WorldWideScience

Sample records for proficient alaryngeal speakers

  1. An Acoustic Study of Vowels Produced by Alaryngeal Speakers in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Jia-Shiou

    2016-11-01

    This study investigated the acoustic properties of 6 Taiwan Southern Min vowels produced by 10 laryngeal speakers (LA), 10 speakers with a pneumatic artificial larynx (PA), and 8 esophageal speakers (ES). Each of the 6 monophthongs of Taiwan Southern Min (/i, e, a, ɔ, u, ə/) was represented by a Taiwan Southern Min character and appeared randomly on a list 3 times (6 Taiwan Southern Min characters × 3 repetitions = 18 tokens). Each Taiwan Southern Min character in this study has the same syllable structure, /V/, and all were read with tone 1 (high and level). Acoustic measurements of the 1st formant, 2nd formant, and 3rd formant were taken for each vowel. Then, vowel space areas (VSAs) enclosed by /i, a, u/ were calculated for each group of speakers. The Euclidean distance between vowels in the pairs /i, a/, /i, u/, and /a, u/ was also calculated and compared across the groups. PA and ES have higher 1st or 2nd formant values than LA for each vowel. The distance is significantly shorter between vowels in the corner vowel pairs /i, a/ and /i, u/. PA and ES have a significantly smaller VSA compared with LA. In accordance with previous studies, alaryngeal speakers have higher formant frequency values than LA because they have a shortened vocal tract as a result of their total laryngectomy. Furthermore, the resonance frequencies are inversely related to the length of the vocal tract (on the basis of the assumption of the source filter theory). PA and ES have a smaller VSA and shorter distances between corner vowels compared with LA, which may be related to speech intelligibility. This hypothesis needs further support from future study.

  2. Segmentation and accuracy-based scores for the automatic assessment of oral proficiency for proficient L2 speakers

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    De Wet, Febe

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on the automatic assessment of oral proficiency for advanced second language speakers. A spoken dialogue system is used to guide students through an oral test and to record their answers. Indicators of oral proficiency...

  3. Acoustic Markers of Prosodic Boundaries in Spanish Spontaneous Alaryngeal Speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuenca, M. H.; Barrio, M. M.

    2010-01-01

    Prosodic information aids segmentation of the continuous speech signal and thereby facilitates auditory speech processing. Durational and pitch variations are prosodic cues especially necessary to convey prosodic boundaries, but alaryngeal speakers have inconsistent control over acoustic parameters such as F0 and duration, being as a result noisy…

  4. Effects of irradiation on alaryngeal voice of totally laryngectomized patients

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izdebski, K.; Fontanesi, J.; Ross, J.C.; Hetzler, D.

    1988-06-01

    The effects of radiation therapy on the ability of totally laryngectomized patients to produce voice and speech were examined using objective non-invasive methods. Moderate to severe losses were noted in patients producing voice with all types of alaryngeal modalities: tracheoesophageal, esophageal, and electrolaryngeal. Voice and speech losses were related to the impaired motility and vibratory capability of the esophageal wall and mucosa, to fibrosis of the submandibular region and to trismus. Tracheoesophageal and esophageal voice was recovered some weeks after completion of irradiation. No voice losses were observed in alaryngeal speakers who did not undergo voice restoration until after irradiation. All irradiated patients also showed various degrees of dysphagia during the treatment.

  5. Proficiency and Working Memory Based Explanations for Nonnative Speakers' Sensitivity to Agreement in Sentence Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coughlin, Caitlin E.; Tremblay, Annie

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the roles of proficiency and working memory (WM) capacity in second-/foreign-language (L2) learners' processing of agreement morphology. It investigates the processing of grammatical and ungrammatical short- and long-distance number agreement dependencies by native English speakers at two proficiencies in French, and the…

  6. Exploring Oral Proficiency Profiles of Heritage Speakers of Russian and Spanish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swender, Elvira; Martin, Cynthia L.; Rivera-Martinez, Mildred; Kagan, Olga E.

    2014-01-01

    This article explores the linguistic profiles of heritage speakers of Russian and Spanish. Data from the 2009-2013 ACTFL-UCLA NHLRC Heritage Language Project included biographical information as well as speech samples that were elicited using the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview-computer and were rated according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines…

  7. Proficient beyond borders: assessing non-native speakers in a native speakers’ framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Fleckenstein

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background English language proficiency is considered a basic skill that students from different language backgrounds are expected to master, independent of whether they are native or non-native speakers. Tests that measure language proficiency in non-native speakers are typically linked to the common European framework of reference for languages. Such tests, however, often lack the criteria to define a practically relevant degree of proficiency in English. We approach this deficit by assessing non-native speakers’ performance within a native speakers’ framework. Method Items from two English reading assessments—the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA and the National Assessment (NA for English as a foreign language in Germany—were administered to N = 427 German high school students. Student abilities were estimated by drawing plausible values in a two-dimensional Rasch model. Results Results show that non-native speakers of English generally underperformed compared to native speakers. However, academic track students in the German school system achieved satisfactory levels of proficiency on the PISA scale. Linking the two scales showed systematic differences in the proficiency level classifications. Conclusion The findings contribute to the validation and international localization of NA standards for English as a foreign language. Practical implications are discussed with respect to policy-defined benchmarks for the successful participation in a global English-speaking society.

  8. Proficiency Differences in Syntactic Processing of Monolingual Native Speakers Indexed by Event-Related Potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pakulak, Eric; Neville, Helen J.

    2010-01-01

    Although anecdotally there appear to be differences in the way native speakers use and comprehend their native language, most empirical investigations of language processing study university students and none have studied differences in language proficiency, which may be independent of resource limitations such as working memory span. We examined…

  9. Influence of L2 Proficiency on Speech Movement Variability: Production of Prosodic Contrasts by Bengali-English Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Rahul

    2011-01-01

    This paper examines the influence of age of immersion and proficiency in a second language on speech movement consistency in both a first and a second language. Ten monolingual speakers of English and 20 Bengali-English bilinguals (10 with low L2 proficiency and 10 with high L2 proficiency) participated. Lip movement variability was assessed based…

  10. Vocabulary Use by Low, Moderate, and High ASL-Proficient Writers Compared to Hearing ESL and Monolingual Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

    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"…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Manwa L; Chen, Yang

    2011-12-01

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

  12. English Language Proficiency and Progress: Students Receiving English for Speakers of Other Languages Services from 2012 to 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Huafang; Maina, Nyambura

    2015-01-01

    This is one of several studies conducted by the Office of Shared Accountability that evaluated students identified as eligible for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) services in Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools (MCPS). This study has two major purposes: (1) to examine English proficiency levels and progress in English…

  13. Segmentation and accuracy-based scores for the automatic assessment of oral proficiency for proficient L2 speakers

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    De Wet, Febe

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available . Results indicate that, both for segmentation as well as accuracy-based scores, the most simple scores correlate best with the humans’ opinion on the students’ proficiency. Combining different scores using multiple linear regression leads to marginally...

  14. When do speakers use gestures to specify who does what to whom? The role of language proficiency and type of gestures in narratives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    So, Wing Chee; Kita, Sotaro; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2013-12-01

    Previous research has found that iconic gestures (i.e., gestures that depict the actions, motions or shapes of entities) identify referents that are also lexically specified in the co-occurring speech produced by proficient speakers. This study examines whether concrete deictic gestures (i.e., gestures that point to physical entities) bear a different kind of relation to speech, and whether this relation is influenced by the language proficiency of the speakers. Two groups of speakers who had different levels of English proficiency were asked to retell a story in English. Their speech and gestures were transcribed and coded. Our findings showed that proficient speakers produced concrete deictic gestures for referents that were not specified in speech, and iconic gestures for referents that were specified in speech, suggesting that these two types of gestures bear different kinds of semantic relations with speech. In contrast, less proficient speakers produced concrete deictic gestures and iconic gestures whether or not referents were lexically specified in speech. Thus, both type of gesture and proficiency of speaker need to be considered when accounting for how gesture and speech are used in a narrative context.

  15. When do speakers use gesture to specify who does what to whom? The role of language proficiency and type of gesture in narratives

    Science.gov (United States)

    So, Wing Chee; Kita, Sotaro; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has found that iconic gestures (i.e., gestures that depict the actions, motions or shapes of entities) identify referents that are also lexically specified in the co-occurring speech produced by proficient speakers. This study examines whether concrete deictic gestures (i.e., gestures that point to physical entities) bear a different kind of relation to speech, and whether this relation is influenced by the language proficiency of the speakers. Two groups of speakers who had different levels of English proficiency were asked to retell a story in English. Their speech and gestures were transcribed and coded. Our findings showed that proficient speakers produced concrete deictic gestures for referents that were not specified in speech, and iconic gestures for referents that were specified in speech, suggesting that these two types of gestures bear different kinds of semantic relations with speech. In contrast, less proficient speakers produced concrete deictic gestures and iconic gestures whether or not referents were lexically specified in speech. Thus, both type of gesture and proficiency of speaker need to be considered when accounting for how gesture and speech are used in a narrative context. PMID:23337950

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Carrie N.; van Hell, Janet G.

    2012-01-01

    Using a self-paced reading task, the present study explores how Dutch-English L2 speakers parse English wh-subject-extractions and wh-object-extractions. Results suggest that English native speakers and highly-proficient Dutch-English L2 speakers do not always exhibit measurable signs of on-line reanalysis when reading subject- versus object-extractions in English. However, less-proficient Dutch-English L2 speakers exhibit greater processing costs on subject-extractions relative to object-extractions, similar to previously reported findings (e.g., Dussias and Piñar, forthcoming; Juffs 2005; Juffs and Harrington 1995). These findings are discussed in light of relevant research surrounding on-line processing among L2 speakers and their ability to adopt native-like processing patterns in the L2. PMID:22888175

  17. Influence of L2 proficiency on kinematic duration of single words: Real and novel word production by Bengali-English speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Rahul; Shanmugam, Ramalingam

    2011-12-01

    The study explored the influence of second language proficiency on the kinematic duration of single words. Participants produced real and novel words with variable stress targets (e.g., trochaic and iambic) embedded in first language (L1) and second language (L2) sentence frames. Participants were monolingual English speakers (n=10) and Bengali-English bilinguals with early exposure to English (n=10) and late exposure to English (n=10). Bengali was the L1 and English was the L2 for all 20 bilingual participants. Duration of lip movements for the target real and novel words was analysed. Results suggest that kinematic duration of single words was not influenced by speakers' L2 proficiency. However, L2 proficiency influenced foreign accent ratings for the real words, but not the novel words. Kinematic duration and perception of accent were not correlated, which might imply that accent reduction might not always be a direct consequence of shorter word duration.

  18. Differences in vocal characteristics between Cantonese and English produced by proficient Cantonese-English bilingual speakers--a long-term average spectral analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Manwa L; Chen, Yang; Chan, Ellen Y K

    2012-07-01

    The present study objectively examined the possible difference in vocal characteristics associated with English and Cantonese produced by proficient Cantonese-English bilingual speakers. Forty native speakers of Cantonese (20 males and 20 females) who were proficient in Cantonese and English participated in the study. An array of acoustical parameters, including fundamental frequency (F0) values and first spectral peak (FSP), mean spectral energy (MSE), and spectral tilt (ST) extracted from long-term average speech spectra were obtained from connected speech samples produced in Cantonese and English by the bilingual speakers. Acoustical parameters were measured using Praat (P. Boersma & D. Weenink, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and used to objectively describe the voice quality. Results indicated that female bilingual speakers had significantly higher F0 values in speaking English than Cantonese. Although exhibiting comparable FSP values, the bilingual speakers showed significantly higher MSE and lower ST values when speaking Cantonese compared with English. The present findings imply that, even with the same phonatory apparatus, language being spoken can have an effect on the speakers' voice quality. Copyright © 2012 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catia Cucchiarini

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-27

    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.

  1. Measuring Second Language Proficiency with EEG Synchronization: How Functional Cortical Networks and Hemispheric Involvement Differ as a Function of Proficiency Level in Second Language Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiterer, Susanne; Pereda, Ernesto; Bhattacharya, Joydeep

    2009-01-01

    This article examines the question of whether university-based high-level foreign language and linguistic training can influence brain activation and whether different L2 proficiency groups have different brain activation in terms of lateralization and hemispheric involvement. The traditional and prevailing theory of hemispheric involvement in…

  2. Language proficiency in native and nonnative speakers: an agenda for research and suggestions for second-language assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hulstijn, J.H.

    2011-01-01

    This paper addresses the question of what language proficiency (LP) is, both theoretically and empirically. It does so my making a distinction, on the one hand, between basic and higher language cognition, and, on the other hand, between core and peripheral components of LP. The paper furthermore

  3. Correlation between Low-Proficiency in English and Negative Perceptions of What It Means to Be an English Speaker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Kavarljit Kaur; Williams, Andrew N.

    2013-01-01

    Learning another language is very much affected by positive or negative connotations attached to the new language by the language learner. Entering Malaysian public universities there are many students with a low proficiency in English, despite spending eleven years studying English in schools. Could it be that the lack of progress among these…

  4. Using Nonsense Word Fluency to Predict Reading Proficiency in Kindergarten through Second Grade for English Learners and Native English Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fien, Hank; Baker, Scott K.; Smolkowski, Keith; Smith, Jean L. Mercier; Kame'enui, Edward J.; Beck, Carrie Thomas

    2008-01-01

    This study examined the validity of Nonsense Word Fluency as an index of beginning reading proficiency for students in kindergarten through second grade. Validity evidence for Nonsense Word Fluency is addressed in the context of research-based instructional practices implemented on a large scale. Technical adequacy data are presented for all…

  5. The Relationship between Receptive and Expressive Subskills of Academic L2 Proficiency in Nonnative Speakers of English: A Multigroup Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pae, Hye K.; Greenberg, Daphne

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between receptive and expressive language skills characterized by the performance of nonnative speakers (NNSs) of English in the academic context. Test scores of 585 adult NNSs were selected from Form 2 of the Pearson Test of English Academic's field-test database. A correlated…

  6. CA8-05: Communication Problems and Preferences of Limited English Proficient Spanish Speakers in a Predominantly English-oriented Medical Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Nancy; Gregory-Burns, Gina; Dean, Susan; Torreblanca, Antonia

    2012-01-01

    Background/Aims To investigate communication problems and preferences of Limited English Proficiency Spanish speakers in a predominantly English-oriented medical care system. Methods Waiting room survey (self-administered questionnaire) conducted January-October 2011 at 5 Kaiser Permanente Northern California facilities (incl. 4 Latino Health Modules). Study Sample: Patients classified based on self-report as having Very Limited English Proficiency (VLEP, n=1527, doesn’t speak English at all or not well) or Limited English Proficiency (LEP, n=431, speaks English well, but not very well). The sample included 380 women and 169 men aged 18–39, 681 women and 294 men aged 40–59, and 290 women and 108 men aged = 60. By age group, 74.1%, 79.2%, and 80.2%, respectively, were classified as VLEP, with women comprising approximately 71% of VLEP and 60% of LEP in each age group. Over 85% came from Mexico or Central America. Results Educational attainment very low in both LEP and VLEP groups, but across all age groups, significantly lower for VLEP vs. LEP. Approximately 75% of LEP (“speak English well”) patients have trouble at least sometimes understanding people speaking to them in English. Over half of LEP patients have difficulty understanding letters and information in English. Nearly half of LEP and 15% of VLEP patients want to receive letters and instructions in both English and Spanish. Home Internet access is approximately 80% for LEP and 55% for VLEP aged 20–59; 46% and 28%, respectively, for ages =60. Ability to use email and the Internet significantly declines with age; lower among VLEP than LEP across age groups. Significant VLEP-LEP and age group differences exist for communication modality preferences. Preference for modalities involving computer/Internet decrease with age and language proficiency within age group; while age differences persist, VLEP-LEP differences within age group are smaller for text messages, DVDs, and phone-based messages

  7. Assessment of alaryngeal speech using a sound-producing voice prosthesis in relation to sex and pharyngoesophageal segment tonicity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Torn, M; Van Gogh, CDL; Verdonck-de Leeuw, IMD; Festen, JM; Verkerke, GJ; Mahieu, HF

    Background. A pneumatic artificial sound source incorporated in a regular tracheoesophageal shunt valve may improve alaryngeal voice quality. Methods. In 20 laryngectomees categorized for sex and pharyngoesophageal segment tonicity, a prototype sound-producing voice prosthesis (SPVP) is evaluated

  8. Speech breathing in speakers who use an electrolarynx.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohnenkamp, Todd A; Stowell, Talena; Hesse, Joy; Wright, Simon

    2010-01-01

    Speakers who use an electrolarynx following a total laryngectomy no longer require pulmonary support for speech. Subsequently, chest wall movements may be affected; however, chest wall movements in these speakers are not well defined. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate speech breathing in speakers who use an electrolarynx during speech and reading tasks. Six speakers who use an electrolarynx underwent an evaluation of chest wall kinematics (e.g., chest wall movements, temporal characteristics of chest wall movement), lung volumes, temporal measures of speech, and the interaction of linguistic influences on ventilation. Results of the present study were compared to previous reports in speakers who use an electrolarynx, as well as to previous reports in typical speakers. There were no significant differences in lung volumes used and the general movement of the chest wall by task; however, there were differences of note in the temporal aspects of chest wall configuration when compared to previous reports in both typical speakers and speakers who use an electrolarynx. These differences were related to timing and posturing of the chest wall. The lack of differences in lung volumes and chest wall movements by task indicates that neither reading nor spontaneous speech exerts a greater influence on speech breathing; however, the temporal and posturing results suggest the possibility of a decoupling of the respiratory system from speech following a total laryngectomy and subsequent alaryngeal speech rehabilitation. The reader will be able to understand and describe: (1) The primary differences in speech breathing across alaryngeal speech options; (2) how speech breathing specifically differs (i.e., lung volumes and chest wall movements) in speakers who use an electrolarynx; (3) How the coupling of speech and respiration is altered when pulmonary air is no longer used for speech. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perold Potgieter, Anneke; Southwood, Frenette

    2016-01-01

    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.

  10. Effects of task language and second-language proficiency on the neural correlates of phonemic fluency in native Japanese speakers: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wroblewski, Greggory J; Matsuo, Koji; Hirata, Keiko; Matsubara, Toshio; Harada, Kenichiro; Watanabe, Yoshifumi; Shinoda, Koh

    2017-09-27

    Data collected during a phonemic fluency task (or 'FAS test'), a standard component of neuropsychological batteries for assessment of cognitive deficits, may be language-dependent and may differ depending on second-language proficiency. The unique orthographic/phonological system of the task language, and the reported cognitive advantages inherent to bilinguals, may each influence the task's neural correlates. However, language background is not currently assessed in most studies testing phonemic fluency. Here, we used 52-channel functional near-infrared spectroscopy in college-aged native-Japanese subjects to examine functional changes in oxygenated hemoglobin elicited during a phonemic fluency task performed in Japanese and in English. We found activity differences that were related to task language and second-language proficiency. Besides loci activated in the Japanese test, bilateral precentral channels were specifically recruited in the English test. Furthermore, the higher-proficiency group showed almost no increase in oxygenated hemoglobin in either language context, whereas participants with lower proficiency showed widespread increases for both contexts. We interpret precentral increases as the consequence of additional articulatory resource recruitment in a second-language context. As for the lack of such variation in the higher-proficiency group, it may reflect an advantage in nonverbal executive control in this group. Together, our results point to language background and proficiency as confounding variables in neuroimaging studies of phonemic fluency and that the adequacy of such measures in populations with varying language backgrounds needs to be considered in future studies.

  11. Language proficiency: Current strategies, future remedies ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Language proficiency among young South Africans is low. This is true not only of mother tongue speakers of English and Afrikaans, but also, and especially, of non-mother tongue speakers of English, among whom language proficiency levels raise serious concern. Some examples are given to illustrate the importance of ...

  12. Facets of Speaking Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, Nivja H.; Steinel, Margarita P.; Florijn, Arjen F.; Schoonen, Rob; Hulstijn, Jan H.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the componential structure of second-language (L2) speaking proficiency. Participants--181 L2 and 54 native speakers of Dutch--performed eight speaking tasks and six tasks tapping nine linguistic skills. Performance in the speaking tasks was rated on functional adequacy by a panel of judges and formed the dependent variable in…

  13. Facets of speaking proficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, N.H.; Steinel, M.P.; Florijn, A.F.; Schoonen, R.; Hulstijn, J.H.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the componential structure of second-language (L2) speaking proficiency. Participants—181 L2 and 54 native speakers of Dutch—performed eight speaking tasks and six tasks tapping nine linguistic skills. Performance in the speaking tasks was rated on functional adequacy by a panel

  14. Speaker Recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mølgaard, Lasse Lohilahti; Jørgensen, Kasper Winther

    2005-01-01

    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...... in applications like banking by telephone and voice mail. The focus of this project is speaker identification, which consists of mapping a speech signal from an unknown speaker to a database of known speakers, i.e. the system has been trained with a number of speakers which the system can recognize....

  15. Time to English Reading Proficiency. Research Brief. RB 1201

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shneyderman, Aleksandr; Froman, Terry

    2012-01-01

    The time it takes for an English Language Learner (ELL) to reach reading proficiency in English depends on the grade level of entry into the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program and on the student's initial English proficiency level. The summary table below presents the average years to English proficiency across different grade…

  16. Speaker Authentication

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Qi (Peter)

    2012-01-01

    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...

  17. Speaker perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweinberger, Stefan R; Kawahara, Hideki; Simpson, Adrian P; Skuk, Verena G; Zäske, Romi

    2014-01-01

    While humans use their voice mainly for communicating information about the world, paralinguistic cues in the voice signal convey rich dynamic information about a speaker's arousal and emotional state, and extralinguistic cues reflect more stable speaker characteristics including identity, biological sex and social gender, socioeconomic or regional background, and age. Here we review the anatomical and physiological bases for individual differences in the human voice, before discussing how recent methodological progress in voice morphing and voice synthesis has promoted research on current theoretical issues, such as how voices are mentally represented in the human brain. Special attention is dedicated to the distinction between the recognition of familiar and unfamiliar speakers, in everyday situations or in the forensic context, and on the processes and representational changes that accompany the learning of new voices. We describe how specific impairments and individual differences in voice perception could relate to specific brain correlates. Finally, we consider that voices are produced by speakers who are often visible during communication, and review recent evidence that shows how speaker perception involves dynamic face-voice integration. The representation of para- and extralinguistic vocal information plays a major role in person perception and social communication, could be neuronally encoded in a prototype-referenced manner, and is subject to flexible adaptive recalibration as a result of specific perceptual experience. WIREs Cogn Sci 2014, 5:15-25. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1261 CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. Mismatch: Globalization and Native Speaker Models of Linguistic Competence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgson, Kevin Michael

    2014-01-01

    Although the paradigm shift towards English as an International Language (EIL) has been generally accepted within the academic community, a valorization of native speaker norms continues to be prevalent among many non-native speakers (NNSs). Through data drawn from a qualitative questionnaire and proficiency assessment results (TOEIC), this mixed…

  19. Proficiency and sentence constraint effects on second language word learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Tengfei; Chen, Baoguo; Lu, Chunming; Dunlap, Susan

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents an experiment that investigated the effects of L2 proficiency and sentence constraint on semantic processing of unknown L2 words (pseudowords). All participants were Chinese native speakers who learned English as a second language. In the experiment, we used a whole sentence presentation paradigm with a delayed semantic relatedness judgment task. Both higher and lower-proficiency L2 learners could make use of the high-constraint sentence context to judge the meaning of novel pseudowords, and higher-proficiency L2 learners outperformed lower-proficiency L2 learners in all conditions. These results demonstrate that both L2 proficiency and sentence constraint affect subsequent word learning among second language learners. We extended L2 word learning into a sentence context, replicated the sentence constraint effects previously found among native speakers, and found proficiency effects in L2 word learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Early Language Experience Facilitates the Processing of Gender Agreement in Spanish Heritage Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montrul, Silvina; Davidson, Justin; De La Fuente, Israel; Foote, Rebecca

    2014-01-01

    We examined how age of acquisition in Spanish heritage speakers and L2 learners interacts with implicitness vs. explicitness of tasks in gender processing of canonical and non-canonical ending nouns. Twenty-three Spanish native speakers, 29 heritage speakers, and 33 proficiency-matched L2 learners completed three on-line spoken word recognition…

  1. Measuring the Games Influence on Improving English Proficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reni Dwi Pertiwi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available English is now used as an international language, so that every person in order to communicate at the international level are required this language. To improving english proficiency, people used native speaker, course, story book, film game and etc. Games or better known as PC gaming is another alternative in improving the English proficiency. Beside this is fun, player required to read and listen the story game to finish the game. So that player can improve English proficiency while the player play game. In this paper, author present what game are fun and not boring also can improving English proficiency. The measuring improving English proficiency is observed from reading,writing, listening and grammar Keyword: English, Game, improving ,Proficiency

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dich, Nadya

    2010-01-01

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

  3. RTP Speakers Bureau

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Research Triangle Park Speakers Bureau page is a free resource that schools, universities, and community groups in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. area can use to request speakers and find educational resources.

  4. Limited data speaker identification

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    speaker verification task of 10 sec training and testing data followed in NIST speaker recogni- tion evaluations (NIST 2003). Existing .... UBM as model, all for speaker identification under limited training and testing data. The second contribution is the ..... In that condition we benefit more by combining only those integrated ...

  5. Concatenative and Nonconcatenative Plural Formation in L1, L2, and Heritage Speakers of Arabic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albirini, Abdulkafi; Benmamoun, Elabbas

    2014-01-01

    This study compares Arabic L1, L2, and heritage speakers' (HS) knowledge of plural formation, which involves concatenative and nonconcatenative modes of derivation. Ninety participants (divided equally among L1, L2, and heritage speakers) completed two oral tasks: a picture naming task (to measure proficiency) and a plural formation task. The…

  6. Physiological Indices of Bilingualism: Oral-Motor Coordination and Speech Rate in Bengali-English Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Rahul; Goffman, Lisa; Smith, Anne

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To examine how age of immersion and proficiency in a 2nd language influence speech movement variability and speaking rate in both a 1st language and a 2nd language. Method: A group of 21 Bengali-English bilingual speakers participated. Lip and jaw movements were recorded. For all 21 speakers, lip movement variability was assessed based on…

  7. Learning minimally different words in a third language: L2 proficiency as a crucial predictor of accuracy in an L3 word learning task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Simon, E.; Escudero, P.; Broersma, M.; Dziubalska-Kołaczyk, K.; Wrembel, M.; Kul, M.

    2010-01-01

    This study examines the effect of proficiency in the L2 (English) and L3 (Dutch) on word learning in the L3. Learners were 92 L1 Spanish speakers with differing proficiencies in L2 and L3, and 20 native speakers of Dutch. The learners were divided into basic and advanced English and Dutch

  8. Effects of proficiency and age of language acquisition on working memory performance in bilinguals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vejnović Dušan

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examined language proficiency and age of language acquisition influences on working memory performance in bilinguals. Bilingual subjects were administered reading span task in parallel versions for their first and second language. In Experiment 1, language proficiency effect was tested by examination of low and highly proficient second language speakers. In Experiment 2, age of language acquisition was examined by comparing the performance of proficient second language speakers who acquired second language either early or later in their lives. Both proficiency and age of language acquisition were found to affect bilingual working memory performance, and the proficiency effect was observed even at very high levels of language competence. The results support the notion of working memory as a domain that is influenced both by a general pool of resources and certain domain specific factors.

  9. Proficiency and Linguistic Complexity Influence Speech Motor Control and Performance in Spanish Language Learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nip, Ignatius S B; Blumenfeld, Henrike K

    2015-06-01

    Second-language (L2) production requires greater cognitive resources to inhibit the native language and to retrieve less robust lexical representations. The current investigation identifies how proficiency and linguistic complexity, specifically syntactic and lexical factors, influence speech motor control and performance. Speech movements of 29 native English speakers with low or high proficiency in Spanish were recorded while producing simple and syntactically complex sentences in English and Spanish. Sentences were loaded with cognate (e.g., baby-bebé) or noncognate (e.g., dog-perro) words. Effects of proficiency, lexicality (cognate vs. noncognate), and syntactic complexity on maximum speed, range of movement, duration, and speech movement variability were examined. In general, speakers with lower L2 proficiency differed in their speech motor control and performance from speakers with higher L2 proficiency. Speakers with higher L2 proficiency generally had less speech movement variability, shorter phrase durations, greater maximum speeds, and greater ranges of movement. In addition, lexicality and syntactic complexity affected speech motor control and performance. L2 proficiency, lexicality, and syntactic complexity influence speech motor control and performance in adult L2 learners. Information about relationships between speech motor control, language proficiency, and cognitive-linguistic demands may be used to assess and treat bilingual clients and language learners.

