pons, Ferran; Christophe, Anne; Bosch, Laura; Dupoux, Emmanuel; Sebastián-Gallés, Núria; Limissuri, Rita Alves; Peperkamp, Sharon


    During the first year of life, infants begin to have difficulties perceiving non-native vowel and consonant contrasts, thus adapting their perception to the phonetic categories of the target language. In this paper, we examine the perception of a non-segmental feature, i.e. stress. Previous research with adults has shown that speakers of French (a language with fixed stress) have great difficulties in perceiving stress contrasts (Dupoux, Pallier, Sebastián & Mehler, 1997), whereas speakers of Spanish (a language with lexically contrastive stress) perceive these contrasts as accurately as segmental contrasts. We show that language-specific differences in the perception of stress likewise arise during the first year of life. Specifically, 9-month-old Spanish infants successfully distinguish between stress-initial and stress-final pseudo-words, while French infants of this age show no sign of discrimination. In a second experiment using multiple tokens of a single pseudo-word, French infants of the same age successfully discriminate between the two stress patterns, showing that they are able to perceive the acoustic correlates of stress. Their failure to discriminate stress patterns in the first experiment thus reflects an inability to process stress at an abstract, phonological level.

  12. The Monolingual Lusoga Dictionary Faced with Demands from a New User Category

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minah Nabirye


    Full Text Available

    ABSTRACT: In this article, a case is presented of an existing dictionary that is aimed at users with a minimum of primary 7 education, now faced with demands from users in primary 1–3. The reason for this demand is the result of the fact that Lusoga is currently being implemented as a medium of instruction in Uganda, in an environment where there is hardly any literature to serve the intended purpose. A review of the existing literature in and on Lusoga shows that the monolingual Lusoga dictionary — Eiwanika ly'Olusoga (WSG — is the only reference work with essential information, in Lusoga, that can initiate the teaching of Lusoga at the elementary level. Although the information in the WSG may fit the purpose at hand, that information is mainly presented as a summary, with statements of conclusions only. Explanations to ease its access to the new user are thus missing. Findings from a pilot study conducted by the National Curriculum Development Centre on the implementation of the teaching of Lusoga reveal that the new user is not only the primary 1–3 pupil, but also the teacher who will need to instruct that pupil. Since children's literature requires additional consideration beyond what can be presently availed, and since the WSG was actually compiled for an advanced user, the focus is shifted from the primary 1–3 pupil to the primary teacher. For that teacher, it is suggested to compile an additional Guide, expanding on the various extra-matter texts and especially the Language Portrait found in the WSG. This is done on the assumption that once the information is expanded and re-represented, a teacher will be able to combine the information in the Guide with that in the WSG, in order to make a Lusoga syllabus from which to draft Lusoga lessons. Although the ideal would of course be to be able to produce fully-fledged customised primers from scratch, this article's main argument is that in the absence of both human and financial

  13. The Halo surrounding native English speaker teachers in Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Validating a Spanish Developmental Spelling Test. (United States)

    Ferroli, Lou; Krajenta, Marilyn

    The creation and validation of a Spanish version of an English developmental spelling test (DST) is described. An introductory section reviews related literature on the rationale for and construction of DSTs, spelling development in the early grades, and Spanish-English bilingual education. Differences between the English and Spanish test versions…


    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Multi-lingual search engine to access PubMed monolingual subsets: a feasibility study. (United States)

    Darmoni, Stéfan J; Soualmia, Lina F; Griffon, Nicolas; Grosjean, Julien; Kerdelhué, Gaétan; Kergourlay, Ivan; Dahamna, Badisse


    PubMed contains many articles in languages other than English but it is difficult to find them using the English version of the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Thesaurus. The aim of this work is to propose a tool allowing access to a PubMed subset in one language, and to evaluate its performance. Translations of MeSH were enriched and gathered in the information system. PubMed subsets in main European languages were also added in our database, using a dedicated parser. The CISMeF generic semantic search engine was evaluated on the response time for simple queries. MeSH descriptors are currently available in 11 languages in the information system. All the 654,000 PubMed citations in French were integrated into CISMeF database. None of the response times exceed the threshold defined for usability (2 seconds). It is now possible to freely access biomedical literature in French using a tool in French; health professionals and lay people with a low English language may find it useful. It will be expended to several European languages: German, Spanish, Norwegian and Portuguese.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Development and initial validation of a computer-administered health literacy assessment in Spanish and English: FLIGHT/VIDAS. (United States)

    Ownby, Raymond L; Acevedo, Amarilis; Waldrop-Valverde, Drenna; Jacobs, Robin J; Caballero, Joshua; Davenport, Rosemary; Homs, Ana-Maria; Czaja, Sara J; Loewenstein, David


    Current measures of health literacy have been criticized on a number of grounds, including use of a limited range of content, development on small and atypical patient groups, and poor psychometric characteristics. In this paper, we report the development and preliminary validation of a new computer-administered and -scored health literacy measure addressing these limitations. Items in the measure reflect a wide range of content related to health promotion and maintenance as well as care for diseases. The development process has focused on creating a measure that will be useful in both Spanish and English, while not requiring substantial time for clinician training and individual administration and scoring. The items incorporate several formats, including questions based on brief videos, which allow for the assessment of listening comprehension and the skills related to obtaining information on the Internet. In this paper, we report the interim analyses detailing the initial development and pilot testing of the items (phase 1 of the project) in groups of Spanish and English speakers. We then describe phase 2, which included a second round of testing of the items, in new groups of Spanish and English speakers, and evaluation of the new measure's reliability and validity in relation to other measures. Data are presented that show that four scales (general health literacy, numeracy, conceptual knowledge, and listening comprehension), developed through a process of item and factor analyses, have significant relations to existing measures of health literacy.