  10. Linguistic Proficiency Assessment in Second Language Acquisition Research: The Elicited Imitation Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaillard, Stéphanie; Tremblay, Annie

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the elicited imitation task (EIT) as a tool for measuring linguistic proficiency in a second/foreign (L2) language, focusing on French. Nonnative French speakers (n = 94) and native French speakers (n = 6) completed an EIT that included 50 sentences varying in length and complexity. Three raters evaluated productions on…

  11. Partially supervised speaker clustering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Hao; Chu, Stephen Mingyu; Hasegawa-Johnson, Mark; Huang, Thomas S

    2012-05-01

    Content-based multimedia indexing, retrieval, and processing as well as multimedia databases demand the structuring of the media content (image, audio, video, text, etc.), one significant goal being to associate the identity of the content to the individual segments of the signals. In this paper, we specifically address the problem of speaker clustering, the task of assigning every speech utterance in an audio stream to its speaker. We offer a complete treatment to the idea of partially supervised speaker clustering, which refers to the use of our prior knowledge of speakers in general to assist the unsupervised speaker clustering process. By means of an independent training data set, we encode the prior knowledge at the various stages of the speaker clustering pipeline via 1) learning a speaker-discriminative acoustic feature transformation, 2) learning a universal speaker prior model, and 3) learning a discriminative speaker subspace, or equivalently, a speaker-discriminative distance metric. We study the directional scattering property of the Gaussian mixture model (GMM) mean supervector representation of utterances in the high-dimensional space, and advocate exploiting this property by using the cosine distance metric instead of the euclidean distance metric for speaker clustering in the GMM mean supervector space. We propose to perform discriminant analysis based on the cosine distance metric, which leads to a novel distance metric learning algorithm—linear spherical discriminant analysis (LSDA). We show that the proposed LSDA formulation can be systematically solved within the elegant graph embedding general dimensionality reduction framework. Our speaker clustering experiments on the GALE database clearly indicate that 1) our speaker clustering methods based on the GMM mean supervector representation and vector-based distance metrics outperform traditional speaker clustering methods based on the “bag of acoustic features” representation and statistical

  12. Tone Attrition in Mandarin Speakers of Varying English Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quam, Carolyn; Creel, Sarah C.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the degree of dominance of Mandarin-English bilinguals' languages affects phonetic processing of tone content in their native language, Mandarin. Method: We tested 72 Mandarin-English bilingual college students with a range of language-dominance profiles in the 2 languages and ages of…

  13. How Well Do U.S. High School Students Achieve in Spanish When Compared to Native Spanish Speakers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, Richard L.; Luebbers, Julie; Castañeda, Martha E.

    2017-01-01

    Foreign language educators have developed measures to assess the proficiency of U.S. high school learners. Most have compared language learners to clearly defined criteria for proficiency in the language (criterion-referenced assessment) or to the performance of other monolingual English speakers (norm-referenced assessment). In this study, the…

  14. Do Proficiency and Study-Abroad Experience Affect Speech Act Production? Analysis of Appropriateness, Accuracy, and Fluency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taguchi, Naoko

    2011-01-01

    This cross-sectional study examined the effect of general proficiency and study-abroad experience in production of speech acts among learners of L2 English. Participants were 25 native speakers of English and 64 Japanese college students of English divided into three groups. Group 1 (n = 22) had lower proficiency and no study-abroad experience.…

  15. Forensic speaker recognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meuwly, Didier

    2013-01-01

    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

  16. Standards for Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storm, William D.

    1981-01-01

    Enumerates criteria for the selection of audio system speaker equipment for archivists interested in achieving sound reproduction fidelity, noting frequency response, flat response, intermodulation distortion, arrival time, and placement of equipment. Illustrative materials and three references are provided. (EJS)

  17. Sample Proficiency Test exercise

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alcaraz, A; Gregg, H; Koester, C

    2006-02-05

    The current format of the OPCW proficiency tests has multiple sets of 2 samples sent to an analysis laboratory. In each sample set, one is identified as a sample, the other as a blank. This method of conducting proficiency tests differs from how an OPCW designated laboratory would receive authentic samples (a set of three containers, each not identified, consisting of the authentic sample, a control sample, and a blank sample). This exercise was designed to test the reporting if the proficiency tests were to be conducted. As such, this is not an official OPCW proficiency test, and the attached report is one method by which LLNL might report their analyses under a more realistic testing scheme. Therefore, the title on the report ''Report of the Umpteenth Official OPCW Proficiency Test'' is meaningless, and provides a bit of whimsy for the analyses and readers of the report.

  18. Predictors and Outcomes of Early vs. Later English Language Proficiency Among English Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halle, Tamara; Hair, Elizabeth; Wandner, Laura; McNamara, Michelle; Chien, Nina

    2011-01-01

    The development of English language learners (ELLs) was explored from kindergarten through eighth grade within a nationally representative sample of first-time kindergartners (N = 19,890). Growth curve analyses indicated that, compared to native English speakers, ELLs were rated by teachers more favorably on approaches to learning, self control, and externalizing behaviors in kindergarten and generally continued to grow in a positive direction on these social/behavioral outcomes at a steeper rate compared to their native English-speaking peers, holding other factors constant. Differences in reading and math achievement between ELLs and native English speakers varied based on the grade at which English proficiency is attained. Specifically, ELLs who were proficient in English by kindergarten entry kept pace with native English speakers in both reading and math initially and over time; ELLs who were proficient by first grade had modest gaps in reading and math achievement compared to native English speakers that closed narrowly or persisted over time; and ELLs who were not proficient by first grade had the largest initial gaps in reading and math achievement compared to native speakers but the gap narrowed over time in reading and grew over time in math. Among those whose home language is not English, acquiring English proficiency by kindergarten entry was associated with better cognitive and behavioral outcomes through eighth grade compared to taking longer to achieve proficiency. Multinomial regression analyses indicated that child, family, and school characteristics predict achieving English proficiency by kindergarten entry compared to achieving proficiency later. Results are discussed in terms of policies and practices that can support ELL children’s growth and development. PMID:22389551

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweppe, Judith; Barth, Sandra; Ketzer-Nöltge, Almut; Rummer, Ralf

    2015-01-01

    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.

  20. FUNDAMENTALS OF SPEAKER RECOGNITION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Figen ERTAŞ

    2000-02-01

    Full Text Available The explosive growth of information technology in the last decade has made a considerable impact on the design and construction of systems for human-machine communication, which is becoming increasingly important in many aspects of life. Amongst other speech processing tasks, a great deal of attention has been devoted to developing procedures that identify people from their voices, and the design and construction of speaker recognition systems has been a fascinating enterprise pursued over many decades. This paper introduces speaker recognition in general and discusses its relevant parameters in relation to system performance.

  1. Verb-Noun Collocation Proficiency and Academic Years

    OpenAIRE

    Fatemeh Ebrahimi-Bazzaz; Arshad Abd Samad; Ismi Arif bin Ismail; Nooreen Noordin

    2014-01-01

    Generally vocabulary and collocations in particular have significant roles in language proficiency. A collocation includes two words that are frequently joined concurrently in the memory of native speakers. There have been many linguistic studies trying to define, to describe, and to categorise English collocations. It contains grammatical collocations and lexical collocations which include nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverb. In the context of a foreign language environment such as Iran, co...

  2. How noise and language proficiency influence speech recognition by individual non-native listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jin; Xie, Lingli; Li, Yongjun; Chatterjee, Monita; Ding, Nai

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated how speech recognition in noise is affected by language proficiency for individual non-native speakers. The recognition of English and Chinese sentences was measured as a function of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in sixty native Chinese speakers who never lived in an English-speaking environment. The recognition score for speech in quiet (which varied from 15%-92%) was found to be uncorrelated with speech recognition threshold (SRTQ/2), i.e. the SNR at which the recognition score drops to 50% of the recognition score in quiet. This result demonstrates separable contributions of language proficiency and auditory processing to speech recognition in noise.

  3. Functional activity and white matter microstructure reveal the independent effects of age of acquisition and proficiency on second-language learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Emily S; Joanisse, Marc F

    2016-12-01

    Two key factors govern how bilingual speakers neurally maintain two languages: the speakers' second language age of acquisition (AoA) and their subsequent proficiency. However, the relative roles of these two factors have been difficult to disentangle given that the two can be closely correlated, and most prior studies have examined the two factors in isolation. Here, we combine functional magnetic resonance imaging with diffusion tensor imaging to identify specific brain areas that are independently modulated by AoA and proficiency in second language speakers. First-language Mandarin Chinese speakers who are second language speakers of English were scanned as they performed a picture-word matching task in either language. In the same session we also acquired diffusion-weighted scans to assess white matter microstructure, along with behavioural measures of language proficiency prior to entering the scanner. Results reveal gray- and white-matter networks involving both the left and right hemisphere that independently vary as a function of a second-language speaker's AoA and proficiency, focused on the superior temporal gyrus, middle and inferior frontal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, and the basal ganglia. These results indicate that proficiency and AoA explain separate functional and structural networks in the bilingual brain, which we interpret as suggesting distinct types of plasticity for age-dependent effects (i.e., AoA) versus experience and/or predisposition (i.e., proficiency). Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Facework among L2 Speakers: A Close Look at Intercultural Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jwa, Soomin

    2017-01-01

    Although significant attention has been devoted to the notion of facework and its functions, facework among L2 speakers, whose cultural backgrounds and language proficiencies vary, has remained unexplored. The present study attempts to explore situations of intercultural communication in which facework is used as a way to remedy moments of…

  5. Questions of Regionalism in Native Speaker OPI Performance: The French-Canadian Experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marisi, Paulette (Moeller)

    1994-01-01

    The oral proficiency interview (OPI) has been submitted to external scrutiny and has been accepted by many foreign language educators as an accurate method of assessing speaking competence of foreign language learners. An OPI is herein examined in the context of evaluating native speakers. (seven references) (JL)

  6. Production and Perception of the English /ae/-/?/ Contrast in Switched-Dominance Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casillas, Joseph V.; Simonet, Miquel

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates how fluent second-language (L2) learners of English produce and perceive the /ae/-/?/ vowel contrast of Southwestern American English. Two learner groups are examined: (1) early, proficient English speakers who were raised by Spanish-speaking families but who became dominant in English during childhood and, as adults, lack…

  7. Fairness Issues in a Standardized English Test for Nonnative Speakers of English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puspawati, Indah

    2014-01-01

    For nonnative English speakers, taking a standardized English proficiency test seems inevitable, because the scores achieved play an important role in such life events as admission to a school, gaining a scholarship, or securing a job. Considering their importance, it is imperative that such tests be not only valid and reliable, but also fair.…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, K.; Hulstijn, J.H.

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Evaluation by Proficiency Certification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerby, Dale

    1977-01-01

    Albuquerque Technical-Vocational Institute's system for grading business courses by proficiency certification in place of the traditional A through F system is described. A certificate is developed for each course, with evaluation of student performance in each area. This system requires a greater volume of paper work and skill analysis but it is…

  10. Bilingual Education and English Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jepsen, Christopher

    2010-01-01

    In 2001, California instituted a statewide test measuring English proficiency for English learners, students who are not proficient in English. In 2003 and 2004, nearly 500,000 English learners in grades 1-5 took this test each year. The relationship between bilingual education receipt and English proficiency is estimated using value-added…

  11. Processing advantage for emotional words in bilingual speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

    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).

  12. Processing Focus Structure in L1 and L2 French: L2 Proficiency Effects on ERPs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichle, Robert V.; Birdsong, David

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by focus processing among first language (L1) speakers and second language (L2) learners of French. Participants read wh-questions containing explicit focus marking, followed by responses instantiating contrastive and informational focus. We hypothesized that L2 proficiency would…

  13. Native Language Phonological Skills in Low-Proficiency Second Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borodkin, Katy; Faust, Miriam

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the link between low second language performance and difficulties with native language phonological processing. Participants were native Hebrew speakers, 19-31 years of age, who learned English as a second language in a school setting. Individuals with dyslexia performed below high-proficiency second language learners on…

  14. Formulaic Sequences and Perceived Oral Proficiency: Putting a Lexical Approach to the Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boers, Frank; Eyckmans, June; Kappel, Jenny; Stengers, Helene; Demecheleer, Murielle

    2006-01-01

    This study reports a small-scale experiment that was set up to estimate the extent to which (i) the use of formulaic sequences (standardized phrases such as collocations and idiomatic expressions) can help learners come across as proficient L2 speakers and (ii) an instructional method that emphasizes "noticing" of L2 formulaic sequences can help…

  15. Verb-Noun Collocation Proficiency and Academic Years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Ebrahimi-Bazzaz

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Generally vocabulary and collocations in particular have significant roles in language proficiency. A collocation includes two words that are frequently joined concurrently in the memory of native speakers. There have been many linguistic studies trying to define, to describe, and to categorise English collocations. It contains grammatical collocations and lexical collocations which include nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverb. In the context of a foreign language environment such as Iran, collocational proficiency can be useful because it helps the students improve their language proficiency. This paper investigates the possible relationship between verb-noun collocation proficiency among students from one academic year to the next. To reach this goal, a test of verb-noun collocations was administered to Iranian learners. The participants in the study were 212 Iranian students in an Iranian university. They were selected from the second term of freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years. The students’ age ranged from 18 to 35.The results of ANOVA showed there was variability in the verb-noun collocations proficiency within each academic year and between the four academic years. The results of a post hoc multiple comparison tests demonstrated that the means are significantly different between the first year and the third and fourth years, and between the third and the fourth academic year; however, students require at least two years to show significant development in verb-noun collocation proficiency. These findings provided a vital implication that lexical collocations are learnt and developed through four academic years of university, but requires at least two years showing significant development in the language proficiency.

  16. The Diphthongs: The Obstacles for Indonesian Speakers of English

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Desri Maria Sumbayak

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Article investigated the difficulties of Indonesian speaker of English in producing diphthongs /eɪ/ and /oʊ/. Five postgraduate students and five spouses of students at University of Canberra participated in this study. The participants were recorded in pronouncing /eɪ/ and /oʊ/ by reading lists of words and a story. The data were analysed by two Australian native speakers. Interrater reliability was calculated by using Cohen’s Kappa. The percentage was used to see the accurate diphthong realisations. The results showed that diphthong /oʊ/ was relatively more problematic than diphthong/eɪ/ and the students produced more diphthongs accurately than the spouses. The results also revealed that the ability to produce the diphthongs accurately was influenced by English proficiency and the type of tasks where diphthongs were pronounced. 

  17. Speaker adaptation in the NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluation 2004

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, D.A. van

    2005-01-01

    New in the 2004 edition of the NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluation (SRE) was the condition where unsupervised adaptation of speaker models is allowed. Despite the promising results on development test material, hardly any beneficial results were obtained in the Evaluation itself. An analysis is made

  18. The relationship between spoken English proficiency and participation in higher education, employment and income from two Australian censuses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Helen L; Mcleod, Sharynne; Verdon, Sarah; Fuller, Gail

    2016-09-14

    Proficiency in the language of the country of residence has implications for an individual's level of education, employability, income and social integration. This paper explores the relationship between the spoken English proficiency of residents of Australia on census day and their educational level, employment and income to provide insight into multilingual speakers' ability to participate in Australia as an English-dominant society. Data presented are derived from two Australian censuses i.e. 2006 and 2011 of over 19 million people. The proportion of Australians who reported speaking a language other than English at home was 21.5% in the 2006 census and 23.2% in the 2011 census. Multilingual speakers who also spoke English very well were more likely to have post-graduate qualifications, full-time employment and high income than monolingual English-speaking Australians. However, multilingual speakers who reported speaking English not well were much less likely to have post-graduate qualifications or full-time employment than monolingual English-speaking Australians. These findings provide insight into the socioeconomic and educational profiles of multilingual speakers, which will inform the understanding of people such as speech-language pathologists who provide them with support. The results indicate spoken English proficiency may impact participation in Australian society. These findings challenge the "monolingual mindset" by demonstrating that outcomes for multilingual speakers in education, employment and income are higher than for monolingual speakers.

  19. The High Fidelity Plasma Speaker

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGall, James

    2014-10-01

    A plasma speaker is a device that uses ionized gas as the driving source of sound production, rather than the traditional magnetic coil and membrane setup found on a standard speaker. Similar to how lightning produces sound, or even a small static shock, a plasma speaker uses a modulating electric arc between two electrodes to produce sound. An electric circuit is built that allows the variance of the high voltage electric potential to be controlled by a 3.5 mm standard audio headphone jack, allowing sound energy to be transferred from the plasma to the air by means of pulse width modulation. For my summer project I have built two different models of plasma speakers and am working on a third. The speaker benefits from having a nearly massless driver, and I hypothesize that it should show a response rate faster than that of a traditional speaker and a decreased impulse response while having the drawbacks of inefficiency and a low maximum decibel output. The speakers are currently being optimized with magnetic stabilization of the plasma and will be tested soon for impulse response, frequency generation, efficiency, and audio coloration. Bridges for SUCCESS Grant at Salisbury University under Ph.D. Matthew Bailey.

  20. The speaker's formant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bele, Irene Velsvik

    2006-12-01

    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.

  1. The Use of Academic Words in the Analytical Writing of Secondary English Learners and Native English Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cons, Andrea M.

    2013-01-01

    This study explores the following research question: How do secondary English learners (ELs) and Re-designated fluent English proficient students (RFEPs) use academic words in analytical writing in comparison to native English speakers (NESs)? It highlights previously overlooked differences in academic word use in the writing of students who are…

  2. EFL Learners' Perceived Use of Conversation Maintenance Strategies during Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication with Native English Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ino, Atsushi

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the perceived use of conversation maintenance strategies during synchronous computer-mediated communication with native English speakers. I also correlated the relationships of the strategies used with students' speaking ability and comprehensive proficiency level. The research questions were: (1) how were the learners'…

  3. Clinical Wisdom among Proficient Nurses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uhrenfeldt, Lisbeth; Hall, Elisabeth

    2007-01-01

    This paperexamines clinical wisdom which has emerged from a broader study anout nurse managers´influence on proficient registered nurse turnover and retention. The purpose of the study was to increase understanding of proficient nurses´experience and clinical practice by giving voice to the nurses...

  4. L2-Proficiency-Dependent Laterality Shift in Structural Connectivity of Brain Language Pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Huadong; van Leeuwen, Tessa Marije; Dediu, Dan; Roberts, Leah; Norris, David G; Hagoort, Peter

    2015-08-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and a longitudinal language learning approach were applied to investigate the relationship between the achieved second language (L2) proficiency during L2 learning and the reorganization of structural connectivity between core language areas. Language proficiency tests and DTI scans were obtained from German students before and after they completed an intensive 6-week course of the Dutch language. In the initial learning stage, with increasing L2 proficiency, the hemispheric dominance of the Brodmann area (BA) 6-temporal pathway (mainly along the arcuate fasciculus) shifted from the left to the right hemisphere. With further increased proficiency, however, lateralization dominance was again found in the left BA6-temporal pathway. This result is consistent with reports in the literature that imply a stronger involvement of the right hemisphere in L2 processing especially for less proficient L2 speakers. This is the first time that an L2 proficiency-dependent laterality shift in the structural connectivity of language pathways during L2 acquisition has been observed to shift from left to right and back to left hemisphere dominance with increasing L2 proficiency. The authors additionally find that changes in fractional anisotropy values after the course are related to the time elapsed between the two scans. The results suggest that structural connectivity in (at least part of) the perisylvian language network may be subject to fast dynamic changes following language learning.

  5. Arctic Visiting Speakers Series (AVS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, S. E.; Griswold, J.

    2011-12-01

    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

  6. SPEAKER RECOGNITION OF MAGHREB DIALECTS

    OpenAIRE

    Leila Beltaifa - Zouari *1, Asma Chayeh 2

    2017-01-01

    A few studies have focused on the west Arabic (Maghreb) dialects for which resources are rare. To handle this problem, we devoped a web-based database of speech from Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan speakers covering the diversity of Arabic dialects spoken in north Africa. Then speaker identification and verification experiments have been conducted in order to evaluate the performance of each dialect-based system. A baseline system using Timit database have also be developed for comparison pur...

  7. Processing speaker affect during spoken sentence comprehension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Leeuwen, A.R.; Quené, H.; van Berkum, J.J.A.

    2013-01-01

    Anne van Leeuwen Utrecht institute of Linguistics OTS, Utrecht University Processing speaker affect during spoken sentence comprehension We often smile (and frown) while we talk. Speakers use facial expression, posture and prosody to provide additional cues that signal speaker stance. Speaker stance

  8. An Exploration of the Relationship between Vietnamese Students' Knowledge of L1 Grammar and Their English Grammar Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Tammie M.

    2010-01-01

    The problem. This research study explores an important issue in the field of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and second language acquisition (SLA). Its purpose is to examine the relationship between Vietnamese students' L1 grammar knowledge and their English grammar proficiency. Furthermore, it investigates the extent to…

  9. Parallel deterioration to language processing in a bilingual speaker.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Druks, Judit; Weekes, Brendan Stuart

    2013-01-01

    The convergence hypothesis [Green, D. W. (2003). The neural basis of the lexicon and the grammar in L2 acquisition: The convergence hypothesis. In R. van Hout, A. Hulk, F. Kuiken, & R. Towell (Eds.), The interface between syntax and the lexicon in second language acquisition (pp. 197-218). Amsterdam: John Benjamins] assumes that the neural substrates of language representations are shared between the languages of a bilingual speaker. One prediction of this hypothesis is that neurodegenerative disease should produce parallel deterioration to lexical and grammatical processing in bilingual aphasia. We tested this prediction with a late bilingual Hungarian (first language, L1)-English (second language, L2) speaker J.B. who had nonfluent progressive aphasia (NFPA). J.B. had acquired L2 in adolescence but was premorbidly proficient and used English as his dominant language throughout adult life. Our investigations showed comparable deterioration to lexical and grammatical knowledge in both languages during a one-year period. Parallel deterioration to language processing in a bilingual speaker with NFPA challenges the assumption that L1 and L2 rely on different brain mechanisms as assumed in some theories of bilingual language processing [Ullman, M. T. (2001). The neural basis of lexicon and grammar in first and second language: The declarative/procedural model. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 4(1), 105-122].

  10. Audibility of American English vowels produced by English-, Chinese-, and Korean-native speakers in long-term speech-shaped noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang; Jin, Su-Hyun

    2011-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether there were significant differences in audibility of American English vowels in noise produced by non-native and native speakers. Detection thresholds for 12 English vowels with equalized durations of 170 ms produced by 10 English-, Chinese- and Korean-native speakers were measured for young normal-hearing English-native listeners in the presence of speech-shaped noise presented at 70 dB SPL. Similar patterns of vowel detection thresholds as a function of the vowel category were found for native and non-native speakers, with the highest thresholds for /u/ and /ʊ/ and lowest thresholds for /i/ and /e/. In addition, vowel detection thresholds for non-native speakers were significantly lower and showed greater speaker variability than those for native speakers. Thresholds for vowel detection predicted from an excitation-pattern model corresponded well to behavioral thresholds, implying that vowel detection was primarily determined by the vowel spectrum regardless of speaker language background. Both behavioral and predicted thresholds showed that vowel audibility was similar or even better for non-native speakers than for native speakers, indicating that vowel audibility did not account for non-native speakers' lower-than-native intelligibility in noise. Effects of non-native speakers' English proficiency level on vowel audibility are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Proficiency Effect on L2 Pragmatic Competence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Feng

    2015-01-01

    This paper synthesizes cross-sectional studies of the effect of proficiency on second language (L2) pragmatics to answer the synthesis question: Does proficiency affect adult learners' pragmatic competence? Findings have revealed an overall positive proficiency effect on pragmatic competence, and in most cases higher proficiency learners have…

  12. Category, Letter, and Emotional Verbal Fluency in Spanish-English Bilingual Speakers: A Preliminary Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wauters, Lisa; Marquardt, Thomas P

    2017-08-28

    The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of bilingual speakers on an emotional verbal fluency task to category and letter verbal fluency tasks. A second purpose was to compare performances on these tasks to language proficiency ratings. Twelve verbal fluency tasks were administered to 21 Spanish-English bilingual speakers. Results were analyzed for differences between fluency types (category, letter, and emotional) and languages (English and Spanish). Participants generated the most items in category fluency tasks and the least items in emotional fluency tasks. The number of items generated for letter and emotional fluency tasks were not significantly different, but both were significantly lower than the number of items generated in category fluency. More items were generated for positive emotions than for negative emotions. Differences between languages for category and letter fluency tasks were significantly correlated with differences in language proficiency ratings, but this finding was not found for emotional fluency tasks. Self-ratings of proficiency and language dominance correlated significantly with performance on category and letter fluency tasks and may be useful predictors of differences between languages on these tasks. Emotional fluency was not significantly correlated with language proficiency ratings, suggesting that performance on emotional fluency may be more significantly affected by emotional processing ability. The emotional verbal fluency task has potential as a component of neuropsychological evaluations to screen easily and quickly for emotional processing deficits, including those associated with traumatic brain injury and depression. Additionally, results support a positivity bias in language and cognition processes.

  13. Frequency Change Patterns across Proficiency Levels in Japanese EFL Learner Speech

    OpenAIRE

    Abe, Mariko

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the overall patterns of variation across seven oral proficiency levels of 1,263 Japanese EFL learners and native English speakers. The methodological approach combined a learner corpus, language processing techniques, and multivariate statistical analyses to identify patterns of language use. The largest spoken learner corpus in Japan, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology Japanese Learner English (NICT JLE) Corpus was used for the analysi...

  14. Computer proficiency questionnaire: assessing low and high computer proficient seniors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boot, Walter R; Charness, Neil; Czaja, Sara J; Sharit, Joseph; Rogers, Wendy A; Fisk, Arthur D; Mitzner, Tracy; Lee, Chin Chin; Nair, Sankaran

    2015-06-01

    Computers and the Internet have the potential to enrich the lives of seniors and aid in the performance of important tasks required for independent living. A prerequisite for reaping these benefits is having the skills needed to use these systems, which is highly dependent on proper training. One prerequisite for efficient and effective training is being able to gauge current levels of proficiency. We developed a new measure (the Computer Proficiency Questionnaire, or CPQ) to measure computer proficiency in the domains of computer basics, printing, communication, Internet, calendaring software, and multimedia use. Our aim was to develop a measure appropriate for individuals with a wide range of proficiencies from noncomputer users to extremely skilled users. To assess the reliability and validity of the CPQ, a diverse sample of older adults, including 276 older adults with no or minimal computer experience, was recruited and asked to complete the CPQ. The CPQ demonstrated excellent reliability (Cronbach's α = .98), with subscale reliabilities ranging from .86 to .97. Age, computer use, and general technology use all predicted CPQ scores. Factor analysis revealed three main factors of proficiency related to Internet and e-mail use; communication and calendaring; and computer basics. Based on our findings, we also developed a short-form CPQ (CPQ-12) with similar properties but 21 fewer questions. The CPQ and CPQ-12 are useful tools to gauge computer proficiency for training and research purposes, even among low computer proficient older adults. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. What makes a charismatic speaker?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niebuhr, Oliver; Voße, Jana; Brem, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    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...

  16. Stress Deafness in Persian Speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehran Ghajargar

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim: The current study has been designed based on the framework of the Stress Deafness Model (SDM, and aims at investigating native listeners’ general perceptual sensitivity to theacoustic correlates of stress in Persian, a language with predictable stress. According to SDM, more regularity in a language implies poorer perceptual sensitivity of its native speakers, as regular stress patterns will not require lexical encoding.Methods: The experiment was a modified method of adjustment task where subjects had to simulate stimuli played to them. A total of thirty five Persian speakers took part in the experiment and wereplaced in three groups based on their linguistic background. In addition to overall perceptual sensitivity, the effect of exposure to English and phonetic knowledge were also tested.Results: Persian speakers showed a weak perception of stress correlates. It was found, however, that exposure to English will improve stress deafness among Persian natives (p<0.0001. However, the results failed to show any significant effect by phonetic knowledge. It was also shown that the duration had the most erroneous perception by participants (p=0.0001, while there was no statistically significant difference between understanding fundamental frequency clues and intensity perception by listeners.Conclusion: Since Persian speakers showed an overall weak perception of stress correlates, the results support the predictions made by SDM.

  17. Early mathematics achievement trajectories: English-language learner and native English-speaker estimates, using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Greg; Bryant, Diane

    2011-07-01

    This study used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey, Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999, to (a) estimate mathematics achievement trends through 5th grade in the population of students who are English-language proficient by the end of kindergarten, (b) compare trends across primary language groups within this English-language proficient group, (c) evaluate the effect of low socioeconomic status (SES) for English-language proficient students and within different primary language groups, and (d) estimate language-group trends in specific mathematics skill areas. The group of English-language proficient English-language learners (ELLs) was disaggregated into native Spanish speakers and native speakers of Asian languages, the 2 most prevalent groups of ELLs in the United States. Results of multilevel latent variable growth modeling suggest that primary language may be less salient than SES in explaining the mathematics achievement of English-language proficient ELLs. The study also found that mathematics-related school readiness is a key factor in explaining subsequent achievement differences and that the readiness gap is prevalent across the range of mathematics-related skills. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved

  18. Early Mathematics Achievement Trajectories: English-Language Learner and Native English-Speaker Estimates, Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Greg; Bryant, Diane

    2012-01-01

    This study used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey, Kindergarten Class of 1998 –1999, to (a) estimate mathematics achievement trends through 5th grade in the population of students who are English-language proficient by the end of kindergarten, (b) compare trends across primary language groups within this English-language proficient group, (c) evaluate the effect of low socioeconomic status (SES) for English-language proficient students and within different primary language groups, and (d) estimate language-group trends in specific mathematics skill areas. The group of English-language proficient English-language learners (ELLs) was disaggregated into native Spanish speakers and native speakers of Asian languages, the 2 most prevalent groups of ELLs in the United States. Results of multilevel latent variable growth modeling suggest that primary language may be less salient than SES in explaining the mathematics achievement of English-language proficient ELLs. The study also found that mathematics-related school readiness is a key factor in explaining subsequent achievement differences and that the readiness gap is prevalent across the range of mathematics-related skills. PMID:21574702

  19. Language proficiency and nursing registration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Amanda

    2016-02-01

    This discussion paper focuses on English proficiency standards for nursing registration in Australia, how Australia has dealt with the issue of language proficiency, and the factors which have led to the establishment of the current language standards. Also, this paper will provide a comparison of the two language tests that are currently accepted in Australia (OET and IELTS), including the appropriateness of these tests and the minimum standards used. The paper will also examine the use of educational background as an indicator of language proficiency. Finally, communication-based complaints in the post-registration environment will be explored, and some discussion will be provided about why pre-registration measures might have failed to prevent such problematic situations from occurring. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Learning Words from Speakers with False Beliefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papafragou, Anna; Fairchild, Sarah; Cohen, Matthew L.; Friedberg, Carlyn

    2017-01-01

    During communication, hearers try to infer the speaker's intentions to be able to understand what the speaker means. Nevertheless, whether (and how early) preschoolers track their interlocutors' mental states is still a matter of debate. Furthermore, there is disagreement about how children's ability to consult a speaker's belief in communicative…

  1. Speaker Identity Supports Phonetic Category Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mani, Nivedita; Schneider, Signe

    2013-01-01

    Visual cues from the speaker's face, such as the discriminable mouth movements used to produce speech sounds, improve discrimination of these sounds by adults. The speaker's face, however, provides more information than just the mouth movements used to produce speech--it also provides a visual indexical cue of the identity of the speaker. The…

  2. Native Speakers' Perceptions of Nonnative Speakers: Related to Phonetic Errors and Spoken Grammatical Errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Ruth; Jenks, Frederick L.

    A study investigated the perceptions of native English-speakers concerning the spoken grammatical and phonetic (accent) errors of non-native speakers. Speech samples were collected from three non-native speakers of English of varied linguistic backgrounds (German, Spanish, and Arabic) and one speaker of North American English. Each of the four…

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zapata, Julián; Kirkedal, Andreas Søeborg

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we report on a two-part experiment aiming to assess and compare the performance of two types of automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems on two different computational platforms when used to augment dictation workflows. The experiment was performed with a sample of speakers...... of three major languages and with different linguistic profiles: non-native English speakers; non-native French speakers; and native Spanish speakers. The main objective of this experiment is to examine ASR performance in translation dictation (TD) and medical dictation (MD) workflows without manual...... transcription vs. with transcription. We discuss the advantages and drawbacks of a particular ASR approach in different computational platforms when used by various speakers of a given language, who may have different accents and levels of proficiency in that language, and who may have different levels...

  4. The Influence of Orthography on the Production of Alphabetic, Second-Language Allophones by Speakers of a Non-Alphabetic Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Jeong-Im; Kim, Joo-Yeon

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Speaker Recognition for Surveillance Application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KIKTOVA Eva

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the speaker recognition problem regarding to the complex surveillance system. The proposed system extension enables identified the precise identity or at least the gender of the suspect by the captured voice analysis. Our solution is based on the text-independent approach by using Mel-Frequency Cepstral coefficients and fundamental frequency for extracting the identity from a voice signal. Gaussian Mixture Models up to 1024 mixtures were used to classify more than 20 speakers. In this paper the comparison and evaluation of speech based parametrizations and noise elimination techniques are presented regarding to the noisy acoustic data. This system extension could help to eliminate the vandalism and to increase the elucidation of crimes.

  6. Interpreter-mediated neuropsychological testing of monolingual Spanish speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casas, Rachel; Guzmán-Vélez, Edmarie; Cardona-Rodriguez, Javier; Rodriguez, Nayra; Quiñones, Gabriela; Izaguirre, Borja; Tranel, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    The primary objective of this study was to investigate empirically whether using an interpreter to conduct neuropsychological testing of monolingual Spanish speakers affects test scores. Participants included 40 neurologically normal Spanish speakers with limited English proficiency, aged 18-65 years (M = 39.7, SD = 13.9), who completed the Vocabulary, Similarities, Block Design, and Matrix Reasoning subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III in two counterbalanced conditions: with and without an interpreter. Results indicated that interpreter use significantly increased scores on Vocabulary and Similarities. However, scores on Block Design and Matrix Reasoning did not differ depending on whether or not an interpreter was used. In addition the findings suggested a trend toward higher variability in scores when an interpreter was used to administer Vocabulary and Similarities; this trend did not show up for Block Design or Matrix Reasoning. Together the results indicate that interpreter use may significantly affect scores for some tests commonly used in neuropsychological practice, with this influence being greater for verbally mediated tests. Additional research is needed to identify the types of tests that may be most affected as well as the factors that contribute to the effects. In the meantime neuropsychologists are encouraged to avoid interpreter use whenever practically possible, particularly for tests with high demands on interpreter abilities and skills, with tests that have not been appropriately adapted and translated into the patient's target language, and with interpreters who are not trained professionals.

  7. Proficiency and the Bilingual Lexicon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woutersen, Mirjam; And Others

    A study investigated lexical decision-making among Dutch-English bilinguals in the auditory modality. Subjects, bilinguals at three proficiency levels (intermediate, high, and near-native) were presented with 40 cognate and 40 non-cognate word pairs, a similar number of English and Dutch distractors, and a similar number of nonsense words in each…

  8. A French Speaking Proficiency Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pimsleur, Paul

    An attempt to test students objectively in a five-part, French, speaking proficiency test is described and discussed. Concrete nouns, abstract words, pronunciation, syntax, and fluency are tested with a combination of tape and picture stimuli. Reliability, validity, and practical questions are raised; and previous aural-oral testing procedures are…

  9. Second Language Proficiency Assessment and Program Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunan, David

    A discussion of the role of second language proficiency assessment in the evaluation of language programs argues that for four reasons, the use of proficiency is inappropriate as a central element in evaluation. The reasons are: (1) the construct of proficiency has not been operationalized in a way that enables it to be used usefully; (2)…

  10. Professor's Page: Is Understanding a Proficiency?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askew, Mike

    2012-01-01

    The everyday use of "proficient" carries connotations of having reached a level of expertise. One would not describe someone stumbling through a rendition of "Chopsticks" as a proficient piano player; but novice pianists work on musical proficiencies--practicing scales or playing a polka--in parallel. They do not put off…

  11. Speaker independent acoustic-to-articulatory inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, An

    Acoustic-to-articulatory inversion, the determination of articulatory parameters from acoustic signals, is a difficult but important problem for many speech processing applications, such as automatic speech recognition (ASR) and computer aided pronunciation training (CAPT). In recent years, several approaches have been successfully implemented for speaker dependent models with parallel acoustic and kinematic training data. However, in many practical applications inversion is needed for new speakers for whom no articulatory data is available. In order to address this problem, this dissertation introduces a novel speaker adaptation approach called Parallel Reference Speaker Weighting (PRSW), based on parallel acoustic and articulatory Hidden Markov Models (HMM). This approach uses a robust normalized articulatory space and palate referenced articulatory features combined with speaker-weighted adaptation to form an inversion mapping for new speakers that can accurately estimate articulatory trajectories. The proposed PRSW method is evaluated on the newly collected Marquette electromagnetic articulography -- Mandarin Accented English (EMA-MAE) corpus using 20 native English speakers. Cross-speaker inversion results show that given a good selection of reference speakers with consistent acoustic and articulatory patterns, the PRSW approach gives good speaker independent inversion performance even without kinematic training data.

  12. Native Speakers in Linguistic Imperialism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Phillipson, Robert

    2016-01-01

    is recognised as desirable by some British experts, the native speakers in question seldom have this key qualification. This is even the case when the host country (Brunei) aims at bilingual education. It is unlikely that the host countries are getting value for money. Whether the UK and other ‘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...

  13. What makes a charismatic speaker?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niebuhr, Oliver; Voße, Jana; Brem, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    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...

  14. Motor Proficiency in Young Children

    OpenAIRE

    Fotini Venetsanou; Antonis Kambas

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to examine motor proficiency in young children, focusing on potential gender differences. For that purpose, the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency–Long Form (BOTMP-LF) was administered to 540 children (272 boys), 4½ to 6 years old. First, the 2 (sex) × 4 (age groups) ANOVA computed on children’s total BOTMP-LF scores showed that age had a statistically significant effect, whereas gender did ...

  15. A New Database for Speaker Recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Ling; Hansen, Lars Kai

    2005-01-01

    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...... are: English spoken by non-native speakers, a single session of sentence reading and relatively extensive speech samples suitable for learning person specific speech characteristics....

  16. Multilayer bootstrap network for unsupervised speaker recognition

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Xiao-Lei

    2015-01-01

    We apply multilayer bootstrap network (MBN), a recent proposed unsupervised learning method, to unsupervised speaker recognition. The proposed method first extracts supervectors from an unsupervised universal background model, then reduces the dimension of the high-dimensional supervectors by multilayer bootstrap network, and finally conducts unsupervised speaker recognition by clustering the low-dimensional data. The comparison results with 2 unsupervised and 1 supervised speaker recognition...

  17. The 2016 NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-08-20

    The 2016 NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluation Seyed Omid Sadjadi1,∗, Timothée Kheyrkhah1,†, Audrey Tong1, Craig Greenberg1, Douglas Reynolds2, Elliot...recent in an ongoing series of speaker recognition evaluations (SRE) to foster research in ro- bust text-independent speaker recognition, as well as...online evaluation platform, a fixed training data condition, more variability in test segment duration (uni- formly distributed between 10s and 60s

  18. Analysis of Polish Vowels of Tracheoesophageal Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mięsikowska, Marzena

    2017-03-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the acoustical differences between normal and tracheoesophageal Polish speakers during Polish vowel production. Formant frequencies, namely, the first (F1) and second (F2) formant frequencies for 6 Polish vowels produced by 11 normal and 11 tracheoesophageal speakers, were analyzed using statistical analysis of variance and discriminant analysis. Spectral analysis showed that the F1 and F2 values of Polish vowels produced by tracheoesophageal speakers were significantly higher than those produced by normal speakers, with the exception of the F2 value of /i/ produced by tracheoesophageal speakers. Analysis of variance showed significant differences between speeches based on the F1 and F2 formant frequencies. Discriminant analysis based on the formant frequencies for F1 and F2 exhibited 73.33% of the mean classification score for tracheoesophageal speakers and 96.36% for normal speakers. Tracheoesophageal speakers exhibit higher F1 and F2 formant frequencies, with the exception of the F2 value for the vowel /i/ than normal speakers. Discriminant analysis showed that the classification process for TE speech exhibits lower accuracy due to the poorer classification of the vowels /i/, /u/, and /y/. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Factors Affecting Grammatical and Lexical Complexity of Long-Term L2 Speakers' Oral Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahmann, Cornelia; Steinkrauss, Rasmus; Schmid, Monika S.

    2016-01-01

    There remains considerable disagreement about which factors drive second language (L2) ultimate attainment. Age of onset (AO) appears to be a robust factor, lending support to theories of maturational constraints on L2 acquisition. The present study is an investigation of factors that influence grammatical and lexical complexity at the stage of L2…

  20. Language proficiency in native and non-native speakers: Theory and research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hulstijn, J.H.

    2015-01-01

    This book, written for both seasoned and novice researchers, presents a theory of what is called Basic and Higher Language Cognition (BLC and HLC), a theory aimed at making some fundamental issues concerning first and second language learning and bilingualism (more) empirical. The first part of the

  1. Phonological knowledge of rhotics in English L2 of brazilian speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thais Cristófaro Silva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses the appropriation of rhotics in English-L2 spoken by Brazilian speakers. he results show that rhotics are quickly incorporated into the English-L2 speakers’ production. A detailed examination of the data indicates that the following factors are relevant in the appropriation of retrolex approximant in English-L2: proficiency, the individual (learner and the lexical item. he fact that the appropriation of the retrolex approximant quickly achieves excellent levels in English-L2 spoken by Brazilian speakers suggests that teaching of pronunciation is speciic and not global. Based on Multirepresentational Models, it is argued that grammatical knowledge is a dynamic construct, interlaced by various linguistic and non-linguistic factors.

  2. Language proficiency among immigrants and the establishment of interethnic relations: a comparative analysis of Bilbao, Lisbon and Rotterdam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Esteves

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite the increasing interest in exploring language proficiency among immigrants as a quintessential element for their economic integration in the host country, less attention has been devoted to the social impacts that destination-language proficiency may have on enhancing interethnic contacts between immigrants and the native population. This research aims to shed light on this latter topic, discussing if being a native-speaker immigrant in the host country or, for those immigrants who are non-native speakers, having a stronger command of the destination-language may increase their likelihood of interacting with the native population. Moreover, we question if there are significant differences in the interaction patterns between these two groups and the natives, presenting the cities of Bilbao, Lisbon and Rotterdam as a territorial frame. The analysis is based on data gathered through the GEITONIES survey. The results obtained indicate that native-speaker immigrants generally tend to show more interaction with the natives. Nevertheless, for immigrants not sharing such cultural similarity, those with a higher level of second-language proficiency clearly show stronger bonds with the native population; in both cases this can also be related to individual, group or place related variables.

  3. Phoneme Error Pattern by Heritage Speakers of Spanish on an English Word Recognition Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lu-Feng

    2017-04-01

    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

  4. Different speakers but same Language Acquisition Device?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hulstijn, J.H.

    2012-01-01

    The article presents studies which examine the impact of level of education on the knowledge of language. A study of adult native speakers of Dutch discovered large individual differences in lexical memory, lexical fluency and lexical knowledge. Another study of Dutch native speakers showed that

  5. Voice aftereffects of adaptation to speaker identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zäske, Romi; Schweinberger, Stefan R; Kawahara, Hideki

    2010-09-01

    While adaptation to complex auditory stimuli has traditionally been reported for linguistic properties of speech, the present study demonstrates non-linguistic high-level aftereffects in the perception of voice identity, following adaptation to voices or faces of personally familiar speakers. In Exp. 1, prolonged exposure to speaker A's voice biased the perception of identity-ambiguous voice morphs between speakers A and B towards speaker B (and vice versa). Significantly biased voice identity perception was also observed in Exp. 2 when adaptors were videos of speakers' silently articulating faces, although effects were reduced in magnitude relative to those seen in Exp. 1. By contrast, adaptation to an unrelated speaker C elicited an intermediate proportion of speaker A identifications in both experiments. While crossmodal aftereffects on auditory identification (Exp. 2) dissipated rapidly, unimodal aftereffects (Exp. 1) were still measurable a few minutes after adaptation. These novel findings suggest contrastive coding of voice identity in long-term memory, with at least two perceptual mechanisms of voice identity adaptation: one related to auditory coding of voice characteristics, and another related to multimodal coding of familiar speaker identity. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Fifty years of progress in speaker verification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Aaron E.

    2004-10-01

    The modern era in speaker recognition started about 50 years ago at Bell Laboratories with the controversial invention of the voiceprint technique for speaker identification based on expert analysis of speech spectrograms. Early speaker recognition research concentrated on finding acoustic-phonetic features effective in discriminating speakers. The first truly automatic text dependent speaker verification systems were based on time contours or templates of speaker specific acoustic features. An important element of these systems was the ability to time warp sample templates with model templates in order to provide useful comparisons. Most modern text dependent speaker verification systems are based on statistical representations of acoustic features analyzed as a function of time over specified utterances, most particularly the hidden markov model (HMM) representation. Modern text independent systems are based on vector quantization representations and, more recently, on Gaussian mixture model (GMM) representations. An important ingredient of statistically based systems is likelihood ratio decision techniques making use of speaker background models. Some recent research has shown how to extract higher level features based on speaking behavior and combine it with lower level, acoustic features for improved performance. The talk will present these topics in historical order showing the evolution of techniques.

  7. REALIZATION OF DISAGREEMENT STRATEGIES BY INDONESIAN SPEAKERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wildan Nurul Aini

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the realization of disagreement strategies employed by Indonesian speakers. The strategies are then related to the interlocutor’s level of power. The data is collected using DCT Type B adapted from Azis (2000 and analysed using adapted disagreement strategies from Muntigl and Turnbull (1998 and Chen (2006. The results shows that Indonesian speakers tend to use different disagreement strategies to different level of power of the interlocutor. To the interlocutor with the higher power (the superior, the speakers tend to use counterclaims and no disagreement strategies. In addition, to the speakers with the same level of power, the contradiction strategy is preferred. In the meantime, to the interlocutor with the lower level of power, the speakers are likely to choose challenge. These various selections of disagreement strategies are also influenced by concept of FTAs of Brown and Levinson (1987.

  8. Orthographic activation in L2 spoken word recognition depends on proficiency: evidence from eye-tracking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Outi Veivo

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The use of orthographic and phonological information in spoken word recognition was studied in a visual world task where L1 Finnish learners of L2 French (n = 64 and L1 French native speakers (n = 24 were asked to match spoken word forms with printed words while their eye movements were recorded. In Experiment 1, French target words were contrasted with competitors having a longer (base vs. bague or a shorter word initial phonological overlap (base vs. bain and an identical orthographic overlap. In Experiment 2, target words were contrasted with competitors of either longer (mince vs. mite or shorter word initial orthographic overlap (mince vs. mythe and of an identical phonological overlap. A general phonological effect was observed in the L2 listener group but not in the L1 control group. No general orthographic effects were observed in the L2 or L1 groups, but a significant effect of proficiency was observed for orthographic overlap over time: higher proficiency L2 listeners used also orthographic information in the matching task in a time-window from 400 to 700ms, whereas no such effect was observed for lower proficiency listeners. These results suggest that the activation of orthographic information in L2 spoken word recognition depends on proficiency in L2.

  9. Speaking in multiple languages: neural correlates of language proficiency in multilingual word production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Videsott, Gerda; Herrnberger, Bärbel; Hoenig, Klaus; Schilly, Edgar; Grothe, Jo; Wiater, Werner; Spitzer, Manfred; Kiefer, Markus

    2010-06-01

    The human brain has the fascinating ability to represent and to process several languages. Although the first and further languages activate partially different brain networks, the linguistic factors underlying these differences in language processing have to be further specified. We investigated the neural correlates of language proficiency in a homogeneous sample of multilingual native Ladin speakers from a mountain valley in South Tyrol, Italy, who speak Italian as second language at a high level, and English at an intermediate level. In a constrained word production task under functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), participants had to name pictures of objects in Ladin, Italian and English in separate blocks. Overall, multilingual word production activated a common set of brain areas dedicated to known subcomponents of picture naming. In comparison to English, the fluently spoken languages Ladin and Italian were associated with enhanced right prefrontal activity. In addition, the MR signal in right prefrontal cortex correlated with naming accuracy as a measure of language proficiency. Our results demonstrate the significance of right prefrontal areas for language proficiency. Based on the role of these areas for cognitive control, our findings suggest that right prefrontal cortex supports language proficiency by effectively supervising word retrieval. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. (En)Countering Native-speakerism: Global Perspectives

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Graciela Rojo Arce

    2016-01-01

    ...)Countering Native-speakerism: Global Perspectives is a compilation of Native and Non-Native English Teachers' perceptions towards native-speakerism ideologies inside the Teachers of English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL) field...

  11. Academic Proficiency (Language and Content) and the Role of Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krashen, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    This report continues the work of Krashen and Brown (2007), developing and evaluating a set of hypotheses for the development of academic proficiency. That article defined academic proficiency as having two components: academic language proficiency and knowledge of academic content.

  12. Apology Strategy in English By Native Speaker

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mezia Kemala Sari

    2016-05-01

    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.

  13. Quantity language speakers show enhanced subcortical processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    The complex auditory brainstem response (cABR) can reflect language-based plasticity in subcortical stages of auditory processing. It is sensitive to differences between language groups as well as stimulus properties, e.g. intensity or frequency. It is also sensitive to the synchronicity of the neural population stimulated by sound, which results in increased amplitude of wave V. Finnish is a full-fledged quantity language, in which word meaning is dependent upon duration of the vowels and consonants. Previous studies have shown that Finnish speakers have enhanced behavioural sound duration discrimination ability and larger cortical mismatch negativity (MMN) to duration change compared to German and French speakers. The next step is to find out whether these enhanced duration discrimination abilities of quantity language speakers originate at the brainstem level. Since German has a complementary quantity contrast which restricts the possible patterns of short and long vowels and consonants, the current experiment compared cABR between nonmusician Finnish and German native speakers using seven short complex stimuli. Finnish speakers had a larger cABR peak amplitude than German speakers, while the peak onset latency was only affected by stimulus intensity and spectral band. The results suggest that early cABR responses are better synchronised for Finns, which could underpin the enhanced duration sensitivity of quantity language speakers. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. NCES Finds States Lowered "Proficiency" Bar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viadero, Debra

    2009-01-01

    With 2014 approaching as the deadline by which states must get all their students up to "proficient" levels on state tests, a study released last week by the U.S. Department of Education's top statistics agency suggests that some states may have lowered student-proficiency standards on such tests in recent years. For the 47-state study,…

  15. Proficiency test for aflatoxin in pig feed

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elbers, I.J.W.; Nijs, de W.C.M.

    2015-01-01

    Proficiency testing is conducted to provide laboratories with a powerful tool to evaluate and demonstrate the reliability of the data that are produced. Next to validation and accreditation, proficiency testing is an important requirement of the EU Additional Measures Directive 93/99/EEC [1] and is

  16. Common Educational Proficiency Assessment (CEPA) in English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coombe, Christine; Davidson, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The Common Educational Proficiency Assessment (CEPA) is a large-scale, high-stakes, English language proficiency/placement test administered in the United Arab Emirates to Emirati nationals in their final year of secondary education or Grade 12. The purpose of the CEPA is to place students into English classes at the appropriate government…

  17. Measuring receptive collocational competence across proficiency ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The present study investigates (i) English as Foreign Language (EFL) learners' receptive collocational knowledge growth in relation to their linguistic proficiency level; (ii) how much receptive collocational knowledge is acquired as linguistic proficiency develops; and (iii) the extent to which receptive knowledge of ...

  18. Intelligibility and Perceptions of English Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rooy, Susan Coetzee-Van

    2009-01-01

    More and more learners of English from the Expanding Circle are travelling to Outer Circle contexts to learn English or to improve their English proficiency. This is also the case for some Korean families who moved to Potchefstroom, South Africa. This phenomenon poses challenges in terms of assessment of English proficiency, and emphasizes the…

  19. 14 CFR 61.98 - Flight proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight proficiency. 61.98 Section 61.98... CERTIFICATION: PILOTS, FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS, AND GROUND INSTRUCTORS Recreational Pilots § 61.98 Flight proficiency... and flight training from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation of this section that apply...

  20. 14 CFR 61.187 - Flight proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight proficiency. 61.187 Section 61.187... CERTIFICATION: PILOTS, FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS, AND GROUND INSTRUCTORS Flight Instructors Other than Flight Instructors With a Sport Pilot Rating § 61.187 Flight proficiency. (a) General. A person who is applying for a...

  1. 14 CFR 61.107 - Flight proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight proficiency. 61.107 Section 61.107... CERTIFICATION: PILOTS, FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS, AND GROUND INSTRUCTORS Private Pilots § 61.107 Flight proficiency. (a) General. A person who applies for a private pilot certificate must receive and log ground and flight...

  2. Shy Speakers: Hearing Their Voices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caesar Dealwis

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available When a speech community is noted for its inhibitions and reservations with outsiders, researchers, who are not members of that speech community, will find difficulty in making inroads and obtaining information. This research of the Bidayuh community in Kuching will firstly discuss the general attitudes and characteristics of the community. The foregrounding of the community is based on descriptions both by European writers of the 19th century and modern day Bidayuh writers. This paper documents the range of strategies which can be used by researchers, who are outsiders, to obtain information from this speech community. One major strategy which will be discussed is language choice. The Theory of Accommodation contends that rapport and solidarity are more easily established if a speaker shifts to the preferred language of the recipient or subject. Researchers have to determine which language to switch to: Malay, English or Bidayuh? If Bidayuh, then which dialect? The attendant problems associated with code choice will also be discussed.

  3. Robustness-related issues in speaker recognition

    CERN Document Server

    Zheng, Thomas Fang

    2017-01-01

    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.

  4. Language dependence in multilingual speaker verification

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Kleynhans, NT

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available An investigation into the performance of current speaker verification technology within a multilingual context is presented. Using the Oregon Graduate Institute (OGI) Multi-Language Telephone Speech Corpus (MLTS) database, the authors found...

  5. ANALYZING COMPLAINTS BY INDONESIAN EFL SPEAKERS

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Anna Marietta da Silva

    2014-01-01

    .... The article centers on two problems: (1) the similarities and differences of speech act of complaints among Indonesian EFL learners, Indonesian EFL teachers and American native speakers, and (2...

  6. Using timing information in speaker verification

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Heerden, CJ

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available be- tween the two, since overlap between different speakers? models is inevitable. Models that are typically used include statistical mod- els when employing Hidden Markov Models (HMMs), template models when using dynamic time warping (DTW... and prevent unauthorized use of computer and communication systems [1]. Although speaker verification systems are not completely secure, they are a powerful deterrent to fraud in combination with other security measures such as pin numbers, SIM cards...

  7. Role of Speaker Cues in Attention Inference

    OpenAIRE

    Jin Joo Lee; Cynthia Breazeal; David DeSteno

    2017-01-01

    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...

  8. Pitch Correlogram Clustering for Fast Speaker Identification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nitin Jhanwar

    2004-12-01

    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.

  9. Measuring receptive collocational competence across proficiency levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Déogratias Nizonkiza

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study investigates, (i English as Foreign Language (EFL learners’ receptive collocational knowledge growth in relation to their linguistic proficiency level; (ii how much receptive collocational knowledge is acquired as proficiency develops; and (iii the extent to which receptive knowledge of collocations of EFL learners varies across word frequency bands. A proficiency measure and a collocation test were administered to English majors at the University of Burundi. Results of the study suggest that receptive collocational competence develops alongside EFL learners’ linguistic proficiency; which lends empirical support to Gyllstad (2007, 2009 and Author (2011 among others, who reported similar findings. Furthermore, EFL learners’ collocations growth seems to be quantifiable wherein both linguistic proficiency level and word frequency occupy a crucial role. While more gains in terms of collocations that EFL learners could potentially add as a result of change in proficiency are found at lower levels of proficiency; collocations of words from more frequent word bands seem to be mastered first, and more gains are found at more frequent word bands. These results confirm earlier findings on the non-linearity nature of vocabulary growth (cf. Meara 1996 and the fundamental role played by frequency in word knowledge for vocabulary in general (Nation 1983, 1990, Nation and Beglar 2007, which are extended here to collocations knowledge.

  10. Multilingual Speakers' Problems in Decoding in a Second Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaldor, Susan; Shell, Ruth

    Through an experiment investigating the processes used by several speakers of Asian languages to decode passages by speakers of Australian English, this paper seeks to establish and categorize the types of problems encountered by multilingual speakers when decoding the speech of monolingual speakers in one of their (the multilinguals') second…

  11. Native-speaker and English as a lingua franca pronunciation norms: English majors’ views

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandra Wach

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Within the communicative approach to English as a foreign language (EFL teaching, the aims of instruction are primarily to enable learners to communicate; hence, functional and communicative intelligibility has become the goal of pronunciation training. On the other hand, contemporary approaches to EFL teaching leave sufficient room for accommodating the individual learner and contextual factors which largely influence the choice of the target pronunciation models. Moreover, in a globalized world, where English has become a contemporary lingua franca for intercultural communication, the pronunciation norms of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF appear to meet the needs and expectations of learners of English in international settings, coexisting with or replacing native-speaker pronunciation models as the target of instruction. The ELF approach and the Lingua Franca Core elaborated by Jenkins (2000, 2002 have aroused controversy among both researchers and EFL teachers. The paper presents the findings of a questionnaire study involving 234 Polish students, English majors, which aimed to determine their preferences and opinions concerning native-speaker and ELF norms as pronunciation instruction targets. The findings revealed a strong preference for native-like pronunciation models in the subjects’ own language development and a less strong preference for such models in pronunciation teaching at all levels of proficiency. Moreover, the results pointed to the significant role played by the intensity of pronunciation training and the level of awareness of native-speaker pronunciation models in shaping the subjects’ attitudes toward native-like and ELF pronunciation norms.

  12. Nonnative audiovisual speech perception in noise: dissociable effects of the speaker and listener.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zilong; Yi, Han-Gyol; Chandrasekaran, Bharath

    2014-01-01

    Nonnative speech poses a challenge to speech perception, especially in challenging listening environments. Audiovisual (AV) cues are known to improve native speech perception in noise. The extent to which AV cues benefit nonnative speech perception in noise, however, is much less well-understood. Here, we examined native American English-speaking and native Korean-speaking listeners' perception of English sentences produced by a native American English speaker and a native Korean speaker across a range of signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs;-4 to -20 dB) in audio-only and audiovisual conditions. We employed psychometric function analyses to characterize the pattern of AV benefit across SNRs. For native English speech, the largest AV benefit occurred at intermediate SNR (i.e. -12 dB); but for nonnative English speech, the largest AV benefit occurred at a higher SNR (-4 dB). The psychometric function analyses demonstrated that the AV benefit patterns were different between native and nonnative English speech. The nativeness of the listener exerted negligible effects on the AV benefit across SNRs. However, the nonnative listeners' ability to gain AV benefit in native English speech was related to their proficiency in English. These findings suggest that the native language background of both the speaker and listener clearly modulate the optimal use of AV cues in speech recognition.

  13. 14 CFR 61.127 - Flight proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... CERTIFICATION: PILOTS, FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS, AND GROUND INSTRUCTORS Commercial Pilots § 61.127 Flight proficiency. (a) General. A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate must receive and log ground and...

  14. Limited english proficiency accessibility program : demonstration program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-01

    In 2006, the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) secured grant funding from the Federal Transit Administration : (FTA) that enabled the agency to launch a creative and ambitious Limited English Proficiency (LEP) demonst...

  15. Compliment Responses: Comparing American Learners of Japanese, Native Japanese Speakers, and American Native English Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatsumi, Naofumi

    2012-01-01

    Previous research shows that American learners of Japanese (AJs) tend to differ from native Japanese speakers in their compliment responses (CRs). Yokota (1986) and Shimizu (2009) have reported that AJs tend to respond more negatively than native Japanese speakers. It has also been reported that AJs' CRs tend to lack the use of avoidance or…

  16. Effective acoustic modeling for robust speaker recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasan Al Banna, Taufiq

    Robustness due to mismatched train/test conditions is the biggest challenge facing the speaker recognition community today, with transmission channel and environmental noise degradation being the prominent factors. Performance of state-of-the art speaker recognition methods aim at mitigating these factors by effectively modeling speech in multiple recording conditions, so that it can learn to distinguish between inter-speaker and intra-speaker variability. The increasing demand and availability of large development corpora introduces difficulties in effective data utilization and computationally efficient modeling. Traditional compensation strategies operate on higher dimensional utterance features, known as supervectors, which are obtained from the acoustic modeling of short-time features. Feature compensation is performed during front-end processing. Motivated by the covariance structure of conventional acoustic features, we envision that feature normalization and compensation can be integrated into the acoustic modeling. In this dissertation, we investigate the following fundamental research challenges: (i) analysis of data requirements for effective and efficient background model training, (ii) introducing latent factor analysis modeling of acoustic features, (iii) integration of channel compensation strategies in mixture-models, and (iv) development of noise robust background models using factor analysis. The effectiveness of the proposed solutions are demonstrated in various noisy and channel degraded conditions using the recent evaluation datasets released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These research accomplishments make an important step towards improving speaker recognition robustness in diverse acoustic conditions.

  17. Role of Speaker Cues in Attention Inference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin Joo Lee

    2017-10-01

    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.

  18. Joint Single-Channel Speech Separation and Speaker Identification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    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...... by incorporating the speaker identities found by the speaker identiſcation block as additional information for the separation block, which converts the speaker-independent separation problem to a speaker-dependent one where the speaker codebooks are known. Simulation results show that the closed loop system...

  19. SEMI-AUTOMATIC SPEAKER VERIFICATION SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. V. Bulgakova

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Subject of Research. The paper presents a semi-automatic speaker verification system based on comparing of formant values, statistics of phone lengths and melodic characteristics as well. Due to the development of speech technology, there is an increased interest now in searching for expert speaker verification systems, which have high reliability and low labour intensiveness because of the automation of data processing for the expert analysis. System Description. We present a description of a novel system analyzing similarity or distinction of speaker voices based on comparing statistics of phone lengths, formant features and melodic characteristics. The characteristic feature of the proposed system based on fusion of methods is a weak correlation between the analyzed features that leads to a decrease in the error rate of speaker recognition. The system advantage is the possibility to carry out rapid analysis of recordings since the processes of data preprocessing and making decision are automated. We describe the functioning methods as well as fusion of methods to combine their decisions. Main Results. We have tested the system on the speech database of 1190 target trials and 10450 non-target trials, including the Russian speech of the male and female speakers. The recognition accuracy of the system is 98.59% on the database containing records of the male speech, and 96.17% on the database containing records of the female speech. It was also experimentally established that the formant method is the most reliable of all used methods. Practical Significance. Experimental results have shown that proposed system is applicable for the speaker recognition task in the course of phonoscopic examination.

  20. The influence of lexical characteristics and talker accent on the recognition of English words by speakers of Japanese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoneyama, Kiyoko; Munson, Benjamin

    2017-02-01

    Whether or not the influence of listeners' language proficiency on L2 speech recognition was affected by the structure of the lexicon was examined. This specific experiment examined the effect of word frequency (WF) and phonological neighborhood density (PND) on word recognition in native speakers of English and second-language (L2) speakers of English whose first language was Japanese. The stimuli included English words produced by a native speaker of English and English words produced by a native speaker of Japanese (i.e., with Japanese-accented English). The experiment was inspired by the finding of Imai, Flege, and Walley [(2005). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 117, 896-907] that the influence of talker accent on speech intelligibility for L2 learners of English whose L1 is Spanish varies as a function of words' PND. In the currently study, significant interactions between stimulus accentedness and listener group on the accuracy and speed of spoken word recognition were found, as were significant effects of PND and WF on word-recognition accuracy. However, no significant three-way interaction among stimulus talker, listener group, and PND on either measure was found. Results are discussed in light of recent findings on cross-linguistic differences in the nature of the effects of PND on L2 phonological and lexical processing.

  1. Data requirements for speaker independent acoustic models

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Badenhorst, JAC

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available -speaker variability of a training corpus. The authors find that the different phone groups exhibit a significantly different behaviour across groups, but within groups similar trends are observed. They demonstrate that at a predictable point, additional data from one...

  2. "Ser" Helps Spanish Speakers Identify "Real" Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sera, Maria D.; Bales, Diane W.; del Castillo Pintado, Javier

    1997-01-01

    Three experiments examined effects of language on developing knowledge of distinction between real and apparent properties. Found that when Spanish verbs for "to be" -- "Ser" and "Estar" -- were substituted for "is,""Ser" gave the Spanish-speaking and bilingual speakers a unique advantage in…

  3. Pratap Raychaudhuri | Speakers | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ... from the studies carried out in the speaker's laboratory, the kind of problems that can be addressed using this technique will be highlighted. That it is much more economic and infinitely more productive to build your own scanning tunneling microscope than to buy commercial products commonly available in the market will ...

  4. Speaker Prediction based on Head Orientations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Does Language Testing Need the Native Speaker?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Alan

    2011-01-01

    Opinions differ on the importance of the native speaker's concept for language teaching and testing. This Commentary maintains that it is important and seeks to explain why. Three types of grammar are distinguished, the individual's, the community's and the human faculty of language. For first language teaching and testing it is the community's…

  6. Sociophonetic study of young Nigerian English speakers ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    All tokens of r-liaison and consonant deletion produced at word and morpheme boundaries were identified and analysed statistically, using the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The only speech variation observed in the data was between male and female speakers in boundary consonant deletion, (F(1, 176) = 6.24, p = .013).

  7. Pallab Dasgupta | Speakers | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The speaker's formal methods research group at IIT Kharagpur works with leading industries in a wide variety of domains spanning semiconductors, software, control and automation. The significance of formal methods in the engineering of embedded electronic systems and the group's contributions over the past 15 years ...

  8. Improved Reference Speaker Weighting Using Aspect Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahm, Seong-Jun; Ohkawa, Yuichi; Ito, Masashi; Suzuki, Motoyuki; Ito, Akinori; Makino, Shozo

    We propose an improved reference speaker weighting (RSW) and speaker cluster weighting (SCW) approach that uses an aspect model. The concept of the approach is that the adapted model is a linear combination of a few latent reference models obtained from a set of reference speakers. The aspect model has specific latent-space characteristics that differ from orthogonal basis vectors of eigenvoice. The aspect model is a “mixture-of-mixture” model. We first calculate a small number of latent reference models as mixtures of distributions of the reference speaker's models, and then the latent reference models are mixed to obtain the adapted distribution. The mixture weights are calculated based on the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm. We use the obtained mixture weights for interpolating mean parameters of the distributions. Both training and adaptation are performed based on likelihood maximization with respect to the training and adaptation data, respectively. We conduct a continuous speech recognition experiment using a Korean database (KAIST-TRADE). The results are compared to those of a conventional MAP, MLLR, RSW, eigenvoice and SCW. Absolute word accuracy improvement of 2.06 point was achieved using the proposed method, even though we use only 0.3 s of adaptation data.

  9. Speaker Recognition Through NLP and CWT Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-06-16

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

  10. Speaker recognition through NLP and CWT modeling.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-06-23

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

  11. Beyond English proficiency: rethinking immigrant integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akresh, Ilana Redstone; Massey, Douglas S; Frank, Reanne

    2014-05-01

    We develop and test a conceptual model of English language acquisition and the strength of the latter in predicting social and cultural assimilation. We present evidence that the path to English proficiency begins with exposure to English in the home country and on prior U.S. trips. English proficiency, then, has direct links to the intermediate migration outcomes of occupational status in the U.S., the amount of time in the U.S. since the most recent trip, and the co-ethnic residential context in the U.S. In turn, pre-migration characteristics and the intermediate characteristics work in tandem with English proficiency to determine social assimilation in the U.S., while cultural assimilation is primarily determined by pre-migration habits. A shift in focus to English use is desirable in studies of immigrant integration. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Beyond English Proficiency: Rethinking Immigrant Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akresh, Ilana Redstone; Massey, Douglas S.; Frank, Reanne

    2014-01-01

    We develop and test a conceptual model of English language acquisition and the strength of the latter in predicting social and cultural assimilation. We present evidence that the path to English proficiency begins with exposure to English in the home country and on prior U.S. trips. English proficiency, then, has direct links to the intermediate migration outcomes of occupational status in the U.S., the amount of time in the U.S. since the most recent trip, and the co-ethnic residential context in the U.S. In turn, pre-migration characteristics and the intermediate characteristics work in tandem with English proficiency to determine social assimilation in the U.S., while cultural assimilation is primarily determined by pre-migration habits. A shift in focus to English use is desirable in studies of immigrant integration. PMID:24576636

  13. TEACHING NON-INDIGENOUS SPEAKERS OF ISIXHOSA: A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF OWN PRACTICE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phumla Kese

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available In this article, the author reports on a mid-year critical evaluation of her teaching practice at a multilingual university with students who are non-indigenous speakers of isiXhosa. Data is gleaned from participatory observations, critical-incident journal entries, students’ assessments, views of an outside observer, and student feedback. The conclusion is drawn that to achieve communicative competence in the Xhosa language, the following are vital towards meeting the challenges of students’ anxieties about the course: increasing student motivation, confronting the differences between students’ home languages and isiXhosa, using tutors who are proficient in the students’ mother tongue, as well as encouraging creativity together by keeping a balance between oral and written tasks.

  14. When speaker identity is unavoidable: Neural processing of speaker identity cues in natural speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  15. Young Children's Sensitivity to Speaker Gender When Learning from Others

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Lili; Woolley, Jacqueline D.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  16. Native-Speakerism in ELT: Plus ca Change...?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waters, Alan

    2007-01-01

    In ELT, the over-representation of the "native-speaker" (NS) point of view at the expense of the "non-native-speaker" (NNS) one--"native-speakerism"--has long been a significant problem. However, this paper argues that the current main applied linguistics attempt to remedy the situation--the use of a "critical theory" (CT) approach--rather than…

  17. Processing Speaker Variability in Repetition and Semantic/Associative Priming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Chao-Yang; Zhang, Yu

    2015-01-01

    The effect of speaker variability on accessing the form and meaning of spoken words was evaluated in two short-term priming experiments. In the repetition priming experiment, participants listened to repeated or unrelated prime-target pairs, in which the prime and target were produced by the same speaker or different speakers. The results showed…

  18. Unsupervised Speaker Change Detection for Broadcast News Segmentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    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...

  19. Accent Attribution in Speakers with Foreign Accent Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    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…

  20. Rhythmic variability between speakers: articulatory, prosodic, and linguistic factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dellwo, Volker; Leemann, Adrian; Kolly, Marie-José

    2015-03-01

    Between-speaker variability of acoustically measurable speech rhythm [%V, ΔV(ln), ΔC(ln), and Δpeak(ln)] was investigated when within-speaker variability of (a) articulation rate and (b) linguistic structural characteristics was introduced. To study (a), 12 speakers of Standard German read seven lexically identical sentences under five different intended tempo conditions (very slow, slow, normal, fast, very fast). To study (b), 16 speakers of Zurich Swiss German produced 16 spontaneous utterances each (256 in total) for which transcripts were made and then read by all speakers (4096 sentences; 16 speaker × 256 sentences). Between-speaker variability was tested using analysis of variance with repeated measures on within-speaker factors. Results revealed strong and consistent between-speaker variability while within-speaker variability as a function of articulation rate and linguistic characteristics was typically not significant. It was concluded that between-speaker variability of acoustically measurable speech rhythm is strong and robust against various sources of within-speaker variability. Idiosyncratic articulatory movements were found to be the most plausible factor explaining between-speaker differences.

  1. A Tutorial on Text-Independent Speaker Verification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Bimbot

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an overview of a state-of-the-art text-independent speaker verification system. First, an introduction proposes a modular scheme of the training and test phases of a speaker verification system. Then, the most commonly speech parameterization used in speaker verification, namely, cepstral analysis, is detailed. Gaussian mixture modeling, which is the speaker modeling technique used in most systems, is then explained. A few speaker modeling alternatives, namely, neural networks and support vector machines, are mentioned. Normalization of scores is then explained, as this is a very important step to deal with real-world data. The evaluation of a speaker verification system is then detailed, and the detection error trade-off (DET curve is explained. Several extensions of speaker verification are then enumerated, including speaker tracking and segmentation by speakers. Then, some applications of speaker verification are proposed, including on-site applications, remote applications, applications relative to structuring audio information, and games. Issues concerning the forensic area are then recalled, as we believe it is very important to inform people about the actual performance and limitations of speaker verification systems. This paper concludes by giving a few research trends in speaker verification for the next couple of years.

  2. Who owns English? Questioning the native speaker | Davies ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In support of my argument, I discuss five current critiques of the native speaker: World Englishes, négritude and the anglophone response, English as a Lingua Franca, judgements by Native Speaker (NS) and non-native speaker (NNS) raters of second language (L2) performance, second language acquisition research and ...

  3. Perspective-Taking in Social Interaction : The Influence of Speakers' Attention to Addressees' Different Perspective on Speakers' Audience Design

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Damen, Debby; van der Wijst, Per; van Amelsvoort, Marije; Krahmer, Emiel

    Previous research shows that speakers often fail to regard their addressee's perspective during conversation. This study investigated whether speakers' referential communication benefits from an explicitly stimulated attention to addressees' perspective. This aim was experimentally investigated

  4. Grammatical Planning Units during Real-Time Sentence Production in Speakers with Agrammatic Aphasia and Healthy Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated pitch perception and production in speech and music in individuals with congenital amusia (a disorder of musical pitch processing) who are native speakers of Cantonese, a tone language with a highly complex tonal system. Sixteen Cantonese-speaking congenital amusics and 16 controls performed a set of lexical tone perception, production, singing, and psychophysical pitch threshold tasks. Their tone production accuracy and singing proficiency were subsequently judged by independent listeners, and subjected to acoustic analyses. Relative to controls, amusics showed impaired discrimination of lexical tones in both speech and non-speech conditions. They also received lower ratings for singing proficiency, producing larger pitch interval deviations and making more pitch interval errors compared to controls. Demonstrating higher pitch direction identification thresholds than controls for both speech syllables and piano tones, amusics nevertheless produced native lexical tones with comparable pitch trajectories and intelligibility as controls. Significant correlations were found between pitch threshold and lexical tone perception, music perception and production, but not between lexical tone perception and production for amusics. These findings provide further evidence that congenital amusia is a domain-general language-independent pitch-processing deficit that is associated with severely impaired music perception and production, mildly impaired speech perception, and largely intact speech production. PMID:27475178

  6. ANALYZING COMPLAINTS BY INDONESIAN EFL SPEAKERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Marietta da Silva

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The English language competence of an EFL learner can be reflectedin his pragmatic competence. Yet, for language learners and teachers a mastery of the pragmatic competence may unconsciously be neglected. In other words, it may not be taught in line with the grammatical competence since the initial period of learning. The article centers on two problems: (1 the similarities and differences of speech act of complaints among Indonesian EFL learners, Indonesian EFL teachers and American native speakers, and (2 the evidence of any pragmatic transfer in the complaint performance. DCT was used to gather the data, which was then analyzed using Rinnert, Nogami and Iwai?s aspects of complaining (2006. It was found that there were both differences and similarities of complaints performed by both the native and non-native speakers of English when power and social status were involved. Some evidence on pragmatic transfer was also tangible; mainly it was due to cultural differences

  7. ESL Proficiency and a Word Frequency Count.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harlech-Jones, Brian

    1983-01-01

    In a study of the vocabulary proficiency of some South African ESL teacher trainees, the General Service List of English Words' validity was evaluated. It was found that mastery of this list would meet most of the vocabulary needs of the test group. Recommendations are made for practical uses of word counts. (MSE)

  8. Discrepancies between perceptions of English proficiency and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Empirical data that indicate a discrepancy between perceptions and scores on English tests among South African participants (1998-2011) are reported. A discrepancy between perceptions of English proficiency and scores on English tests is important because of its potential impact on language learner motivation. It will be ...

  9. Measuring Task Proficiency with Tailored Response Testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Herbert George; And Others

    Tailored Response Testing (TRT) is a new type of test that has demonstrated its applicability to the evaluation of human performance in a wide variety of occupations and work settings. The Navy is using TRT to measure the technical proficiency of job incumbents in three of its jobs. The methodology holds great promise for testing aboard ships as…

  10. Crime Laboratory Proficiency Testing Research Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Joseph L.; And Others

    A three-year research effort was conducted to design a crime laboratory proficiency testing program encompassing the United States. The objectives were to: (1) determine the feasibility of preparation and distribution of different classes of physical evidence; (2) assess the accuracy of criminalistics laboratories in the processing of selected…

  11. One Hundred Percent Proficiency: A Mission Impossible

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Eric; Wilson, Glen; Cobb, Casey; Rallis, Sharon

    2005-01-01

    Applying microeconomic theory to No Child Left Behind predicts that its use of significant consequences for schools that do not reach 100% proficiency on rigorous standardized tests by 2014 will likely prevent most, if not all schools, from providing a high-quality education for their students. The central problem is cost. Quality assurance models…

  12. Current Proficiency Testing: A Reflection of Teaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine-Niakaris, Christine

    1997-01-01

    Looks at the washback effect in language testing, using as an example the new University of Michigan Examination for Certificate of Competency (ECCE), designed for intermediate- to upper-intermediate level learners. The ECCE can be considered an example of the movement toward achievement-oriented proficiency tests. (Author/VWL)

  13. 14 CFR 61.157 - Flight proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Flight proficiency. 61.157 Section 61.157... CERTIFICATION: PILOTS, FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS, AND GROUND INSTRUCTORS Airline Transport Pilots § 61.157 Flight... and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation under this...

  14. Moving Readers from Struggling to Proficient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolter, Deborah

    2017-01-01

    If we want to move children from struggling to read to being proficient readers, we must address the disparate ways that teachers respond to readers with varying abilities. Restorative practices, akin to restorative justice, build relationships, make connections, and foster a reader's sense of ownership and empowerment. What would happen if…

  15. 5 CFR 9901.364 - Foreign language proficiency pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 5 Administrative Personnel 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Foreign language proficiency pay. 9901... Foreign Language Proficiency Pay (FLPP) if they are certified as proficient in a foreign language the... annual list of foreign languages necessary for national security interests and to establish overall...

  16. 34 CFR 300.27 - Limited English proficient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Limited English proficient. 300.27 Section 300.27... CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES General Definitions Used in This Part § 300.27 Limited English proficient. Limited English proficient has the meaning given the term in section 9101(25) of the ESEA. (Authority: 20...

  17. Profiles in Bilingualism: Factors Influencing Kindergartners' Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, L. Quentin; Wu, Shuang; Daraghmeh, Ahlam

    2012-01-01

    Three common assumptions concerning bilingual children's language proficiency are: (1) their proficiency in two languages is usually unbalanced; (2) low socioeconomic status (SES) indicates low proficiency in both languages; and (3) encouraging parents to speak some societal language at home will promote its development. Examining the vocabulary…

  18. Text-independent speaker identification system based on adaptive wavelets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kadambe, Shubha L.; Srinivasan, Pramila

    1994-03-01

    In this paper, we describe a text-independent phoneme-based speaker identification system that uses adaptive wavelets to model the phonemes. This system identifies a speaker by modeling a very short segment of phonemes and then by clustering all the phonemes belonging to the same speaker into one class. The classification is achieved by using a two layer feed forward neural network classifier. The performance of this speaker identification system is demonstrated by considering the phonemes that were extracted from various sentences spoken by three speakers in the TIMIT acoustic-phonetic speech corpus.

  19. Guest speakers in a professional development seminar series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zorek, Joseph A; Katz, Norman L; Popovich, Nicholas G

    2011-03-10

    To evaluate the impact guest speakers have on student development in a professional development seminar series. Over a 5-semester period, presentations were given by 18 guest speakers as part of a professional development seminar series. A 28-item survey instrument was constructed and administered to 68 students to assess the impact of the guest speakers on the students' professional development. Forty-six (68%) students completed the survey instrument, and the results demonstrated the value of the guest speakers, most notably in the areas of career development and professional responsibility. Exposing pharmacy students to guest speakers from varied pharmacy career paths positively impacted students' knowledge of career options and professional development.

  20. Improving Monaural Speaker Identification by Double-Talk Detection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saeidi, Rahim; Mowlaee, Pejman; Kinnunen, Tomi

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes a novel approach to improve monoaural speaker identification where two speakers are present in a single-microphone recording. The goal is to identify both of the underlying speakers in the given mixture. The proposed approach is composed of a double-talk detector (DTD......) as a preprocessor and speaker identification back-end. We demonstrate that including the double-talk detector improves the speaker identification accuracy. Experiments on GRID corpus show that including the DTD improves average recognition accuracy from 96.53% to 97.43%....

  1. Speaker Authentication Operational Test and Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-04-01

    designed to choose , from a set of known talkers, the candidate whose speech mst closely matches the unknown speech segment. Text indepe-ent recognition...makes a determination as to the sneaker identity. 2.3 IMImcD SPEAKER RMXMTION TEST BED Both sneaker recoqnition technioues were implemented and...list, the operator enters a "g". The system then asks for the model name to be entered on the operator console. If the name is correctly entered, the

  2. Audiovisual data fusion for successive speakers tracking

    OpenAIRE

    Labourey, Quentin; Aycard, Olivier; Pellerin, Denis; Rombaut, Michèle

    2014-01-01

    International audience; In this paper, a human speaker tracking method on audio and video data is presented. It is applied to con- versation tracking with a robot. Audiovisual data fusion is performed in a two-steps process. Detection is performed independently on each modality: face detection based on skin color on video data and sound source localization based on the time delay of arrival on audio data. The results of those detection processes are then fused thanks to an adaptation of bayes...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    فریبا حسینی

    2010-09-01

    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 Shameli@Yahoo.com   * * M.A. in Arabic Language and Literature from Isfahan University E-mail: faribahosayni@yahoo.com

  4. Assessment of variation between and within speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahr, Ruth Huntley

    2003-10-01

    While few individuals would argue that vocal cues can signal a person's identity, it is difficult to specify exactly which parameter(s) provide the most salient information for speaker identification. Previous literature has suggested that speaking fundamental frequency, long-term spectra, vowel formant frequencies, and speech tempo can provide speaker-specific information. However, investigations focused on automatic speaker identification have provided less than satisfactory results. These findings could be related to how each acoustic parameter is measured or, more probably, to the idea that these acoustic parameters interact in specific ways that may be more obvious in the perceptual realm and may vary across speaking situations. To further complicate matters, individuals may speak more than one language or use multiple dialects. Little is known about the effect of code switching on voice production and identification. The purpose of this presentation is to present some of the relevant literature on voice recognition and factors related to misidentification. The role of intraspeaker variability will be discussed with a special emphasis on bilingualism and bidialectalism. Implications for voice production in augmentative and alternative communication devices will be described.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lina Lee

    2004-01-01

    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.

  6. How Cognitive Load Influences Speakers' Choice of Referring Expressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogels, Jorrig; Krahmer, Emiel; Maes, Alfons

    2015-08-01

    We report on two experiments investigating the effect of an increased cognitive load for speakers on the choice of referring expressions. Speakers produced story continuations to addressees, in which they referred to characters that were either salient or non-salient in the discourse. In Experiment 1, referents that were salient for the speaker were non-salient for the addressee, and vice versa. In Experiment 2, all discourse information was shared between speaker and addressee. Cognitive load was manipulated by the presence or absence of a secondary task for the speaker. The results show that speakers under load are more likely to produce pronouns, at least when referring to less salient referents. We take this finding as evidence that speakers under load have more difficulties taking discourse salience into account, resulting in the use of expressions that are more economical for themselves. © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  7. Role of Oral Proficiency on Reading Comprehension: Within-Language and Cross-Language Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchikoshi, Yuuko; Yang, Lu; Lohr, Brandi; Leung, Genevieve

    2016-01-01

    This longitudinal study examined the role of oral proficiency, as measured with elicited narratives using a wordless picture book, Frog Where are You? (Meyer, 1969/1994), on English reading comprehension with a total of 102 English Language Learners (ELLs), including both Spanish and Cantonese speakers. Narrative samples were collected in the winter of first grade and reading skills were assessed on the same children one year later in second grade. Children were enrolled in either bilingual programs or mainstream programs. Multiple regression results show it was not the quantity and variety of words used in the narratives that predicted English reading comprehension one year later. Instead, the ability to produce a coherent oral narrative, in either the home language or English, explained a small variance in English reading comprehension for both English learner groups. These findings highlight the importance of examining narrative skills, especially as measured by narrative structure. Implications for parents and educators are discussed. PMID:28717774

  8. Sequence complexity effects on speech production in healthy speakers and speakers with hypokinetic or ataxic dysarthria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Kevin J; Spencer, Kristie A

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigated the effects of sequence complexity, defined in terms of phonemic similarity and phonotoactic probability, on the timing and accuracy of serial ordering for speech production in healthy speakers and speakers with either hypokinetic or ataxic dysarthria. Sequences were comprised of strings of consonant-vowel (CV) syllables with each syllable containing the same vowel, /a/, paired with a different consonant. High complexity sequences contained phonemically similar consonants, and sounds and syllables that had low phonotactic probabilities; low complexity sequences contained phonemically dissimilar consonants and high probability sounds and syllables. Sequence complexity effects were evaluated by analyzing speech error rates and within-syllable vowel and pause durations. This analysis revealed that speech error rates were significantly higher and speech duration measures were significantly longer during production of high complexity sequences than during production of low complexity sequences. Although speakers with dysarthria produced longer overall speech durations than healthy speakers, the effects of sequence complexity on error rates and speech durations were comparable across all groups. These findings indicate that the duration and accuracy of processes for selecting items in a speech sequence is influenced by their phonemic similarity and/or phonotactic probability. Moreover, this robust complexity effect is present even in speakers with damage to subcortical circuits involved in serial control for speech.

  9. Sequence Complexity Effects on Speech Production in Healthy Speakers and Speakers with Hypokinetic or Ataxic Dysarthria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Kevin J.; Spencer, Kristie A.

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigated the effects of sequence complexity, defined in terms of phonemic similarity and phonotoactic probability, on the timing and accuracy of serial ordering for speech production in healthy speakers and speakers with either hypokinetic or ataxic dysarthria. Sequences were comprised of strings of consonant-vowel (CV) syllables with each syllable containing the same vowel, /a/, paired with a different consonant. High complexity sequences contained phonemically similar consonants, and sounds and syllables that had low phonotactic probabilities; low complexity sequences contained phonemically dissimilar consonants and high probability sounds and syllables. Sequence complexity effects were evaluated by analyzing speech error rates and within-syllable vowel and pause durations. This analysis revealed that speech error rates were significantly higher and speech duration measures were significantly longer during production of high complexity sequences than during production of low complexity sequences. Although speakers with dysarthria produced longer overall speech durations than healthy speakers, the effects of sequence complexity on error rates and speech durations were comparable across all groups. These findings indicate that the duration and accuracy of processes for selecting items in a speech sequence is influenced by their phonemic similarity and/or phonotactic probability. Moreover, this robust complexity effect is present even in speakers with damage to subcortical circuits involved in serial control for speech. PMID:24146997

  10. Sequence complexity effects on speech production in healthy speakers and speakers with hypokinetic or ataxic dysarthria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin J Reilly

    Full Text Available The present study investigated the effects of sequence complexity, defined in terms of phonemic similarity and phonotoactic probability, on the timing and accuracy of serial ordering for speech production in healthy speakers and speakers with either hypokinetic or ataxic dysarthria. Sequences were comprised of strings of consonant-vowel (CV syllables with each syllable containing the same vowel, /a/, paired with a different consonant. High complexity sequences contained phonemically similar consonants, and sounds and syllables that had low phonotactic probabilities; low complexity sequences contained phonemically dissimilar consonants and high probability sounds and syllables. Sequence complexity effects were evaluated by analyzing speech error rates and within-syllable vowel and pause durations. This analysis revealed that speech error rates were significantly higher and speech duration measures were significantly longer during production of high complexity sequences than during production of low complexity sequences. Although speakers with dysarthria produced longer overall speech durations than healthy speakers, the effects of sequence complexity on error rates and speech durations were comparable across all groups. These findings indicate that the duration and accuracy of processes for selecting items in a speech sequence is influenced by their phonemic similarity and/or phonotactic probability. Moreover, this robust complexity effect is present even in speakers with damage to subcortical circuits involved in serial control for speech.

  11. 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

    2016-01-01

    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...... 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...

  12. Is Seeing Gesture Necessary to Gesture Like a Native Speaker?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özçalışkan, Şeyda; Lucero, Ché; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2016-05-01

    Speakers of all languages gesture, but there are differences in the gestures that they produce. Do speakers learn language-specific gestures by watching others gesture or by learning to speak a particular language? We examined this question by studying the speech and gestures produced by 40 congenitally blind adult native speakers of English and Turkish (n = 20/language), and comparing them with the speech and gestures of 40 sighted adult speakers in each language (20 wearing blindfolds, 20 not wearing blindfolds). We focused on speakers' descriptions of physical motion, which display strong cross-linguistic differences in patterns of speech and gesture use. Congenitally blind speakers of English and Turkish produced speech that resembled the speech produced by sighted speakers of their native language. More important, blind speakers of each language used gestures that resembled the gestures of sighted speakers of that language. Our results suggest that hearing a particular language is sufficient to gesture like a native speaker of that language. © The Author(s) 2016.

  13. Medical training and English language proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, S C; Farnill, D

    1993-01-01

    Concern is often expressed about the English language proficiency (ELP) of students engaged in professional training. This report assesses the ELP of the 1990 and 1991 intakes into medicine at the University of Sydney. A quick screening test and individual in-depth tests were used in a two-stage design. Admission to the course is highly competitive and most students are selected from the top 0.75% of Higher School Certificate results but 15% and 19% of the year cohorts were found to be below average in ELP. English proficiency was found to be consistently correlated with first- and second-year university results. Initiatives taken to support students with language disadvantages and to ensure that graduates will be able to communicate effectively with patients are outlined.

  14. Speaker-specific variability of phoneme durations

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Heerden, CJ

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available . The hypothesis that was to be tested was that phonemes tend to vary in classes. There were five phoneme classes: stops, fricatives & affricates, nasals, semivowels & glides and vowels. 4.3. Experiment 3 Experiment 2 was repeated, but instead of using phoneme... certain phonemes. 4.4. Experiment 4 For every speaker 50 duration estimates were done. Every es- timation entailed three vowels and three consonants to be esti- mated simultaneously, with the rest of the observed phonemes given as data to the ML...

  15. Communication Interface for Mexican Spanish Dysarthric Speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gladys Bonilla-Enriquez

    2012-03-01

    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

  16. Speaker-Dependent Based Speech Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilik Untari

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This is the first part of the two parts of a qualitative focused R&D research aimed at designing an application to assist students with visual impairment (VI in learning English writing and reading skills. The designed application was a speaker-dependent based speech recognition. Conducting alpha and beta testings, it was revealed that MAKTUM, the name of the application, exposed weaknesses on the selection of Ogden’s Basic English as the linguistic resources for the application and on the recording complexities. On the other hand, MAKTUM displayed strengths in individualized pronunciation and simple interfaces to operate.

  17. SYKE Proficiency Test 10/2014 Phytoplankton

    OpenAIRE

    Vuorio, Kristiina; Björklöf, Katarina; Kuosa, Harri; Jokipii, Reija; Järvinen, Marko; Lehtinen, Sirpa; Leivuori, Mirja; Niemelä, Maija; Väisänen, Ritva

    2015-01-01

    The Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) organized in 2014 the fourth virtual phytoplankton proficiency test based on filmed material. A total of 39 analysts from 27 organizations and eight countries took part the test. The test material represented phytoplankton that typically occurs in boreal lakes and in the northern Baltic Sea. The test included three components: 1) phytoplankton species identification test, 2) phytoplankton counting test and 3) phytoplankton measurement of cell dimens...

  18. Investigating Language Proficiency and Learning Style Preference

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Bradford; Pirotto, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    Individual differences (ID) among language learners (e.g. language aptitude or motivation), are variables that are theorized to affect the degree of success one will have in acquiring a second language (L2). This study sought to add to the body of literature on learning style. 225first year students (divided into two groups based on English proficiency) at a private Japanese university were surveyed to determine their preferred learning style(s). The data obtained were then examined in relati...

  19. Dialect Accent Features for Establishing Speaker Identity A Case Study

    CERN Document Server

    Kulshreshtha, Manisha

    2012-01-01

    Dialect Accent Features for Establishing Speaker Identity: A Case Study discusses the subject of forensic voice identification and speaker profiling. Specifically focusing on speaker profiling and using dialects of the Hindi language, widely used in India, the authors have contributed to the body of research on speaker identification by using accent feature as the discriminating factor. This case study contributes to the understanding of the speaker identification process in a situation where unknown speech samples are in different language/dialect than the recording of a suspect. The authors' data establishes that vowel quality, quantity, intonation and tone of a speaker as compared to Khariboli (standard Hindi) could be the potential features for identification of dialect accent.

  20. The speakers' bureau system: a form of peer selling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Lynette; Herder, Matthew

    2013-01-01

    In the speakers' bureau system, physicians are recruited and trained by pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies to deliver information about products to other physicians, in exchange for a fee. Using publicly available disclosures, we assessed the thesis that speakers' bureau involvement is not a feature of academic medicine in Canada, by estimating the prevalence of participation in speakers' bureaus among Canadian faculty in one medical specialty, cardiology. We analyzed the relevant features of an actual contract made public by the physician addressee and applied the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) guidelines on physician-industry relations to participation in a speakers' bureau. We argue that speakers' bureau participation constitutes a form of peer selling that should be understood to contravene the prohibition on product endorsement in the CMA Code of Ethics. Academic medical institutions, in conjunction with regulatory colleges, should continue and strengthen their policies to address participation in speakers' bureaus.

  1. High Proficiency in a Second Language is Characterized by Greater Involvement of the First Language Network: Evidence from Chinese Learners of English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Fan; Tao, Ran; Liu, Li; Perfetti, Charles A.; Booth, James R.

    2014-01-01

    The assimilation hypothesis argues that second language learning recruits the brain network for processing the native language, whereas the accommodation hypothesis argues that learning a second language recruits brain structures not involved in native language processing. This study tested these hypotheses by examining brain activation of a group of native Chinese speakers, who were late bilinguals with varying levels of proficiency in English, when they performed a rhyming judgment to visually presented English word pairs (CE group) during fMRI. Assimilation was examined by comparing the CE group to native Chinese speakers performing the rhyming task in Chinese (CC group), and accommodation was examined by comparing the CE group to native English speakers performing the rhyming task in English (EE group). The CE group was very similar in activation to the CC group, supporting the assimilation hypothesis. Additional support for the assimilation hypothesis was the finding that higher proficiency in the CE group was related to increased activation in the Chinese network (as defined by the CC > EE), including the left middle frontal gyrus, the right inferior parietal lobule, and the right precuneus, and decreased activation in the English network (as defined by the EE > CC), including the left inferior frontal gyrus and the left inferior temporal gyrus. Although most of the results support assimilation, there was some evidence for accommodation as the CE group showed less activation in the Chinese network including the right middle occipital gyrus, which has been argued to be involved in holistic visuospatial processing of Chinese characters. PMID:23654223

  2. High proficiency in a second language is characterized by greater involvement of the first language network: evidence from Chinese learners of English.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Fan; Tao, Ran; Liu, Li; Perfetti, Charles A; Booth, James R

    2013-10-01

    The assimilation hypothesis argues that second language learning recruits the brain network for processing the native language, whereas the accommodation hypothesis argues that learning a second language recruits brain structures not involved in native language processing. This study tested these hypotheses by examining brain activation of a group of native Chinese speakers, who were late bilinguals with varying levels of proficiency in English, when they performed a rhyming judgment to visually presented English word pairs (CE group) during fMRI. Assimilation was examined by comparing the CE group to native Chinese speakers performing the rhyming task in Chinese (CC group), and accommodation was examined by comparing the CE group to native English speakers performing the rhyming task in English (EE group). The CE group was very similar in activation to the CC group, supporting the assimilation hypothesis. Additional support for the assimilation hypothesis was the finding that higher proficiency in the CE group was related to increased activation in the Chinese network (as defined by the CC > EE), including the left middle frontal gyrus, the right inferior parietal lobule, and the right precuneus, and decreased activation in the English network (as defined by the EE > CC), including the left inferior frontal gyrus and the left inferior temporal gyrus. Although most of the results support assimilation, there was some evidence for accommodation as the CE group showed less activation in the Chinese network including the right middle occipital gyrus, which has been argued to be involved in holistic visuospatial processing of Chinese characters.

  3. Coffee Can Speakers: Amazing Energy Transformers--Fifth-Grade Students Learn the Science behind Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Kevin; Haake, Monica

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the authors describe steps on how to develop a high-impact activity in which students build, test, and improve their own "coffee can" speakers to observe firsthand how loudspeakers work to convert electrical energy to sound. The activity is appropriate for students in grades three to six and lends itself best to students…

  4. Guest speakers and internationalization in higher education: A critical reflection of guest speakers in tourism programmes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdallah Ali

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available At its general term, this paper discusses the role of guest lecturers in higher education. More precisely, the paper considers the role of guest lecturers in tourism Management programmes taught to student in Universities. The paper examines theory and literature relating to tourism studies and higher education in general. It discusses the relevance of guest speakers in universities and examines their contributions towards tourism programmes. The paper discusses lecturers in tourism degrees suggesting that they might lack industry experiences but are still required to deliver theories to students and are seen as classroom managers and student mentors. The paper further investigates how lecturers and guest speakers are perceived as two different entities by students where lecturers are seen as classroom managers and guest speakers are seen as the industry knowledge providers. As internationalization of education becomes the focus of higher education institutions that aim to deliver education in a more international context, guest speakers that address local practical occurrences become less appealing. With the rapid spread of distant learning and online education, the paper concludes that guest lecturers are not the solution for perfect academic experiences in higher education in general and specifically in tourism programmes.

  5. Nonnative Speakers Do Not Take Competing Alternative Expressions into Account the Way Native Speakers Do

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robenalt, Clarice; Goldberg, Adele E.

    2016-01-01

    When native speakers judge the acceptability of novel sentences, they appear to implicitly take competing formulations into account, judging novel sentences with a readily available alternative formulation to be less acceptable than novel sentences with no competing alternative. Moreover, novel sentences with a competing alternative are more…

  6. Improving Speaker Recognition by Biometric Voice Deconstruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Miguel eMazaira-Fernández

    2015-09-01

    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.

  7. Perceptual prothesis in native Spanish speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodore, Rachel M.; Schmidt, Anna M.

    2003-04-01

    Previous research suggests a perceptual bias exists for native phonotactics [D. Massaro and M. Cohen, Percept. Psychophys. 34, 338-348 (1983)] such that listeners report nonexistent segments when listening to stimuli that violate native phonotactics [E. Dupoux, K. Kakehi, Y. Hirose, C. Pallier, and J. Mehler, J. Exp. Psychol.: Human Percept. Perform. 25, 1568-1578 (1999)]. This study investigated how native-language experience affects second language processing, focusing on how native Spanish speakers perceive the English clusters /st/, /sp/, and /sk/, which represent phonotactically illegal forms in Spanish. To preserve native phonotactics, Spanish speakers often produce prothetic vowels before English words beginning with /s/ clusters. Is the influence of native phonotactics also present in the perception of illegal clusters? A stimuli continuum ranging from no vowel (e.g., ``sku'') to a full vowel (e.g., ``esku'') before the cluster was used. Four final vowel contexts were used for each cluster, resulting in 12 sCV and 12 VsCV nonword endpoints. English and Spanish listeners were asked to discriminate between pairs differing in vowel duration and to identify the presence or absence of a vowel before the cluster. Results will be discussed in terms of implications for theories of second language speech perception.

  8. Living with acquired dysarthria: the speaker's perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walshe, Margaret; Miller, Nick

    2011-01-01

    To explore the speaker's experience of living with acquired chronic dysarthria. Ten people with dysarthria and progressive neurological illness and one person with dysarthria following stroke were interviewed in depth about their experience of living with dysarthria. They covered a range of ages, time post-onset and dysarthria severity levels. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using Framework Method of Analysis. Acquired dysarthria can negatively impact on speakers' lives. Findings here suggest that the experience of living with dysarthria is highly individual. There were some common perspectives. Six key themes emerged from interviews: 'dysarthria as only part of the picture', 'communication has changed', 'people treat me differently', 'dysarthria resulting in negative emotions', 'barriers to communication' and 'life is different now. The impact of co-existing physical disability and the need to consider dysarthria in context was emphasised by all participants. Findings re-emphasise the need to consider the individual experience in clinical practice. The findings provide direction for assessment and intervention in the area.

  9. Learning speaker-specific characteristics with a deep neural architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ke; Salman, Ahmad

    2011-11-01

    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.

  10. Multimodal approach for speaker identification in news programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martone, Anthony F.; Taskiran, Cuneyt M.; Delp, Edward J.

    2005-01-01

    The process of identifying speakers in a news program is difficult using only text information. We propose a system that will first perform text and video processing separately to identify the start of speech of a speaker. These start of speech locations are aligned and used to identify a change of speaker in the program. An analysis is performed to identify the contribution of the text and video information. It will be be shown that the change of speaker locations identified by our alignment algorithm is more accurate then either mode individually.

  11. Investigating the Relationship Between Metalinguistic Knowledge and L2 Proficiency

    OpenAIRE

    飯田, 毅; Tsuyoshi, IIDA; Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts

    2012-01-01

    Although numerous studies have examined the relationship between metalinguistic knowledge and L2 proficiency, this relationship has not been sufficiently clarified yet. The present study examined the relationship between metalinguistic knowledge and L2 proficiency among different groups of learners. Also, it clarified to what extent metalinguistic knowledge contributes to L2 proficiency. The participants were 50 Japanese undergraduates comprising instructed-only EFL learners, returnees who ha...

  12. Teaching First Language Speakers to Communicate across Linguistic Difference: Addressing Attitudes, Comprehension, and Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subtirelu, Nicholas Close; Lindemann, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    While most research in applied linguistics has focused on second language (L2) speakers and their language capabilities, the success of interaction between such speakers and first language (L1) speakers also relies on the positive attitudes and communication skills of the L1 speakers. However, some research has suggested that many L1 speakers lack…

  13. Prosody in the hands of the speaker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guellaï, Bahia; Langus, Alan; Nespor, Marina

    2014-01-01

    In everyday life, speech is accompanied by gestures. In the present study, two experiments tested the possibility that spontaneous gestures accompanying speech carry prosodic information. Experiment 1 showed that gestures provide prosodic information, as adults are able to perceive the congruency between low-pass filtered—thus unintelligible—speech and the gestures of the speaker. Experiment 2 shows that in the case of ambiguous sentences (i.e., sentences with two alternative meanings depending on their prosody) mismatched prosody and gestures lead participants to choose more often the meaning signaled by gestures. Our results demonstrate that the prosody that characterizes speech is not a modality specific phenomenon: it is also perceived in the spontaneous gestures that accompany speech. We draw the conclusion that spontaneous gestures and speech form a single communication system where the suprasegmental aspects of spoken language are mapped to the motor-programs responsible for the production of both speech sounds and hand gestures. PMID:25071666

  14. Validating English Language Proficiency Assessment Uses for English Learners: Academic Language Proficiency and Content Assessment Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Mikyung Kim; Faulkner-Bond, Molly

    2016-01-01

    States use standards-based English language proficiency (ELP) assessments to inform relatively high-stakes decisions for English learner (EL) students. Results from these assessments are one of the primary criteria used to determine EL students' level of ELP and readiness for reclassification. The results are also used to evaluate the…

  15. Differences in Less Proficient and More Proficient ESL College Writing in the Philippine Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustilo, Leah E.

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed at characterizing what skilled or more proficient ESL college writing is in the Philippine setting through a contrastive analysis of three groups of variables identified from previous studies: resources, processes, and performance of ESL writers. Based on Chenoweth and Hayes' (2001; 2003) framework, the resource level…

  16. Visual speaker gender affects vowel identification in Danish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Charlotte; Tøndering, John

    2013-01-01

    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...

  17. (En)countering native-speakerism global perspectives

    CERN Document Server

    Holliday, Adrian; Swan, Anne

    2015-01-01

    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.

  18. Acoustic Markers of Syllabic Stress in Spanish Excellent Oesophageal Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuenca, Maria Heliodora; Barrio, Marina M.; Anaya, Pablo; Establier, Carmelo

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation is to explore the use by Spanish excellent oesophageal speakers of acoustic cues to mark syllabic stress. The speech material has consisted of five pairs of disyllabic words which only differed in stress position. Total 44 oesophageal and 9 laryngeal speakers were recorded and a computerised designed "ad…

  19. Teaching Portuguese to Spanish Speakers: A Case for Trilingualism

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Speaking Japanese in Japan: Issues for English Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Meredith

    2010-01-01

    Due to the global momentum of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), Anglophones may perceive that there is less urgency for them to learn other languages than for speakers of other languages to learn English. The monolingual expectations of English speakers are evidenced not only in Anglophone countries but also abroad. This study reports on the…

  1. An experimental comparison of modelling techniques for speaker ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Most of the existing modelling techniques for the speaker recognition task make an implicit assumption of sufficient data for speaker modelling and hence may lead to poor modelling under limited data condition. The present work gives an experimental evaluation of the modelling techniques like Crisp Vector Quantization ...

  2. Somatotype and Body Composition of Normal and Dysphonic Adult Speakers

    OpenAIRE

    Franco, Débora; Fragoso,Isabel; Andrea, Mário; Teles, Júlia; Martins, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Voice quality provides information about the anatomical characteristics of the speaker. The patterns of somatotype and body composition can provide essential knowledge to characterize the individuality of voice quality. The aim of this study was to verify if there were significant differences in somatotype and body composition between normal and dysphonic speakers.

  3. NIST and NFI-TNO evaluations of automatic speaker recognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, D.A. van; Martin, A.F.; Przybocki, M.A.; Bouten, J.S.

    2006-01-01

    In the past years, several text-independent speaker recognition evaluation campaigns have taken place. This paper reports on results of the NIST evaluation of 2004 and the NFI-TNO forensic speaker recognition evaluation held in 2003, and reflects on the history of the evaluation campaigns. The

  4. Task Force on Minorities in the Newspaper Business: Speakers Directory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Task Force on Minorities in the Newspaper Business, Reston, VA.

    This speaker's directory lists speakers from both the news and business sides of print media who are available to address industry-related issues (such as how to attract and retain minority employees, how minorities can move into management, and how young people can get a start in newspapers) at conferences, training sessions, and other meetings.…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiler Yazdanfar

    2016-12-01

    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.

  6. Initial Teacher Training Courses and Non-Native Speaker Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Jason

    2016-01-01

    This article reports on a study contrasting 41 native speakers (NSs) and 38 non-native speakers (NNSs) of English from two short initial teacher training courses, the Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults and the Trinity College London CertTESOL. After a brief history and literature review, I present findings on teachers'…

  7. Dysprosody and Stimulus Effects in Cantonese Speakers with Parkinson's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    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…

  8. Profiles of an Acquisition Generation: Nontraditional Heritage Speakers of Spanish

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFeo, Dayna Jean

    2018-01-01

    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…

  9. Optimization of multilayer neural network parameters for speaker recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

    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.

  10. Schizophrenia among Sesotho speakers in South Africa | Mosotho ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate the clinical presentation of schizophrenia among Sesotho speakers. Method: A sample of 100 participants diagnosed with schizophrenia was evaluated using the Psychiatric Interview Questionnaire. Results: Core symptoms of schizophrenia among Sesotho speakers do not ...

  11. Pulitzer Prize Speakers Enhance Credibility of San Antonio Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aradillas, Elaine

    1994-01-01

    Describes a mass communications program at Texas's San Antonio College that invites Pulitzer Prize recipients to give guest lectures. Includes a list of the speakers who have lectured since the program's inception in 1978, a description of the speakers' accomplishments, and a description of program activities. (MAB)

  12. English and Thai Speakers' Perception of Mandarin Tones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying

    2016-01-01

    Language learners' language experience is predicted to display a significant effect on their accurate perception of foreign language sounds (Flege, 1995). At the superasegmental level, there is still a debate regarding whether tone language speakers are better able to perceive foreign lexical tones than non-tone language speakers (i.e Lee et al.,…

  13. Guest Speakers in School-Based Sexuality Education

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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…

  14. Nonnative Speaker Teachers of Spanish: Insights from Novice Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Amy S.; Fioramonte, Amy

    2012-01-01

    A sizable body of literature has been established surrounding native speaker teachers versus nonnative speaker teachers of English. Presently, a paucity of research exists related to teachers working with languages other than English. In an attempt to fill this research gap, this qualitative research study presents the experiences of novice…

  15. Quality of ‘glottal’ stops in tracheoesophageal speakers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rossum, M.A.; van As-Brooks, C.J.; Hilgers, F.J.M.; Roozen, M.

    2009-01-01

    Glottal stops are conveyed by an abrupt constriction at the level of the glottis. Tracheoesophageal (TE) speakers are known to have poor control over the new voice source (neoglottis), and this might influence the production of 'glottal' stops. This study investigated how TE speakers realized

  16. Single-Word Intelligibility in Speakers with Repaired Cleft Palate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehill, Tara L.; Chau, Cynthia H.-F.

    2004-01-01

    Many speakers with repaired cleft palate have reduced intelligibility, but there are limitations with current procedures for assessing intelligibility. The aim of this study was to construct a single-word intelligibility test for speakers with cleft palate. The test used a multiple-choice identification format, and was based on phonetic contrasts…

  17. A neural mechanism for recognizing speech spoken by different speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreitewolf, Jens; Gaudrain, Etienne; von Kriegstein, Katharina

    2014-05-01

    Understanding speech from different speakers is a sophisticated process, particularly because the same acoustic parameters convey important information about both the speech message and the person speaking. How the human brain accomplishes speech recognition under such conditions is unknown. One view is that speaker information is discarded at early processing stages and not used for understanding the speech message. An alternative view is that speaker information is exploited to improve speech recognition. Consistent with the latter view, previous research identified functional interactions between the left- and the right-hemispheric superior temporal sulcus/gyrus, which process speech- and speaker-specific vocal tract parameters, respectively. Vocal tract parameters are one of the two major acoustic features that determine both speaker identity and speech message (phonemes). Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we show that a similar interaction exists for glottal fold parameters between the left and right Heschl's gyri. Glottal fold parameters are the other main acoustic feature that determines speaker identity and speech message (linguistic prosody). The findings suggest that interactions between left- and right-hemispheric areas are specific to the processing of different acoustic features of speech and speaker, and that they represent a general neural mechanism when understanding speech from different speakers. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Deixis in Spontaneous Speech of Jordanian Urban Arabic Native Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sa'aida, Zainab

    2017-01-01

    This study aims at describing types and usages of deixis in the speech of Jordanian Urban Arabic native speakers. The present study was conducted in different settings which researcher's family members, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances took part in. Data of the study were collected through observing spontaneous speech of native speakers of…

  19. Some thoughts on the Native Speaker of English

    Science.gov (United States)

    No, Keum Sook; Park, Kyung-Ja

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to reconsider the concept of the native speaker of English in light of the heightened status of English as a global language. The broadening and acceptance of criteria regarding who is a native speaker is historically discussed and placed in a modern context. In particular, perceptions towards the English native…

  20. An Audio Stream Redirector for the Ethernet Speaker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandrekar, Ishan; Prevelakis, Vassilis; Turner, David Michael

    2004-01-01

    The authors have developed the "Ethernet Speaker" (ES), a network-enabled single board computer embedded into a conventional audio speaker. Audio streams are transmitted in the local area network using multicast packets, and the ES can select any one of them and play it back. A key requirement for the ES is that it must be capable of playing any…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaarina S. Reini

    2017-12-01

    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.

  2. Utterance Verification for Text-Dependent Speaker Recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kinnunen, Tomi; Sahidullah, Md; Kukanov, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    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...... in the literature, a treatment of simultaneous speaker and utterance verification with a modern, standard database is so far lacking. This is despite the burgeoning demand for voice biometrics in a plethora of practical security applications. With the goal of improving overall verification performance, this paper...... reports different strategies for simultaneous ASV and UV in the context of short-duration, text-dependent speaker verification. Experiments performed on the recently released RedDots corpus are reported for three different ASV systems and four different UV systems. Results show that the combination...

  3. Speakers of different languages process the visual world differently.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chabal, Sarah; Marian, Viorica

    2015-06-01

    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).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stapert Robert

    2005-01-01

    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.

  5. Native speakers of Spanish show rate-dependent processing of English stop consonants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flege, J E; Schmidt, A M

    1995-01-01

    English monolinguals and native Spanish speakers of English used a 9-point scale to rate syllable-initial stops for goodness as realizations of the English /p/ category. Voice onset time (VOT) was varied in a set of short-duration ('fast-rate') consonant-vowel (CV) stimuli, and in a set of longer-duration ('slow-rate') CV stimuli. The VOT values ranged from values typical for English /b/ to values which exceeded those typical for English /p/. Results for the native English (NE) subjects replicated those obtained previously using the same two continua. Goodness ratings systematically increased, then decreased as VOT values extended beyond the range typical for English /p/. The NE subjects gave their highest ratings to stimuli with VOT values of about 50 ms. For stops with longer VOT values, their ratings were higher for stimuli in the slow-rate than fast-rate continuum. The native Spanish (NS) subjects were assigned to two subgroups based on degree of foreign accent in their pronunciation of English sentences. Both proficient and nonproficient NS subjects gave their highest ratings to stimuli with much the same VOT values as the NE subjects, even though /p/ is realized with short-lag VOT in Spanish. The nonproficient, but not the proficient NS subjects showed significantly smaller rate effects on goodness ratings than did the NE subjects. However, the subjects in both NS groups gave significantly higher ratings to stimuli with short-lag VOT values than did the NE subjects. The results are discussed in terms of the hypothesis that adult learners of a second language may establish new perceptual phonetic categories for phonetic segments not found in the native language.

  6. Fusion of heterogeneous speaker recognition systems in the STBU submission for the NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluation 2006

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brümmer, N.; Burget, L.; Černocký, J.H.; Glembek, O.; Grézl, F.; Karafiát, M.; Leeuwen, D.A. van; Matějka, P.; Schwarz, P.; Strasheim, A.

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes and discusses the "STBU" speaker recognition system, which performed well in the NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluation 2006 (SRE). STBU is a consortium of four partners: Spescom DataVoice (Stellenbosch, South Africa), TNO (Soesterberg, The Netherlands), BUT (Brno, Czech Republic),

  7. Accounting for the listener: comparing the production of contrastive intonation in typically-developing speakers and speakers with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaland, Constantijn; Swerts, Marc; Krahmer, Emiel

    2013-09-01

    The present research investigates what drives the prosodic marking of contrastive information. For example, a typically developing speaker of a Germanic language like Dutch generally refers to a pink car as a "PINK car" (accented words in capitals) when a previously mentioned car was red. The main question addressed in this paper is whether contrastive intonation is produced with respect to the speaker's or (also) the listener's perspective on the preceding discourse. Furthermore, this research investigates the production of contrastive intonation by typically developing speakers and speakers with autism. The latter group is investigated because people with autism are argued to have difficulties accounting for another person's mental state and exhibit difficulties in the production and perception of accentuation and pitch range. To this end, utterances with contrastive intonation are elicited from both groups and analyzed in terms of function and form of prosody using production and perception measures. Contrary to expectations, typically developing speakers and speakers with autism produce functionally similar contrastive intonation as both groups account for both their own and their listener's perspective. However, typically developing speakers use a larger pitch range and are perceived as speaking more dynamically than speakers with autism, suggesting differences in their use of prosodic form.

  8. Evaluation of Speakers with Foreign-Accented Speech in Japan: The Effect of Accent Produced by English Native Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsurutani, Chiharu

    2012-01-01

    Foreign-accented speakers are generally regarded as less educated, less reliable and less interesting than native speakers and tend to be associated with cultural stereotypes of their country of origin. This discrimination against foreign accents has, however, been discussed mainly using accented English in English-speaking countries. This study…

  9. Proficiency test in the accreditation system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legarda, F.; Herranz, M.; Idoeta, R.

    2008-08-01

    In the accreditation process of a radioactivity measurements laboratory, according to ISO standard 17025, proficiency tests play a fundamental role. These PTs constitute an irreplaceable tool for the validation of measuring methods. In the case of Spain, ENAC, which is the Spanish accreditation national body, requires that the laboratory has to take part in a PT for each one of the accredited measuring methods in the period of time between two reassessments of the accreditation, what happens every 4-5 years. In specific areas of determination procedures, among which radioactive measurements could be included, the number of methods which can be accredited is very large. The purpose of the present work is to establish a classification into families of the different radioactivity measurement procedures, as well as to establish complementary actions that guarantee that carrying out periodically proficiency-tests on any of the included procedures in each family, every measurement procedure include in that family is controlled, complying with the criteria established by ENAC.

  10. Evaluation of Mycology Laboratory Proficiency Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Andrew A.; Salkin, Ira F.; McGinnis, Michael R.; Gromadzki, Sally; Pasarell, Lester; Kemna, Maggi; Higgins, Nancy; Salfinger, Max

    1999-01-01

    Changes over the last decade in overt proficiency testing (OPT) regulations have been ostensibly directed at improving laboratory performance on patient samples. However, the overt (unblinded) format of the tests and regulatory penalties associated with incorrect values allow and encourage laboratorians to take extra precautions with OPT analytes. As a result OPT may measure optimal laboratory performance instead of the intended target of typical performance attained during routine patient testing. This study addresses this issue by evaluating medical mycology OPT and comparing its fungal specimen identification error rates to those obtained in a covert (blinded) proficiency testing (CPT) program. Identifications from 188 laboratories participating in the New York State mycology OPT from 1982 to 1994 were compared with the identifications of the same fungi recovered from patient specimens in 1989 and 1994 as part of the routine procedures of 88 of these laboratories. The consistency in the identification of OPT specimens was sufficient to make accurate predictions of OPT error rates. However, while the error rates in OPT and CPT were similar for Candida albicans, significantly higher error rates were found in CPT for Candida tropicalis, Candida glabrata, and other common pathogenic fungi. These differences may, in part, be due to OPT’s use of ideal organism representatives cultured under optimum growth conditions. This difference, as well as the organism-dependent error rate differences, reflects the limitations of OPT as a means of assessing the quality of routine laboratory performance in medical mycology. PMID:10364601

  11. Compound nouns in spoken language production by speakers with aphasia compared to neurologically healthy speakers: an exploratory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eiesland, Eli Anne; Lind, Marianne

    2012-03-01

    Compounds are words that are made up of at least two other words (lexemes), featuring lexical and syntactic characteristics and thus particularly interesting for the study of language processing. Most studies of compounds and language processing have been based on data from experimental single word production and comprehension tasks. To enhance the ecological validity of morphological processing research, data from other contexts, such as discourse production, need to be considered. This study investigates the production of nominal compounds in semi-spontaneous spoken texts by a group of speakers with fluent types of aphasia compared to a group of neurologically healthy speakers. The speakers with aphasia produce significantly fewer nominal compound types in their texts than the non-aphasic speakers, and the compounds they produce exhibit fewer different types of semantic relations than the compounds produced by the non-aphasic speakers. The results are discussed in relation to theories of language processing.

  12. Relationship between Language Proficiency and Growth during Reading Interventions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Matthew K.; Frederick, Amy; Helman, Lori; Pulles, Sandra M.; McComas, Jennifer J.; Aguilar, Lisa

    2017-01-01

    Many English language learners (ELLs) experience difficulties with basic English reading due in part to low language proficiency. The authors examined the relationship between English language proficiency and growth during reading interventions for ELLs. A total of 201 second- and third-grade students with a variety of home languages participated.…

  13. Variables Affecting Proficiency in English as a Second Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santana, Josefina C.; García-Santillán, Arturo; Escalera-Chávez, Milka Elena

    2017-01-01

    This study explores different variables leading to proficiency in English as a second language. Level of English on a placement exam taken upon entering a private university in Mexico was correlated to several variables. Additionally, participants (N = 218) were asked their perception of their own proficiency. A linear regression and a one-factor…

  14. The Relationship between Cognitive Development and Foreign Language Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobus, Everett Franklin, Jr.

    Based on research relating William Perry's scheme of cognitive development to foreign language proficiency, a developmental hypothesis concerning language ability is proposed. This approach suggests that lower developmental stages in the cognitive domain retard the achievement of communicative language proficiency, while higher developmental…

  15. 285 Teachers‟ Experience and Students‟ Numerical Proficiency in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    First Lady

    2013-01-28

    Jan 28, 2013 ... Five null hypotheses were formed and tested at 5% level of significance. Results show that numerical proficiency of students taught by experienced teachers were better than those taught by less experienced teachers. There was no significant difference in the numerical proficiency of male and female ...

  16. Piano Proficiency: The Perfect Accompaniment for Successful Music Educators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobetsky, Victor V.

    2004-01-01

    Do prospective music teachers with piano proficiency have an advantage in the job market? Can playing the piano well help practicing teachers achieve greater success in the classroom? In this article, the author stresses that piano proficiency is a necessary survival tool for music teachers regardless of their primary instrument or vocal specialty…

  17. Motor Proficiency Predicts Cognitive Ability in Four-Year-Olds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez, Amanda Martinez; Caçola, Priscila

    2015-01-01

    Research has shown links between motor proficiency and cognition in school-age children, however, few have explored earlier ages. We aimed to determine the association between motor proficiency and cognitive ability in four-year-olds. Motor and cognitive skills were examined in 32 (15 males, 17 females) four-year-olds (±5.59 months) using the…

  18. Communication Strategies: An Interplay between Proficiency and Gender

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shokouhi, Hussein; Angameh, Farzad

    2008-01-01

    This paper is intended to investigate the interplay between proficiency and gender in the use of communication strategies. Sixty Iranian university male and female subjects studying English took part in the experiment and performed two tasks: word recognition and picture-story narration. The results indicate that proficiency had a more perceptible…

  19. Proficiency test for tropane alkaloids in food en feed

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pereboom-de Fauw, D.P.K.H.; Elbers, I.J.W.; Mulder, P.P.J.; Nijs, de W.C.M.

    2014-01-01

    Proficiency testing is conducted to provide laboratories with a powerful tool to evaluate and demonstrate the reliability of the data that are produced. Next to validation and accreditation, proficiency testing is an important requirement of the EU Additional Measures Directive 93/99/EEC [1] and is

  20. Test Reviews: GEPT--General English Proficiency Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roever, Carsten; Pan, Yi-Ching

    2008-01-01

    The General English Proficiency Test (GEPT) was developed in 1999, commissioned by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan. The purpose of the test is to provide individuals with a gauge of their English language proficiency and assist employers and educational institutions in selection and placement. Also, it aims to encourage the study of English…

  1. Restructuring a Traditional Foreign Language Program for Oral Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camara-Norman, Filisha; And Others

    The restructuring of the Romance language program at Howard University to improve oral proficiency involved modification of goals, syllabi, classroom activities, and testing. Goals were adapted to American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)/Educational Testing Service (ETS) guidelines for oral proficiency. Assessment of French…

  2. The correlation between motor proficiency and physical activity in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: One of the risks associated with low physical activity levels is the insufficient development of motor proficiency, which in turn has an impact on participation in physical activity and sport during adolescence. Objectives: To determine the relationship between motor proficiency and physical activity levels in ...

  3. Measuring Language Dominance and Bilingual Proficiency Development of Tarahumara Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paciotto, Carla

    This paper examines the language dominance and oral bilingual proficiency of Tarahumara-Spanish speaking students from Chihuahua, Mexico, within the framework of Cummins' model of bilingual proficiency development. Cummins' model distinguishes between basic interpersonal communicative skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency…

  4. Proficiency-Based Curriculum Design: Principles Derived from Government Experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Pardee, Jr.

    1985-01-01

    Describes principles for designing a proficiency-based course to prepare students for the ACTFL/ETS Advanced Plus/Superior level according to Interagency Language Roundtable guidelines. Proposes ways to combine grammatical and "functional/notional" syllabuses with a proficiency approach. Examines the implications of these principles for…

  5. Across the Threshold: A Call for ILR Proficiency Descriptor Banks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holman, Don

    2017-01-01

    Whereas the Interagency Language Roundtable Language Skill Level Descriptions broke new ground for assessing proficiency in foreign languages, the need for user-oriented (rather than assessment-oriented) proficiency scales has led, especially in Europe, to the creation of scales consisting of positively formulated "can-do" statements,…

  6. Knowledge and Processes That Predict Proficiency in Digital Literacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulger, Monica E.; Mayer, Richard E.; Metzger, Miriam J.

    2014-01-01

    Proficiency in digital literacy refers to the ability to read and write using online sources, and includes the ability to select sources relevant to the task, synthesize information into a coherent message, and communicate the message with an audience. The present study examines the determinants of digital literacy proficiency by asking 150…

  7. Proficiency test for heavy metals in compound feed

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pereboom, D.P.K.H.; Elbers, I.J.W.; Jong, de J.; Lee, van der M.K.; Nijs, de W.C.M.

    2016-01-01

    The here described proficiency test for heavy metals in compound feed was organised by RIKILT, Wageningen UR in accordance with ISO 17043. RIKILT Wageningen UR has an ISO/IEC 17043 accreditation for proficiency tests of residues in products of animal origin. However, this specific test is not part

  8. Teaching English through English: Proficiency, Pedagogy and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Jack C.

    2017-01-01

    Most of the world's English language teachers speak English as a second or third language rather than as their first language. For many, their level of proficiency in English may not reach benchmarks established by their employers, raising the issue that is the focus of this article, namely, what kind of proficiency in English is necessary to be…

  9. Second Language Proficiency and Cross-Language Lexical Activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hell, Janet G.; Tanner, Darren

    2012-01-01

    Although research has consistently shown that a bilingual's two languages interact on multiple levels, it is also well-established that bilinguals can vary considerably in their proficiency in the second language (L2). In this paper we review empirical studies that have examined how differences in L2 proficiency modulate cross-language…

  10. The Development of ESL Proficiency and Pragmatic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roever, Carsten; Al-Gahtani, Saad

    2015-01-01

    ESL learners can find it challenging to use English in a way that is pragmatically appropriate to the situation and interlocutor. In this article, we explore the impact of increased proficiency on learners' pragmatic performance. ESL learners in Australia at four proficiency levels completed three role plays, and we analysed how the learners…

  11. Second Language Grammatical Proficiency and Third Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moghtadi, Laleh; Koosha, Mansour; Lotfi, Ahmad Reza

    2014-01-01

    The main concern of the present study was to investigate the probable correlation between the bilinguals' second language grammatical proficiency level and their third language grammatical proficiency level. The current study was implemented on selecting a total of 100 Iranian female high school students studying at second grade from two…

  12. On the Relationship between Multiple Intelligences and Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razmjoo, Seyyed Ayatollah

    2008-01-01

    The intent of the present study was to examine the strength of the relationship between language proficiency in English and the 9 types of intelligences. As such, the objectives of this study were three-folded. The primary objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between multiple intelligences and language proficiency among the…

  13. Communication Anxiety and Its Effect on Oral Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurshberger, Lisa

    A study investigated the bipolar tension/relaxation factors that affect a second language learner's oral proficiency. While the traditional assumption in the field of second language acquisition is that negative attitudes toward communicative interaction naturally predicate low proficiency, the data gathered from 50 subjects studying English as a…

  14. Examining the Relationship between Math Scores and English Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Denfield L.; Nistor, Nicolae; Baltes, Beate

    2016-01-01

    Multiple studies propose that English proficiency dictates English language learners' (ELLs) performances on mathematics assessments. The current study investigates the predictive power of English proficiency on mathematics scores, while controlling for gender, socioeconomic status (SES), and grade level among ELLs at a south Florida elementary…

  15. Proficiency testing for sensory profile panels : measuring panel performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mcewan, J.A.; Hunter, E.A.; Gemert, L.J. van; Lea, P.

    2002-01-01

    Proficiency testing in sensory analysis is an important step towards demonstrating that results from one sensory panel are consistent with the results of other sensory panels. The uniqueness of sensory analysis poses some specific problems for measuring the proficiency of the human instrument

  16. Speech serial control in healthy speakers and speakers with hypokinetic or ataxic dysarthria: effects of sequence length and practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Kevin J; Spencer, Kristie A

    2013-01-01

    The current study investigated the processes responsible for selection of sounds and syllables during production of speech sequences in 10 adults with hypokinetic dysarthria from Parkinson's disease, five adults with ataxic dysarthria, and 14 healthy control speakers. Speech production data from a choice reaction time task were analyzed to evaluate the effects of sequence length and practice on speech sound sequencing. Speakers produced sequences that were between one and five syllables in length over five experimental runs of 60 trials each. In contrast to the healthy speakers, speakers with hypokinetic dysarthria demonstrated exaggerated sequence length effects for both inter-syllable intervals (ISIs) and speech error rates. Conversely, speakers with ataxic dysarthria failed to demonstrate a sequence length effect on ISIs and were also the only group that did not exhibit practice-related changes in ISIs and speech error rates over the five experimental runs. The exaggerated sequence length effects in the hypokinetic speakers with Parkinson's disease are consistent with an impairment of action selection during speech sequence production. The absent length effects observed in the speakers with ataxic dysarthria is consistent with previous findings that indicate a limited capacity to buffer speech sequences in advance of their execution. In addition, the lack of practice effects in these speakers suggests that learning-related improvements in the production rate and accuracy of speech sequences involves processing by structures of the cerebellum. Together, the current findings inform models of serial control for speech in healthy speakers and support the notion that sequencing deficits contribute to speech symptoms in speakers with hypokinetic or ataxic dysarthria. In addition, these findings indicate that speech sequencing is differentially impaired in hypokinetic and ataxic dysarthria.

  17. Speech serial control in healthy speakers and speakers with hypokinetic or ataxic dysarthria: Effects of sequence length and practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin J Reilly

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The current study investigated the processes responsible for selection of sounds and syllables during production of speech sequences in 10 adults with hypokinetic dysarthria from Parkinson’s disease, 5 adults with ataxic dysarthria, and 14 healthy control speakers. Speech production data from a choice reaction time task were analyzed to evaluate the effects of sequence length and practice on speech sound sequencing. Speakers produced sequences that were between one and five syllables in length over five experimental runs of 60 trials each. In contrast to the healthy speakers, speakers with hypokinetic dysarthria demonstrated exaggerated sequence length effects for both inter-syllable intervals (ISIs and speech error rates. Conversely, speakers with ataxic dysarthria failed to demonstrate a sequence length effect on ISIs and were also the only group that did not exhibit practice-related changes in ISIs and speech error rates over the five experimental runs. The exaggerated sequence length effects in the hypokinetic speakers with Parkinson’s disease are consistent with an impairment of action selection during speech sequence production. The absent length effects observed in the speakers with ataxic dysarthria is consistent with previous findings that indicate a limited capacity to buffer speech sequences in advance of their execution. In addition, the lack of practice effects in these speakers suggests that learning-related improvements in the production rate and accuracy of speech sequences involves processing by structures of the cerebellum. Together, the current findings inform models of serial control for speech in healthy speakers and support the notion that sequencing deficits contribute to speech symptoms in speakers with hypokinetic or ataxic dysarthria. In addition, these findings indicate that speech sequencing is differentially impaired in hypokinetic and ataxic dysarthria.

  18. Speech serial control in healthy speakers and speakers with hypokinetic or ataxic dysarthria: effects of sequence length and practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Kevin J.; Spencer, Kristie A.

    2013-01-01

    The current study investigated the processes responsible for selection of sounds and syllables during production of speech sequences in 10 adults with hypokinetic dysarthria from Parkinson’s disease, five adults with ataxic dysarthria, and 14 healthy control speakers. Speech production data from a choice reaction time task were analyzed to evaluate the effects of sequence length and practice on speech sound sequencing. Speakers produced sequences that were between one and five syllables in length over five experimental runs of 60 trials each. In contrast to the healthy speakers, speakers with hypokinetic dysarthria demonstrated exaggerated sequence length effects for both inter-syllable intervals (ISIs) and speech error rates. Conversely, speakers with ataxic dysarthria failed to demonstrate a sequence length effect on ISIs and were also the only group that did not exhibit practice-related changes in ISIs and speech error rates over the five experimental runs. The exaggerated sequence length effects in the hypokinetic speakers with Parkinson’s disease are consistent with an impairment of action selection during speech sequence production. The absent length effects observed in the speakers with ataxic dysarthria is consistent with previous findings that indicate a limited capacity to buffer speech sequences in advance of their execution. In addition, the lack of practice effects in these speakers suggests that learning-related improvements in the production rate and accuracy of speech sequences involves processing by structures of the cerebellum. Together, the current findings inform models of serial control for speech in healthy speakers and support the notion that sequencing deficits contribute to speech symptoms in speakers with hypokinetic or ataxic dysarthria. In addition, these findings indicate that speech sequencing is differentially impaired in hypokinetic and ataxic dysarthria. PMID:24137121

  19. Somatotype and Body Composition of Normal and Dysphonic Adult Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, Débora; Fragoso, Isabel; Andrea, Mário; Teles, Júlia; Martins, Fernando

    2017-01-01

    Voice quality provides information about the anatomical characteristics of the speaker. The patterns of somatotype and body composition can provide essential knowledge to characterize the individuality of voice quality. The aim of this study was to verify if there were significant differences in somatotype and body composition between normal and dysphonic speakers. Cross-sectional study. Anthropometric measurements were taken of a sample of 72 adult participants (40 normal speakers and 32 dysphonic speakers) according to International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry standards, which allowed the calculation of endomorphism, mesomorphism, ectomorphism components, body density, body mass index, fat mass, percentage fat, and fat-free mass. Perception and acoustic evaluations as well as nasoendoscopy were used to assign speakers into normal or dysphonic groups. There were no significant differences between normal and dysphonic speakers in the mean somatotype attitudinal distance and somatotype dispersion distance (in spite of marginally significant differences [P somatotype attitudinal distance and somatotype dispersion distance between groups) and in the mean vector of the somatotype components. Furthermore, no significant differences were found between groups concerning the mean of percentage fat, fat mass, fat-free mass, body density, and body mass index after controlling by sex. The findings suggested no significant differences in the somatotype and body composition variables, between normal and dysphonic speakers. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Variation in Vowel Duration Among Southern African American English Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Yolanda Feimster; Jacewicz, Ewa; Fox, Robert Allen

    2015-08-01

    Atypical duration of speech segments can signal a speech disorder. In this study, we examined variation in vowel duration in African American English (AAE) relative to White American English (WAE) speakers living in the same dialect region in the South to characterize the nature of systematic variation between the 2 groups. The goal was to establish whether segmental durations in minority populations differ from the well-established patterns in mainstream populations. Participants were 32 AAE and 32 WAE speakers differing in age who, in their childhood, attended either segregated (older speakers) or integrated (younger speakers) public schools. Speech materials consisted of 14 vowels produced in hVd-frame. AAE vowels were significantly longer than WAE vowels. Vowel duration did not differ as a function of age. The temporal tense-lax contrast was minimized for AAE relative to WAE. Vowels produced by females were significantly longer than vowels produced by males for both AAE and WAE. African American speakers should be expected to produce longer vowels relative to White speakers in a common geographic area. These longer durations are not deviant but represent a typical feature of AAE. This finding has clinical importance in guiding assessments of speech disorders in AAE speakers.

  1. Production of Two Nasal Sounds by Speakers With Cleft Palate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressmann, Tim; Radovanovic, Bojana; Harper, Susan; Klaiman, Paula; Fisher, David; Kulkarni, Gajanan V

    2016-12-29

    Manyspeakers with cleft palate develop atypical consonant productions, especially for pressure consonants such as plosives, fricatives, and affricates. The present study investigated the nature of nasal sound errors. The participants were eight female and three male speakers with cleft palate between the ages of 6 to 20. Speakers were audio-recorded, and midsagittal tongue movement was captured with ultrasound. The speakers repeated vowel-consonant-vowel with the vowels /α/, /i/, and /u/ and the alveolar and velar nasal consonants /n/ and //. The productions were reviewed by three listeners. The participants showed a variety of different placement errors and insertions of plosives, as well as liquid productions. There was considerable error variability between and within speakers, often related to the different vowel contexts. Three speakers co-produced click sounds. The study demonstrated the wide variety of sound errors that some speakers with cleft palate may demonstrate for nasal sounds. Nasal sounds, ideally in different vowel contexts, should be included in articulation screenings for speakers with cleft palate, perhaps more than is currently the case.

  2. Gesturing by speakers with aphasia: how does it compare?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

    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. The informativeness of gesture was assessed in 3 forced-choice studies, in which raters assessed the topic of the speaker's message in video clips of 13 speakers with moderate aphasia and 12 speakers with severe aphasia, who were performing a communication test (the Scenario Test). Both groups were compared and contrasted with 17 control participants, who either were or were not allowed to communicate verbally. In addition, the representation techniques used in gesture were analyzed. Gestures produced by speakers with more severe aphasia were less informative than those by speakers with moderate aphasia, yet they were not necessarily uninformative. Speakers with more severe aphasia also tended to use fewer representation techniques (mostly relying on outlining gestures) in co-speech gesture than control participants, who were asked to use gesture instead of speech. It is important to note that limb apraxia may be a mediating factor here. These results suggest that in aphasia, gesture tends to degrade with verbal language. This may imply that the processes underlying verbal language and co-speech gesture production, although partly separate, are closely linked.

  3. NES++: number system for encryption based privacy preserving speaker verification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lei; Feng, Tao; Zhao, Xi; Shi, Weidong

    2014-05-01

    As speech based operation becomes a main hand-free interaction solution between human and mobile devices (i.e., smartphones, Google Glass), privacy preserving speaker verification receives much attention nowadays. Privacy preserving speaker verification can be achieved through many different ways, such as fuzzy vault and encryption. Encryption based solutions are promising as cryptography is based on solid mathematic foundations and the security properties can be easily analyzed in a well established framework. Most current asymmetric encryption schemes work on finite algebraic structures, such as finite group and finite fields. However, the encryption scheme for privacy preserving speaker verification must handle floating point numbers. This gap must be filled to make the overall scheme practical. In this paper, we propose a number system that meets the requirements of both speaker verification and the encryption scheme used in the process. It also supports addition homomorphic property of Pailliers encryption, which is crucial for privacy preserving speaker verification. As asymmetric encryption is expensive, we propose a method of packing several numbers into one plain-text and the computation overhead is greatly reduced. To evaluate the performance of this method, we implement Pailliers encryption scheme over proposed number system and the packing technique. Our findings show that the proposed solution can fulfill the gap between speaker verification and encryption scheme very well, and the packing technique improves the overall performance. Furthermore, our solution is a building block of encryption based privacy preserving speaker verification, the privacy protection and accuracy rate are not affected.

  4. An Investigation of School Psychologists' Assessment Practices of Language Proficiency with Bilingual and Limited-English-Proficient Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa, Salvador Hector; And Others

    1996-01-01

    A study of the language proficiency assessment practices of 859 school psychologists, when working with bilingual or limited English proficient students, found that 62 percent of school psychologists conducted their own assessments and most often used the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised or the Test de Vocabulario en Imagenes Peabody.…

  5. Human and automatic speaker recognition over telecommunication channels

    CERN Document Server

    Fernández Gallardo, Laura

    2016-01-01

    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.

  6. The "Virtual" Panel: A Computerized Model for LGBT Speaker Panels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beasley, Christopher; Torres-Harding, Susan; Pedersen, Paula J

    2012-10-01

    Recent societal trends indicate more tolerance for homosexuality, but prejudice remains on college campuses. Speaker panels are commonly used in classrooms as a way to educate students about sexual diversity and decrease negative attitudes toward sexual diversity. The advent of computer delivered instruction presents a unique opportunity to broaden the impact of traditional speaker panels. The current investigation examined the influence of an interactive "virtual" gay and lesbian speaker panel on cognitive, affective, and behavioral homonegativity. Findings suggest the computer-administered panel is lowers homonegativity, particularly for affective experiential homonegativity. The implications of these findings for research and practice are discussed.

  7. Arthroscopic proficiency: methods in evaluating competency

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The current paradigm of arthroscopic training lacks objective evaluation of technical ability and its adequacy is concerning given the accelerating complexity of the field. To combat insufficiencies, emphasis is shifting towards skill acquisition outside the operating room and sophisticated assessment tools. We reviewed (1) the validity of cadaver and surgical simulation in arthroscopic training, (2) the role of psychomotor analysis and arthroscopic technical ability, (3) what validated assessment tools are available to evaluate technical competency, and (4) the quantification of arthroscopic proficiency. Methods The Medline and Embase databases were searched for published articles in the English literature pertaining to arthroscopic competence, arthroscopic assessment and evaluation and objective measures of arthroscopic technical skill. Abstracts were independently evaluated and exclusion criteria included articles outside the scope of knee and shoulder arthroscopy as well as original articles about specific therapies, outcomes and diagnoses leaving 52 articles citied in this review. Results Simulated arthroscopic environments exhibit high levels of internal validity and consistency for simple arthroscopic tasks, however the ability to transfer complex skills to the operating room has not yet been established. Instrument and force trajectory data can discriminate between technical ability for basic arthroscopic parameters and may serve as useful adjuncts to more comprehensive techniques. There is a need for arthroscopic assessment tools for standardized evaluation and objective feedback of technical skills, yet few comprehensive instruments exist, especially for the shoulder. Opinion on the required arthroscopic experience to obtain proficiency remains guarded and few governing bodies specify absolute quantities. Conclusions Further validation is required to demonstrate the transfer of complex arthroscopic skills from simulated environments to the

  8. Forensic Speaker Recognition Law Enforcement and Counter-Terrorism

    CERN Document Server

    Patil, Hemant

    2012-01-01

    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...

  9. IMPROVED DESIGN OF DTW AND GMM CASCADED ARABIC SPEAKER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuoshuo Chen

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we discuss about the design, implementation and assessment of a two-stage Arabic speaker recognition system, which aims to recognize a target Arabic speaker among several people. The first stage uses improved DTW (Dynamic Time Warping algorithm and the second stage uses SA-KM-based GMM (Gaussian Mixture Model. MFCC (Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients and its differences form, as acoustic feature, are extracted from the sample speeches. DTW provides three most possible speakers and then the recognition results are conveyed to GMM training processes. A specified similarity assessment algorithm, KL distance, is applied to find the best match with the target speaker. Experimental results show that text-independent recognition rate of the cascaded system reaches 90 percent.

  10. Workshop on IVHM and Aviation Safety: Invited Speakers

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Confirmed Speakers from the United States Ashok N. Srivastava, NASA Ames Research Center Robert Mah, NASA Ames Research Center Gary Hunter, NASA Glenn Research...

  11. Native English Speakers' Rhetorical Preferences When Processing Inter-English.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folman, Shoshana

    1991-01-01

    Reports on two studies that sought to identify the rhetorical preferences of native speakers when reading inter-English and to compare these with their rhetorical preferences when reading authentic English. (66 references) (JL)

  12. Cost-Sensitive Learning for Emotion Robust Speaker Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dongdong; Yang, Yingchun

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24999492

  13. A neural mechanism for recognizing speech spoken by different speakers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kreitewolf, Jens; Gaudrain, Etienne; von Kriegstein, Katharina

    2014-01-01

    Understanding speech from different speakers is a sophisticated process, particularly because the same acoustic parameters convey important information about both the speech message and the person speaking. How the human brain accomplishes speech recognition under such conditions is unknown. One

  14. Gesturing by speakers with aphasia: How does it compare?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L. Mol (Linda); E. Krahmer (Emiel); W.M.E. van de Sandt-Koenderman (Mieke)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractPurpose: To study the independence of gesture and verbal language production. The authors assessed whether gesture can besemantically compensatory in cases of verbal language impairment and whether speakers with aphasia and control participants use similar depiction techniques in

  15. Cost-sensitive learning for emotion robust speaker recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dongdong; Yang, Yingchun; Dai, Weihui

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Multistyle Training and Fusion for Speaker Identification of Disguised Voice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prasad, Swati; Tan, Zheng-Hua; Prasad, Ramjee

    2013-01-01

    Speaker identification research faces challenges due to mismatched training and test conditions, arising out of several factors. Non-electronic voice disguise is one of such factor and is commonly seen in crimes. This paper presents a study of the effect of three different types of voice disguises......, taken from the CHAINS speech corpus for the speaker identification accuracy. Out of the three voice disguises, two are variants of imitative style, namely, synchronous and repetitive synchronous imitation, and one is the fast speaking style. Different variants of multistyle training to increase...... the speaker identification accuracy are investigated in this paper. The manner in which the different speaking style’s speech examples are used for multistyle training plays an important role in the speaker identification accuracy. Further, a fusion of two multistyle training at the decision level is proposed...

  17. Standardization of nasometry for normal Egyptian Arabic speakers

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Abou-Elsaad, Tamer; Quriba, Amal; Baz, Hemmat; Elkassaby, Rasha

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to collect the normative values of nasalance for Egyptian Arabic speakers in different age groups, using Arabic speech samples in order to compare patients with disturbed nasality...

  18. FPGA Implementation for GMM-Based Speaker Identification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phaklen EhKan

    2011-01-01

    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.

  19. Intonation and gender perception: applications for transgender speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hancock, Adrienne; Colton, Lindsey; Douglas, Fiacre

    2014-03-01

    Intonation is commonly addressed in voice and communication feminization therapy, yet empirical evidence of gender differences for intonation is scarce and rarely do studies examine how it relates to gender perception of transgender speakers. This study examined intonation of 12 males, 12 females, six female-to-male, and 14 male-to-female transgender speakers describing a Norman Rockwell image. Several intonation measures were compared between biological gender groups, between perceived gender groups, and between male-to-female (MTF) speakers who were perceived as male, female, or ambiguous gender. Speakers with a larger percentage of utterances with upward intonation and a larger utterance semitone range were perceived as female by listeners, despite no significant differences between the actual intonation of the four gender groups. MTF speakers who do not pass as female appear to use less upward and more downward intonations than female and passing MTF speakers. Intonation has potential for use in transgender communication therapy because it can influence perception to some degree. Copyright © 2014 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Free-classification of perceptually similar speakers with dysarthria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lansford, Kaitlin L; Liss, Julie M; Norton, Rebecca E

    2014-12-01

    In this investigation, the construct of perceptual similarity was explored in the dysarthrias. Specifically, we employed an auditory free-classification task to determine whether listeners could cluster speakers by perceptual similarity, whether the clusters mapped to acoustic metrics, and whether the clusters were constrained by dysarthria subtype diagnosis. Twenty-three listeners blinded to speakers' medical and dysarthria subtype diagnoses participated. The task was to group together (drag and drop) the icons corresponding to 33 speakers with dysarthria on the basis of how similar they sounded. Cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling (MDS) modeled the perceptual dimensions underlying similarity. Acoustic metrics and perceptual judgments were used in correlation analyses to facilitate interpretation of the derived dimensions. Six clusters of similar-sounding speakers and 3 perceptual dimensions underlying similarity were revealed. The clusters of similar-sounding speakers were not constrained by dysarthria subtype diagnosis. The 3 perceptual dimensions revealed by MDS were correlated with metrics for articulation rate, intelligibility, and vocal quality, respectively. This study shows (a) feasibility of a free-classification approach for studying perceptual similarity in dysarthria, (b) correspondence between acoustic and perceptual metrics to clusters of similar-sounding speakers, and (c) similarity judgments transcended dysarthria subtype diagnosis.

  1. Proficiency test of gamma spectrometry laboratories in Serbia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pantelic, G., E-mail: gpantelic@nadlanu.co [Serbian Institute of Occupational Health Dr Dragomir Karajovic, Deligradska 29, 11000 Belgrade (Serbia); Institute of Veterinary Medicine of Serbia, Autoput 3, 11070 Belgrade (Serbia); Vuletic, V. [Serbian Institute of Occupational Health Dr Dragomir Karajovic, Deligradska 29, 11000 Belgrade (Serbia); Mitrovic, R. [Institute of Veterinary Medicine of Serbia, Autoput 3, 11070 Belgrade (Serbia)

    2010-07-15

    This paper presents the statistical evaluation of results from the analysis of 8 radionuclides in water samples within the frame of the First Proficiency Test of gamma spectrometry Laboratories in Serbia organized in 2008. The water samples used in this proficiency test were prepared using certified radioactive solution containing gamma emitting radionuclides. This solution was diluted and used as a master solution for preparation of test samples. The overall performance evaluation showed that 64.7% of all reported results met the individual proficiency test criteria, where 26.5% of all reported results did not pass the overall PT acceptance criterion.

  2. Fatores a serem levados em consideração para o desenvolvimento de testes de proficiência oral em contexto virtual Aspects to be considered in the development of oral proficiency tests in virtual contexts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Cristina Biondo Salomão

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Novos contextos de aprendizagem virtual de línguas estrangeiras vêm surgindo com o desenvolvimento das novas tecnologias. Há a necessidade agora de se pensar em como a competência linguística poderá ser também avaliada em meio virtual. Este artigo traz uma retrospectiva da origem e desenvolvimento das provas de proficiência oral para falantes de línguas estrangeiras, buscando também levantar e discutir os aspectos a serem levados em consideração para a formulação deste tipo de teste em ambiente virtual.New virtual contexts for learning foreign languages have been arising from the development of new communication technologies. Now, there is the necessity to think about how the students' communicative competence may be evaluated in such virtual contexts. This article aims at presenting a retrospective of the origin and development of oral proficiency tests for speakers of foreign languages, as well as pointing out and discussing the aspects that should be taken into account when designing this kind of tests for virtual environments.

  3. Literacy Skill Differences between Adult Native English and Native Spanish Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Julia; Cote, Nicole Gilbert; Reilly, Lenore; Binder, Katherine S.

    2013-01-01

    The goal of this study was to compare the literacy skills of adult native English and native Spanish ABE speakers. Participants were 169 native English speakers and 124 native Spanish speakers recruited from five prior research projects. The results showed that the native Spanish speakers were less skilled on morphology and passage comprehension…

  4. Speech Act of Greeting for American Native Speakers of English and Saudi Native Speakers of Arabic: A Comparative Study

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    Rehan Almegren

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available This study focuses on comparing the speech acts of native Arabic speakers of Saudi region and English speakers of America, which help depict the impact of the variables involved, namely status, setting, social distance and situation formality. This paper makes a significant contribution for future researchers, as it is of help to researchers in the speech act area specifically in terms of Saudi Arabic and American English. It will be also of help to those learning Arabic or English and those who teach it in these two countries. Thus, the outcome of this research will contribute to depict the differences and the similarities in the use of greeting strategies between two different groups of respondents from diverse linguistic and cultural domains. Data was collected using the discourse completion test (DCT, developed by Cohen, Olshtain & Rosenstien (1985. Fifty female respondents within the age group of 20-25 years were selected from each group to participate in research procedures. Although the inclusion of male respondents would have made the process complex, it would have provided with comparatively more accurate outcomes if managed properly. The findings showed that linguistic and cultural differences, variables of social distance, social status, settings and situation formality greatly influenced the decision-making of Saudi Native Speakers of Arabic and American Native Speakers of English, pertaining to their usage of greeting strategies as part of their speech acts. For example, differences can be observed between these two speakers in terms of their greeting strategies; American English speakers attach less significance to social and physical distance and hierarchy compared to Saudi Arabic speakers. Similarly, both the groups attach almost equal importance to their initiation words when greeting others. These differences and similarities help determine social status and the relationship between speakers.

  5. Speech Act of Greeting for American Native Speakers of English and Saudi Native Speakers of Arabic: A Comparative Study

    OpenAIRE

    Rehan Almegren

    2017-01-01

    This study focuses on comparing the speech acts of native Arabic speakers of Saudi region and English speakers of America, which help depict the impact of the variables involved, namely status, setting, social distance and situation formality. This paper makes a significant contribution for future researchers, as it is of help to researchers in the speech act area specifically in terms of Saudi Arabic and American English. It will be also of help to those learning Arabic or English and those ...

  6. Another Type of Bilingual Advantage? Tense-Mood-Aspect Frequency, Verb-Form Regularity and Context-Governed Choice in Bilingual vs. Monolingual Spanish Speakers with Agrammatism

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    Barbara Ann O'Connor Wells

    2014-04-01

    ser or estar in the present tense and do not result in a semantic change Participants: Six Spanish-speaking participants with agrammatism were tested. Three had been highly proficient bilingual Spanish-English speakers, while the other three were relatively monolingual Spanish speakers. All had suffered left-frontal strokes at least 6 months prior to this study (X= 3.4 years and were judged agrammatic (in both languages, for bilinguals based on the effortfulness of their spontaneous speech, short phrase-length, high substantive-word use, omission of functors, and relatively good comprehension. Twelve non-aphasic Spanish-English speakers served as controls, and were matched for language history, age, educational attainment, and relative socio-economic status. Results and Conclusions: In general, participants with agrammatism made markedly more errors on this task (X= 40% than control participants (X= 4%, thus reinforcing our finding that despite high frequency in daily usage, ser and estar are not resistant to agrammatism (O’Connor Wells, 2011; O’Connor, Obler & Goral, 2007. A mixed-effects logistic regression analysis of the bilingual vs. monolingual data, revealed a trend (p = 0.07 for the mean performance of the bilinguals with agrammatism (65% to be greater than that of the monolinguals (54%. Although the direction of their performance was the same, the bilinguals with agrammatism outperformed the monolingual ones on all three of our verb factors. These data are consistent with the possibility that bilingualism facilitates language performance among bilinguals in their first language.

  7. ERPs show that classroom-instructed late second language learners rely on the same prosodic cues in syntactic parsing as native speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nickels, Stefanie; Opitz, Bertram; Steinhauer, Karsten

    2013-12-17

    The loss of brain plasticity after a 'critical period' in childhood has often been argued to prevent late language learners from using the same neurocognitive mechanisms as native speakers and, therefore, from attaining a high level of second language (L2) proficiency [7,11]. However, more recent behavioral and electrophysiological research has challenged this 'Critical Period Hypothesis', demonstrating that even late L2 learners can display native-like performance and brain activation patterns [17], especially after longer periods of immersion in an L2 environment. Here we use event-related potentials (ERPs) to show that native-like processing can also be observed in the largely under-researched domain of speech prosody - even when L2 learners are exposed to their second language almost exclusively in a classroom setting. Participants listened to spoken sentences whose prosodic boundaries would either cooperate or conflict with the syntactic structure. Previous work had shown that this paradigm is difficult for elderly native speakers, however, German L2 learners of English showed very similar ERP components for on-line prosodic phrasing as well as for prosody-syntax mismatches (garden path effects) as the control group of native speakers. These data suggest that L2 immersion is not always necessary to master complex L2 speech processing in a native-like way. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. THE BANGLADESHI EMPLOYMENT SECTOR: EMPLOYER PERSPECTIVES CONCERNING ENGLISH PROFICIENCY

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    Rubina Khan

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: This paper presents a brief summary of a study which was carried out to investigate how employers representing major employment sectors in the Bangladeshi Industry view the skills and English proficiency level of the current employees. Opinions were also solicited on what skills are required for fresh recruits. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 employers representing the major employment sectors in Bangladeshi Industry. Results revealed the importance of English as an indispensible means of communication in the Bangladeshi corporate sector and showed that the business enterprises use extensive amounts of English. It also highlighted that the existent English proficiency of the employees was far below the required proficiency level. Recommendations were made to address the gap and prepare the youth to meet the demands of the global market. Keywords: English proficiency, competency, employability skills, global literacy skills

  9. Increased Access to Professional Interpreters in the Hospital Improves Informed Consent for Patients with Limited English Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jonathan S; Pérez-Stable, Eliseo J; Gregorich, Steven E; Crawford, Michael H; Green, Adrienne; Livaudais-Toman, Jennifer; Karliner, Leah S

    2017-08-01

    Language barriers disrupt communication and impede informed consent for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) undergoing healthcare procedures. Effective interventions for this disparity remain unclear. Assess the impact of a bedside interpreter phone system intervention on informed consent for patients with LEP and compare outcomes to those of English speakers. Prospective, pre-post intervention implementation study using propensity analysis. Hospitalized patients undergoing invasive procedures on the cardiovascular, general surgery or orthopedic surgery floors. Installation of dual-handset interpreter phones at every bedside enabling 24-h immediate access to professional interpreters. Primary predictor: pre- vs. post-implementation group; secondary predictor: post-implementation patients with LEP vs. English speakers. Primary outcomes: three central informed consent elements, patient-reported understanding of the (1) reasons for and (2) risks of the procedure and (3) having had all questions answered. We considered consent adequately informed when all three elements were met. We enrolled 152 Chinese- and Spanish-speaking patients with LEP (84 pre- and 68 post-implementation) and 86 English speakers. Post-implementation (vs. pre-implementation) patients with LEP were more likely to meet criteria for adequately informed consent (54% vs. 29%, p = 0.001) and, after propensity score adjustment, had significantly higher odds of adequately informed consent (AOR 2.56; 95% CI, 1.15-5.72) as well as of each consent element individually. However, compared to post-implementation English speakers, post-implementation patients with LEP had significantly lower adjusted odds of adequately informed consent (AOR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.16-0.91). A bedside interpreter phone system intervention to increase rapid access to professional interpreters was associated with improvements in patient-reported informed consent and should be considered by hospitals seeking to improve

  10. Trainee-Associated Factors and Proficiency at Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

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    Seyed Mohammad Kazem Aghamir

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL is a complicated procedure for urology trainees. This study was designed to investigate the effect of trainees’ ages and previous experience, as well as the number of operated cases, on proficiency at PNL by using patient outcomes. A cross sectional observational study was designed during a five-year period. Trainees in PNL fellowship programs were included. At the end of the program, the trainees’ performance in PNL was assessed regarding five competencies and scored 1-5. If the overall score was 4 or above, the trainee was considered as proficient. The trainees’ age at the beginning of the program and the years passed from their residency graduation were asked and recorded. Also, the number of PNL cases operated by each trainee was obtained via their logbooks. The age, years passed from graduation, and number of operated cases were compared between two groups of proficient and non-proficient trainees. Univariate and multivariate binary logistic regression analysis was applied to estimate the effect of aforementioned variables on the occurrence of the proficiency. Forty-two trainees were included in the study. The mean and standard deviation for the overall score were 3.40 (out of 5 and 0.67, respectively. Eleven trainees (26.2% recognized as proficient in performing PNL. Univariate regression analysis indicated that each of three variables (age, years passed from graduation and number of operated cases had statistically significant effect on proficiency. However, the multivariate regression analysis revealed that just the number of cases had significant effect on achieving proficiency. Although it might be assumed that trainees’ age negatively correlates with their scores, in fact, it is their amount of practice that makes a difference. A certain number of cases is required to be operated by a trainee in order to reach the desired competency in PNL.

  11. Trainee-Associated Factors and Proficiency at Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aghamir, Seyed Mohammad Kazem; Behtash, Negar; Hamidi, Morteza; Farahmand, Hasan; Salavati, Alborz; Mortaz Hejri, Sara

    2017-07-01

    Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL) is a complicated procedure for urology trainees. This study was designed to investigate the effect of trainees' ages and previous experience, as well as the number of operated cases, on proficiency at PNL by using patient outcomes. A cross sectional observational study was designed during a five-year period. Trainees in PNL fellowship programs were included. At the end of the program, the trainees' performance in PNL was assessed regarding five competencies and scored 1-5. If the overall score was 4 or above, the trainee was considered as proficient. The trainees' age at the beginning of the program and the years passed from their residency graduation were asked and recorded. Also, the number of PNL cases operated by each trainee was obtained via their logbooks. The age, years passed from graduation, and number of operated cases were compared between two groups of proficient and non-proficient trainees. Univariate and multivariate binary logistic regression analysis was applied to estimate the effect of aforementioned variables on the occurrence of the proficiency. Forty-two trainees were included in the study. The mean and standard deviation for the overall score were 3.40 (out of 5) and 0.67, respectively. Eleven trainees (26.2%) recognized as proficient in performing PNL. Univariate regression analysis indicated that each of three variables (age, years passed from graduation and number of operated cases) had statistically significant effect on proficiency. However, the multivariate regression analysis revealed that just the number of cases had significant effect on achieving proficiency. Although it might be assumed that trainees' age negatively correlates with their scores, in fact, it is their amount of practice that makes a difference. A certain number of cases is required to be operated by a trainee in order to reach the desired competency in PNL.

  12. Level up : Language proficiency and gamification in upper secondaryschool

    OpenAIRE

    Malmberg, Emilia

    2017-01-01

    Gamification is a new but upcoming feature in classrooms that has grown with the digitalisation in Swedish homes and schools. The aim of this literature review is to research how gamification can influence upper secondary students’ language proficiency in English as a foreign language. Five sources were analysed, four journals and one conference paper, and the results show that gamification could increase language proficiency if it is used in a moderate amount and that the summative assessmen...

  13. Dysprosody and stimulus effects in Cantonese speakers with Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    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. To characterize the prosodic impairment in Cantonese speakers with hypokinetic dysarthria associated with Parkinson's disease, and to determine the effect of different types of speech stimuli on the perceptual rating of prosody. Speech data in the form of sentence reading, passage reading, and monologue were collected from ten Cantonese speakers with Parkinson's disease. Perceptual analysis was conducted on ten prosodic parameters to evaluate five dimensions of prosody, based on a theoretical framework: pitch, loudness, duration, voice quality, and degree of reduction. The results showed that the most severely affected prosodic parameters were monopitch, harsh voice, and monoloudness, followed by breathy voice and prolonged interval. Differences were noted between speakers with mild and moderate dysprosody. No statistically significant differences were found between the three types of stimuli. However, qualitative analysis revealed noticeable differences between the three stimuli in two speakers. The prosodic profile of Cantonese speakers with hypokinetic dysarthria is similar to those of other languages (for example, English). The involvement of two new dimensions in the definition of prosody (voice quality and degree of reduction) provides additional insight in differentiating patients with mild and moderate dysarthria. Further investigation on the use of speech materials in the clinical evaluation of speech prosody in speakers with dysarthria is needed, as no single task was found to represent a patient's performance under all circumstances.

  14. PROFICIENT CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT THROUGH FOCUSED MATHEMATIC TEACHING

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    Marcus Samuelsson

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available A not entirely unusual position among teachers is that they believe that they must first establish a peaceful classroom before they can begin to teach the subject. This research, shows how a proficient mathematics teacher teaches his subject and thereby creates a quiet and focused classroom and exerts effective leadership, just by teaching mathematics. The researchers observed a male mathematics teacher for almost half a year, i.e. one semester. The results of research present several patterns that the researchers saw during the observations of his teaching. The teacher showed an interest in each student’s mathematical thinking and expressed explicitly how students were expected to learn mathematics. He also directed students’ attention to mathematics and established a culture where all solutions were important in the teaching process. In the teaching process, he used multiple representations to motivate students and a lot of supportive expressions that made them feel that they were able to learn mathematics. He worked patiently to establish structures, and there was almost no disruptive behaviour. Students simply did not have time to interfere because they were so engaged in learning mathematics.

  15. STRATEGIES OF MAINTAINING PROFICIENCY BY TEACHERS OF ENGLISH IN INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junaidi Mistar, Alfan Zuhairini

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The objectives of the present study are four-fold: (1 to identify the types of strategies to maintain proficiency used by teachers of English in Indonesia, (2 to know the intensity of use of the obtained strategy types, (3 to measure the inter-correlation in the use of the obtained strategy types, and (4 to investigate the effect of proficiency level on the use of maintaining strategies. The subjects were 93 teachers applying for S2 degree in 2010/2011 at the postgraduate program of the Islamic University of Malang. They were given two sets of instrument, a Likert-scale questionnaire of English proficiency maintaining strategies and a TOEFL test. Then, a factor analysis identified nine strategy categories, including language focusing, metacognitive and affective developing, reading and writing activating, language resource utilizing, cognitive processing, culture learning, social communicating, text analyzing, and radio listening strategies. These strategy types explained 63.84% of variances of maintaining strategies and they were used at high level of intensity. Moreover, the use of the nine strategy types were found to be inter-correlated with one another. Finally, no significant effect of proficiency level on strategy use was found, indicating that teachers with different level of proficiency reported using the same strategies of maintaining their proficiency.

  16. Hierarchical levels of representation in language prediction: The influence of first language acquisition in highly proficient bilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinaro, Nicola; Giannelli, Francesco; Caffarra, Sendy; Martin, Clara

    2017-07-01

    Language comprehension is largely supported by predictive mechanisms that account for the ease and speed with which communication unfolds. Both native and proficient non-native speakers can efficiently handle contextual cues to generate reliable linguistic expectations. However, the link between the variability of the linguistic background of the speaker and the hierarchical format of the representations predicted is still not clear. We here investigate whether native language exposure to typologically highly diverse languages (Spanish and Basque) affects the way early balanced bilingual speakers carry out language predictions. During Spanish sentence comprehension, participants developed predictions of words the form of which (noun ending) could be either diagnostic of grammatical gender values (transparent) or totally ambiguous (opaque). We measured electrophysiological prediction effects time-locked both to the target word and to its determiner, with the former being expected or unexpected. Event-related (N200-N400) and oscillatory activity in the low beta-band (15-17Hz) frequency channel showed that both Spanish and Basque natives optimally carry out lexical predictions independently of word transparency. Crucially, in contrast to Spanish natives, Basque natives displayed visual word form predictions for transparent words, in consistency with the relevance that noun endings (post-nominal suffixes) play in their native language. We conclude that early language exposure largely shapes prediction mechanisms, so that bilinguals reading in their second language rely on the distributional regularities that are highly relevant in their first language. More importantly, we show that individual linguistic experience hierarchically modulates the format of the predicted representation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Fluency profile: comparison between Brazilian and European Portuguese speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  19. Noise Reduction with Microphone Arrays for Speaker Identification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohen, Z

    2011-12-22

    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?

  20. Neural Systems Involved When Attending to a Speaker.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamourieh, Salwa; Braga, Rodrigo M; Leech, Robert; Newbould, Rexford D; Malhotra, Paresh; Wise, Richard J S

    2015-11-01

    Remembering what a speaker said depends on attention. During conversational speech, the emphasis is on working memory, but listening to a lecture encourages episodic memory encoding. With simultaneous interference from background speech, the need for auditory vigilance increases. We recreated these context-dependent demands on auditory attention in 2 ways. The first was to require participants to attend to one speaker in either the absence or presence of a distracting background speaker. The second was to alter the task demand, requiring either an immediate or delayed recall of the content of the attended speech. Across 2 fMRI studies, common activated regions associated with segregating attended from unattended speech were the right anterior insula and adjacent frontal operculum (aI/FOp), the left planum temporale, and the precuneus. In contrast, activity in a ventral right frontoparietal system was dependent on both the task demand and the presence of a competing speaker. Additional multivariate analyses identified other domain-general frontoparietal systems, where activity increased during attentive listening but was modulated little by the need for speech stream segregation in the presence of 2 speakers. These results make predictions about impairments in attentive listening in different communicative contexts following focal or diffuse brain pathology. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.

  1. THE HUMOROUS SPEAKER: THE CONSTRUCTION OF ETHOS IN COMEDY

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    Maria Flávia Figueiredo

    2016-07-01

    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.

  2. Commutability of food microbiology proficiency testing samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelmassih, M; Polet, M; Goffaux, M-J; Planchon, V; Dierick, K; Mahillon, J

    2014-03-01

    Food microbiology proficiency testing (PT) is a useful tool to assess the analytical performances among laboratories. PT items should be close to routine samples to accurately evaluate the acceptability of the methods. However, most PT providers distribute exclusively artificial samples such as reference materials or irradiated foods. This raises the issue of the suitability of these samples because the equivalence-or 'commutability'-between results obtained on artificial vs. authentic food samples has not been demonstrated. In the clinical field, the use of noncommutable PT samples has led to erroneous evaluation of the performances when different analytical methods were used. This study aimed to provide a first assessment of the commutability of samples distributed in food microbiology PT. REQUASUD and IPH organized 13 food microbiology PTs including 10-28 participants. Three types of PT items were used: genuine food samples, sterile food samples and reference materials. The commutability of the artificial samples (reference material or sterile samples) was assessed by plotting the distribution of the results on natural and artificial PT samples. This comparison highlighted matrix-correlated issues when nonfood matrices, such as reference materials, were used. Artificially inoculated food samples, on the other hand, raised only isolated commutability issues. In the organization of a PT-scheme, authentic or artificially inoculated food samples are necessary to accurately evaluate the analytical performances. Reference materials, used as PT items because of their convenience, may present commutability issues leading to inaccurate penalizing conclusions for methods that would have provided accurate results on food samples. For the first time, the commutability of food microbiology PT samples was investigated. The nature of the samples provided by the organizer turned out to be an important factor because matrix effects can impact on the analytical results. © 2013

  3. Proficiency testing for psychoactive substances in Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrara, S D; Brusini, G; Maietti, S; Frison, G; Castagna, F; Allevi, S; Menegus, A M; Tedeschi, L

    1999-01-01

    This paper describes the general design and main results of the Italian proficiency testing program for the analysis of psychoactive substances in urine, a long-term initiative created in 1995 on an educational basis and characterized by an innovative internet-based service for data exchange between laboratories and the organizing body. Batches of six urine samples, validated by reference laboratories, are sent every 3 months to participating laboratories, which may choose which classes of substances to test from those planned by the program panel and, within those classes, which type of analytical commitment to work on: identification of just one class (Option 1), identification of single substances (Option 2), or identification and quantification of single substances (Option 3). Comprehensive periodical reports and annual reports are provided to participants with evaluation of their performance and an annual workshop is organized to discuss technical-scientific topics related to clinical, forensic and analytical toxicology. About 200 laboratories currently participate in the program and a total of 67,059 analyses have been carried out since 1995. The mean percentage of correct results was 96.8%, with a yearly improvement of about 0.4%. The best average false positive and false negative rates were obtained for methadone (0.2% and 2.1% respectively) and cocaine (0.3% and 2.2%). The worst average false positive rates were obtained for amphetamines and opiates (3.2% and 5.0%) and worst average false negative rates for amphetamines, barbiturates and cannabinoids (17.4%, 30.7% and 19.9%).

  4. In Support of a Proficiency-Based Definition of Heritage Language Learners: The Case of Russian

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagan, Olga

    2005-01-01

    This paper addresses the problem of placing and teaching heritage speakers of immigrant languages in college-level foreign language programmes, drawing conclusions from research on heritage speakers of Russian. For pedagogical purposes, heritage speakers cannot be viewed either as native speakers of the target language or as foreign language…

  5. Communication Boot Camp: Discover the Speaker in You!

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuraidah Binti Ali

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Learning can take place almost anywhere, and this is especially true for our undergraduates who wish to become public speakers. Besides university course and public speaking workshops on campus grounds, undergraduates are now looking for a different learning environment – communication boot camps!! This study presents a compilation of learners’ experience, fun-filled activities, insightful feedback and memorable boot camp moments as captured in camp photos and feedback surveys. It involves a total of thirty seven undergraduates who enrolled in a Communication Boot Camp at Janda Baik, Pahang. Results show that Communication Boot Camp is a successful strategy to groom public speakers with a positive correlation between camp success and camp objectives, particularly in reducing shyness, motivating participants to become public speakers and discovering their talent and skills. In short, the study adds to the promise of zest and delight in public speaking.

  6. Efficient Invariant Features for Sensor Variability Compensation in Speaker Recognition

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    Abdennour Alimohad

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we investigate the use of invariant features for speaker recognition. Owing to their characteristics, these features are introduced to cope with the difficult and challenging problem of sensor variability and the source of performance degradation inherent in speaker recognition systems. Our experiments show: (1 the effectiveness of these features in match cases; (2 the benefit of combining these features with the mel frequency cepstral coefficients to exploit their discrimination power under uncontrolled conditions (mismatch cases. Consequently, the proposed invariant features result in a performance improvement as demonstrated by a reduction in the equal error rate and the minimum decision cost function compared to the GMM-UBM speaker recognition systems based on MFCC features.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayorga-Ortiz Pedro

    2014-02-01

    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.

  8. Increase in voice level and speaker comfort in lecture rooms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brunskog, Jonas; Gade, Anders Christian; Bellester, Gaspar Payá

    2009-01-01

    Teachers often suffer from health problems related to their voice. These problems are related to their working environment, including the acoustics of the lecture rooms. However, there is a lack of studies linking the room acoustic parameters to the voice produced by the speaker. In this pilot...... study, the main goals are to investigate whether objectively measurable parameters of the rooms can be related to an increase in the voice sound power produced by speakers and to the speakers’ subjective judgments about the rooms. In six different rooms with different sizes, reverberation times...... that in different rooms significant changes in the sound power produced by the speaker can be found. It is also found that these changes mainly have to do with the size of the room and to the gain produced by the room. To describe this quality, a new room acoustic quantity called “room gain” is proposed....

  9. Utilising Tree-Based Ensemble Learning for Speaker Segmentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    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...... ones as they proved to be very effective for such task. The main criticism levelled against BIC-based approaches is the use of a penalty parameter in the BIC function. The use of this parameters consequently means that a fine tuning is required for each variation of the acoustic conditions. When tuned...... 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...

  10. Robust Digital Speech Watermarking For Online Speaker Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Ali Nematollahi

    2015-01-01

    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.

  11. Motion Event Similarity Judgments in One or Two Languages: An Exploration of Monolingual Speakers of English and Chinese vs. L2 Learners of English.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Yinglin

    2017-01-01

    Languages differ systematically in how to encode a motion event. English characteristically expresses manner in verb root and path in verb particle; in Chinese, varied aspects of motion, such as manner, path and cause, can be simultaneously encoded in a verb compound. This study investigates whether typological differences, as such, influence how first and second language learners conceptualize motion events, as suggested by behavioral evidences. Specifically, the performance of Chinese learners of English, at three proficiencies, was compared to that of two groups of monolingual speakers in a triads matching task. The first set of analyses regarding categorisation preferences indicates that participants across groups preferred the path-matched (rather than manner-matched) screens. However, the second set of analyses regarding reaction time suggests, firstly, that English monolingual speakers reacted significantly more quickly in selecting the manner-matched scenes compared with monolingual speakers of Chinese, who tended to use an approximately equal amount of time in making manner- and path-matched decisions, a finding that can arguably be mapped onto the typological difference between the two languages. Secondly, the pattern of response latency in low-level L2 learners looked more like that of monolingual speakers of Chinese. Only at intermediate and advanced levels of acquisition did the behavioral pattern of L2 learners become target-like, thus suggesting language-specific constraints from the L1 at an early stage of acquisition. Overall, our results suggest that motion event cognition may be linked to, among other things, the linguistic structure of motion description in particular languages.

  12. Using DSP technology to improve sound quality in active speakers

    OpenAIRE

    Magnusson, Mattias

    2010-01-01

    Aditus Science has developed a system to improve the sound quality in speaker systems, using DSP technology. Software developed in MATLAB is being used to make measurements of the speakers via microphones. Based on those results, the parameters for the signal processing in the DSP can be set. A prototype model of the system was used as hardware when the software was developed. The system has several analog and digital inputs and outputs over SPDIF, Ethernet, 3.5mm analog stereo plug etcetera....

  13. How I Became a "Different" English Speaker and Listener

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Ryota

    2016-01-01

    The author went to the United States to study applied linguistics. Although he was there for nine months, his English proficiency did not improve as much as he had hoped, considering that he was using English almost exclusively every day. After his time in the United States, he spent 10 months in Australia working and traveling on a working…

  14. El Hispanohablante y la Gramatica (The Spanish Speaker and Grammar).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, George M.

    1994-01-01

    Studied the grammatical knowledge that undergraduates specializing in bilingual education have of their mother tongue. Data collected from an entrance exam, dialog journals and a simulated oral proficiency exam indicate that these students do not have a formal knowledge of grammatical rules but do have a high level of functional grammar. (24…

  15. The proficiency testing of determination of dioxins in food

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsuda, R.; Tsutsumi, T.; Maitani, T. [National Institute of Health Sciences, Tokyo (Japan); Toyoda, M. [Jissen Womens Univ., Hino (Japan)

    2004-09-15

    Food intake is the main route of human dioxin exposure, making the determination of dioxins in food indispensable for risk assessment and risk management of dioxins. The uncertainty of analytical results, however, can be very great because of the low concentration of the analytes and complicated cleanup procedures. The risk assessment of dioxins based on analytical results also suffers from a similar degree of uncertainty. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan has published ''Guideline for the Determination of Dioxins in Food'' to standardize the analytical procedures. The guideline contains the quality assurance procedures to obtain reliable analytical results and recommends participation in the relevant proficiency testing scheme. The proficiency testing provides the fair evaluation of the analytical results. The central science laboratory in England and the food and drug safety center in Japan offer the proficiency testing on food. The National Institute of Health Sciences of Japan (NIHS) also has carried out proficiency testing of dioxins in food since 1998 to assure the quality of analytical results for dioxins. In this presentation we will show the results of 5 rounds of proficiency testing.

  16. Speaker adaptation and the evaluation of speaker similarity in the EMIME speech-to-speech translation project

    OpenAIRE

    Wester, Mirjam; Dines, John; Gibson, Matthew; Liang, Hui; Wu, Yi-Jian; Saheer, Lakshmi; King, Simon; Oura, Keiichiro; Garner, Philip N.; Byrne, William; Guan, Yong; Hirsimaki, Teemu; Karhila, Reima; Kurimo, Mikko; Shannon, Matt

    2010-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of speaker adaptation research carried out in the EMIME speech-to-speech translation (S2ST) project. We focus on how speaker adaptation transforms can be learned from speech in one language and applied to the acous- tic models of another language. The adaptation is transferred across languages and/or from recognition models to synthesis models. The various approaches investigated can all be viewed as a process in which a mapping is defined in terms of either ac...

  17. Why reference to the past is difficult for agrammatic speakers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bastiaanse, Roelien

    Many studies have shown that verb inflections are difficult to produce for agrammatic aphasic speakers: they are frequently omitted and substituted. The present article gives an overview of our search to understanding why this is the case. The hypothesis is that grammatical morphology referring to

  18. Speaker gender, child age, syntax, and the prosody of parentese

    OpenAIRE

    Corthals, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Parentese is the speech-language register adults switch to when talking to children. It regulates arousal, communicates affect, and its segment-marking prosody is thought to facilitate language learning. This "didactic prosody" is studied in 57 male and female parentese speakers addressing to children aged between 1 month and 5 years.

  19. An experimental comparison of modelling techniques for speaker ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    FVQ is an alternative to CVQ and employs fuzzy logic principle for clustering. The basic principle of fuzzy logic is that a given feature vector can be assigned to more than one cluster with certain degree of association to find the codevectors for a given speaker. FVQ clusters all the feature vectors in the feature space into ...

  20. Developing a Speaker Identification System for the DARPA RATS Project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plchot, O; Matsoukas, S; Matejka, P

    2013-01-01

    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. We...

  1. AN APPLICATION OF SPEAKER RECOGNITION USING ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORKS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murat CANER

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study an artificial neural network (ANN is implemented, which has been used frequently as an implementation model in recent years, to recognize speaker identification. Generally, recognition is consist of three stages that, processing of signal, obtaining attributes and comparing them. Speech samples are transformed into digital data according to voice card of PC. In the analysis of voice stage, recurrent periods and white noise of voice data are trimmed by hamming window method and voice attribute part of the digital data is obtained. For obtaining attribute of voice data LPC (linear predictive coding and DFT (discrete fourier transform methods are used. Of those 28 coefficents, that is used for speaker recognition, 16 were obtained by the analysis of DFT and 12 were obtained by the analysis of LPC. The parameters that represent speaker voice, is used for training and test of ANN. Multilayer perceptron model is used as an architecture of ANN and backpropagation algorithm is used for training method. Voices of "a" is taken from 7 different person and their attributes are found. ANN is trained with these features to find the speaker who is the owner of the sample voice. And then using the test data that is not used for training part, recognition achievement of ANN is tested. As a result, good results were obtained with low failure rate.

  2. Pre-emigration reflections: Afrikaans speakers moving to New Zealand

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This article reports on the pre-emigration reflections of 15 Afrikaans speakers, all of whom were in the final stages of preparing to emigrate to New Zealand. The study explores the linguistic histories of the participants, their attitudes to their mother tongue (Afrikaans) and to English, and their views on South Africa\\'s language ...

  3. Early testimonial learning: monitoring speech acts and speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Elizabeth; Suarez, Sarah; Koenig, Melissa

    2015-01-01

    Testimony provides children with a rich source of knowledge about the world and the people in it. However, testimony is not guaranteed to be veridical, and speakers vary greatly in both knowledge and intent. In this chapter, we argue that children encounter two primary types of conflicts when learning from speakers: conflicts of knowledge and conflicts of interest. We review recent research on children's selective trust in testimony and propose two distinct mechanisms supporting early epistemic vigilance in response to the conflicts associated with speakers. The first section of the chapter focuses on the mechanism of coherence checking, which occurs during the process of message comprehension and facilitates children's comparison of information communicated through testimony to their prior knowledge, alerting them to inaccurate, inconsistent, irrational, and implausible messages. The second section focuses on source-monitoring processes. When children lack relevant prior knowledge with which to evaluate testimonial messages, they monitor speakers themselves for evidence of competence and morality, attending to cues such as confidence, consensus, access to information, prosocial and antisocial behavior, and group membership. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The analysis followed the speech act analytical framework developed for the Cross-Cultural Speech Act Realisation Patterns (CCSARP) project. Results showed that Luganda English speakers overgeneralized the pragmatic function of please. They inappropriately used it in English as an attention-getter, hence risking ...

  5. Speech rate normalization used to improve speaker verification

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Heerden, CJ

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available A novel approach to speech rate normalization is presented. Models are constructed to model the way in which speech rate variation of a specific speaker influences the duration of phonemes. The models are evaluated in two ways. Firstly, the mean...

  6. Differential Object Marking in Child and Adult Spanish Heritage Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montrul, Silvina; Sanchez-Walker, Noelia

    2013-01-01

    We report the results of two studies that investigate the factors contributing to non-native-like ability in child and adult heritage speakers by focusing on oral production of Differential Object Marking (DOM), the overt morphological marking of animate direct objects in Spanish. In study 1, 39 school-age bilingual children (ages 6-17) from the…

  7. The Space-Time Topography of English Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duman, Steve

    2016-01-01

    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. Negotiation and Intercultural Learning in Italian Native Speaker Chat Rooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tudini, Vincenza

    2007-01-01

    Foreign language learners purportedly demonstrate intercultural communicative competence in native speaker (NS) chat rooms through self-initiated negotiation sequences, including those triggered by pragmatic issues and cultural content. This study identified and classified one-to-one NS-learner negotiations between intermediate learners and NS of…

  9. English vowels produced by Cantonese-English bilingual speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yang; Ng, Manwa L; Li, Tie-Shan

    2012-12-01

    The present study attempted to test the postulate that sounds of a foreign language that are familiar can be produced with less accuracy than sounds that are new to second language (L2) learners. The first two formant frequencies (F1 and F2) were obtained from the 11 English monophthong vowels produced by 40 Cantonese-English (CE) bilingual and 40 native American English monolingual speakers. Based on F1 and F2, compact-diffuse (C-D) and grave-acute (G-A) values, and Euclidean Distance (ED) associated with the English vowels were evaluated and correlated with the perceived amount of accent present in the vowels. Results indicated that both male and female CE speakers exhibited different vowel spaces compared to their AE counterparts. While C-D and G-A indicated that acquisition of familiar and new vowels were not particularly different, ED values suggested better performance in CE speakers' productions of familiar vowels over new vowels. In conclusion, analyses based on spectral measurements obtained from the English vowel sounds produced by CE speakers did not provide favourable evidence to support the Speech Learning Model (SLM) proposed by Flege (1995) . Nevertheless, for both familiar and new sounds, English back vowels were found to be produced with greater inaccuracy than English front vowels.

  10. Gesturing by Speakers with Aphasia: How Does It Compare?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    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. Agreement Reflexes of Emerging Optionality in Heritage Speaker Spanish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascual Cabo, Diego

    2013-01-01

    This study contributes to current trends of heritage speaker (HS) acquisition research by examining the syntax of psych-predicates in HS Spanish. Broadly defined, psych-predicates communicate states of emotions (e.g., to love) and have traditionally been categorized as belonging to one of three classes: class I--"temere" "to…

  12. Segmentation of the Speaker's Face Region with Audiovisual Correlation

    Science.gov (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.

  13. Social Cues in Multimedia Learning: Role of Speaker's Voice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Richard E.; Sobko, Kristina; Mautone, Patricia D.

    2003-01-01

    In 2 experiments, learners who were seated at a computer workstation received a narrated animation about lightning formation. Then, they took a retention test, a transfer test, and rated the speaker. The results are consistent with social agency theory, which posits that social cues in multimedia messages can encourage learners to interpret…

  14. Intergenerational Differences in Acculturation Orientations of Turkish Speakers in Australia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yagmur, K.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, acculturation and language orientations among Turkish speakers in Australia (n = 283) are discussed. Compared to West European countries, the Turkish community in Australia is much smaller. Given the prevalent pluralism ideology in Australia, a high level of sociocultural adjustment

  15. Google Home: smart speaker as environmental control unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noda, Kenichiro

    2017-08-23

    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.

  16. Comparing L1 and L2 speakers using articulography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wieling, Martijn; Veenstra, Pauline; Adank, Patti; Weber, Andrea; Tiede, Mark

    2015-01-01

    This study uses articulography, the measurement of the position of tongue and lips during speech, as a tool to quantitatively assess the differences between pronunciations of native and non-native (Dutch) speakers of English. In our study, we focus on two pairs of English sound contrasts: /s/-/ʃ/

  17. The "Virtual" Panel: A Computerized Model for LGBT Speaker Panels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beasley, Christopher; Torres-Harding, Susan; Pedersen, Paula J.

    2012-01-01

    Recent societal trends indicate more tolerance for homosexuality, but prejudice remains on college campuses. Speaker panels are commonly used in classrooms as a way to educate students about sexual diversity and decrease negative attitudes toward sexual diversity. The advent of computer-delivered instruction presents a unique opportunity to…

  18. Native Thai Speakers' Acquisition of English Word Stress Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wayland, Ratree; Landfair, David; Li, Bin; Guion, Susan G.

    2006-01-01

    The influence of syllabic structure, lexical class and stress patterns of known words on the acquisition of the English stress system was investigated in ten native Thai speakers. All participants were adult learners of English with an average length of residence in the US of 1.4 years. They were asked to produce and give perceptual judgments on…

  19. Native Speakers' Perception of Non-Native English Speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaber, Maysa; Hussein, Riyad F.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  20. Psycholinguistic Approaches to Language Processing in Heritage Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolger, Patrick A.; Zapata, Gabriela C.

    2011-01-01

    This paper focuses on the dearth of language-processing research addressing Spanish heritage speakers in assimilationist communities. First, we review key offline work on this population, and we then summarize the few psycholinguistic (online) studies that have already been carried out. In an attempt to encourage more such research, in the next…

  1. Bilingual Speakers in the Lab: Psychophysiological Measures of Emotional Reactivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Catherine L.

    2004-01-01

    Bilingual speakers report experiencing stronger emotions when speaking and hearing their first language compared to their second. Does this occur even when a second language is learned early and becomes the dominant language? Spanish-English bilinguals who had grown up in the USA (early learners) or those who were first exposed to English during…

  2. Teaching the Native English Speaker How to Teach English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odhuu, Kelli

    2014-01-01

    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…

  3. Articulatory settings of French-English bilingual speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Ian

    2005-04-01

    The idea of a language-specific articulatory setting (AS), an underlying posture of the articulators during speech, has existed for centuries [Laver, Historiogr. Ling. 5 (1978)], but until recently it had eluded direct measurement. In an analysis of x-ray movies of French and English monolingual speakers, Gick et al. [Phonetica (in press)] link AS to inter-speech posture, allowing measurement of AS without interference from segmental targets during speech, and they give quantitative evidence showing AS to be language-specific. In the present study, ultrasound and Optotrak are used to investigate whether bilingual English-French speakers have two ASs, and whether this varies depending on the mode (monolingual or bilingual) these speakers are in. Specifically, for inter-speech posture of the lips, lip aperture and protrusion are measured using Optotrak. For inter-speech posture of the tongue, tongue root retraction, tongue body and tongue tip height are measured using optically-corrected ultrasound. Segmental context is balanced across the two languages ensuring that the sets of sounds before and after an inter-speech posture are consistent across languages. By testing bilingual speakers, vocal tract morphology across languages is controlled for. Results have implications for L2 acquisition, specifically the teaching and acquisition of pronunciation.

  4. Perception of English palatal codas by Korean speakers of English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeon, Sang-Hee

    2003-04-01

    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.

  5. A novel dynamic acoustical model for speaker verification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Gongjun; Espy-Wilson, Carol

    2004-05-01

    In speaker verification, the conventional acoustical models (hidden Markov model and vector quantization) are not able to capture a speaker's dynamic characteristics. In this paper we describe a novel dynamic acoustical model. The training data are viewed as a concatenation of many speech-pattern samples, and the pattern matching involves a comparison of the pattern samples and the test speech. To reduce the amount of computation, a tree is generated to index the entrance to pattern samples using an expectation and maximization (EM) approach, and leaves in the tree are employed to quantize the feature vectors in the training data. The obtained leaf-number sequences are exploited in pattern matching as a temporal model. We use a DTW scheme and a GMM scheme to match the training data and the test speech. Experimental results on NIST'98 speaker recognition evaluation data show that the accuracy of speaker verification on 3- and 10-s test speech is raised from 71.1% and 75.2% for a baseline GMM-based system to 80.0% and 82.1% for the dynamic acoustical model, respectively. Furthermore, some pattern samples in the training data are correctly tracked by the test speech.

  6. Do English and Mandarin Speakers Think about Time Differently?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boroditsky, Lera; Fuhrman, Orly; McCormick, Kelly

    2011-01-01

    Time is a fundamental domain of experience. In this paper we ask whether aspects of language and culture affect how people think about this domain. Specifically, we consider whether English and Mandarin speakers think about time differently. We review all of the available evidence both for and against this hypothesis, and report new data that…

  7. Spontaneous Voice Gender Imitation Abilities in Adult Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartei, Valentina; Cowles, Heidi Wind; Reby, David

    2012-01-01

    Background The frequency components of the human voice play a major role in signalling the gender of the speaker. A voice imitation study was conducted to investigate individuals' ability to make behavioural adjustments to fundamental frequency (F0), and formants (Fi) in order to manipulate their expression of voice gender. Methodology/Principal Findings Thirty-two native British-English adult speakers were asked to read out loud different types of text (words, sentence, passage) using their normal voice and then while sounding as ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ as possible. Overall, the results show that both men and women raised their F0 and Fi when feminising their voice, and lowered their F0 and Fi when masculinising their voice. Conclusions/Significance These observations suggest that adult speakers are capable of spontaneous glottal and vocal tract length adjustments to express masculinity and femininity in their voice. These results point to a “gender code”, where speakers make a conventionalized use of the existing sex dimorphism to vary the expression of their gender and gender-related attributes. PMID:22363628

  8. Umesh V Waghmare | Speakers | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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 relationship between Wannier functions and non-Abelian Berry phases of Bloch electrons, which is centrally relevant to the nontrivial electronic ...

  9. Noun Countability Judgments by Arabic Speakers of English

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alenizi, Aied

    2017-01-01

    In an attempt to better understand the role of relationship between the use of English indefinite article and L1 transfer in L2 countability judgments by speakers of non-classifier languages, the current study investigates how Saudi EFL learners judge noun countability in English. The current study aims to find; (1) if countability judgments…

  10. 338 the disadvantaged non-mother-tongue speaker as university ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    THE DISADVANTAGED NON-MOTHER-TONGUE SPEAKER AS UNIVERSITY. STUDENT OF AFRIKAANS: POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS TO THE. LANGUAGE LECTURER'S DILEMMA. Jeanne Maartens. University of Durban-We~tville. 1. INTRODUCTION. Traditionally the Afrikaans departments at all the major universities in ...

  11. Manufacturing Industry Employers’ Perception of Graduates’ English Language Skills Proficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manjet Kaur Mehar Singh

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Proficiency in English language skills among graduates that create advantages for the organization is preferred by prospective employers as one of the main criteria for employability.  This article provides an overview of undergraduates in higher education and also workplace literacy from the perspective of the employers in the manufacturing industry. The result from the research demonstrates that Malaysian manufacturing industry employers perceive that the graduate employees’ English language proficiency skills are still below their expectations. Therefore, this study recommends that there is a need for intervention into language teaching to improve the English language syllabus level of English proficiency at primary, secondary and tertiary level. At the same time, emphasis on the importance of English in everyday use should be inculcated without neglecting the national language of Malaysia.  This will ensure that the teaching of English will be in line with globalization and current workplace demands.

  12. Pathways From Toddler Information Processing to Adolescent Lexical Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Susan A; Feldman, Judith F; Jankowski, Jeffery J

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the relation of 3-year core information-processing abilities to lexical growth and development. The core abilities covered four domains-memory, representational competence (cross-modal transfer), processing speed, and attention. Lexical proficiency was assessed at 3 and 13 years with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) and verbal fluency. The sample (N = 128) consisted of 43 preterms (toddler information processing and language proficiency and, independent of stability in language, direct predictive links between (a) 3-year cross-modal ability and 13-year PPVT and (b) 3-year processing speed and both 13-year measures, PPVT and verbal fluency. Thus, toddler information processing was related to growth in lexical proficiency from 3 to 13 years. © 2015 The Authors. Child Development © 2015 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  13. Language anxiety and proficiency in a foreign language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, R L; Ganschow, L; Artzer, M; Siebenhar, D; Plageman, M

    1997-10-01

    Study examined the extent to which there would be differences in oral and written proficiency in a foreign language among groups of low-, average-, and high-anxious high school students. Participants were 60 girls attending a single-sex, college-preparatory high school and completing the second year of a foreign language course. Analysis showed over-all differences on measures of proficiency in the foreign language among the three groups. The results support the hypothesis that anxiety about foreign language learning is likely to represent students' differences in language learning.

  14. Speaker, leader, champion: succeed at work through the power of public speaking

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Donovan, Jeremey; Avery, Ryan

    2014-01-01

    ... an exceptional public speaker. From the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller in public speaking How to Deliver a TED Talk and the youngest World Champion in Public Speaking comes Speaker, Leader, Champion...

  15. Speaker-individuality in suprasegmental temporal features: Implications for forensic voice comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leemann, Adrian; Kolly, Marie-José; Dellwo, Volker

    2014-05-01

    Everyday experience tells us that it is often possible to identify a familiar speaker solely by his/her voice. Such observations reveal that speakers carry individual features in their voices. The present study examines how suprasegmental temporal features contribute to speaker-individuality. Based on data of a homogeneous group of Zurich German speakers, we conducted an experiment that included speaking style variability (spontaneous vs. read speech) and channel variability (high-quality vs. mobile phone-transmitted speech), both of which are characteristic of forensic casework. Speakers demonstrated high between-speaker variability in both read and spontaneous speech, and low within-speaker variability across the two speaking styles. Results further revealed that distortions of the type introduced by mobile telephony had little effect on suprasegmental temporal characteristics. Given this evidence of speaker-individuality, we discuss suprasegmental temporal features' potential for forensic voice comparison. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The Discrimination, Perception, and Production of German /r/ Allophones by German Speakers and Two Groups of American English Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tepeli, Dilara

    2011-01-01

    The German /r/ sound is one of the most difficult sounds for American English (AE) speakers who are learning German as a foreign language to produce. The standard German /r/ variant [/R/] and dialectal variant [R] are achieved by varying the tongue constriction degree, while keeping the place of articulation constant [Schiller and Mooshammer…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Assef Khalili

    2016-06-01

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

  18. New and Not so New Horizons: Brief Encounters between UK Undergraduate Native-Speaker and Non-Native-Speaker Englishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Juliet

    2011-01-01

    This paper explores the apparent contradiction between the valuing and promoting of diverse literacies in most UK HEIs, and the discursive construction of spoken native-speaker English as the medium of good grades and prestige academic knowledge. During group interviews on their experiences of university internationalisation, 38 undergraduate…

  19. The Performance of Native Speakers of English and ESL Speakers on the Computer-based TOEFL and GRE General Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stricker, L. J.

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to replicate previous research on the construct validity of the paper-based version of the TOEFL and extend it to the computer-based TOEFL. Two samples of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test-takers were used: native speakers of English specially recruited to take the computer-based TOEFL, and ESL…

  20. Optimizing text-independent speaker recognition using an LSTM neural network

    OpenAIRE

    Larsson, Joel

    2014-01-01

    In this paper a novel speaker recognition system is introduced. Automated speaker recognition has become increasingly popular to aid in crime investigations and authorization processes with the advances in computer science. Here, a recurrent neural network approach is used to learn to identify ten speakers within a set of 21 audio books. Audio signals are processed via spectral analysis into Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients that serve as speaker specific features, which are input to the ne...

  1. 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.

    2017-01-01

    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

  2. Defining "Native Speaker" in Multilingual Settings: English as a Native Language in Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen Edwards, Jette G.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  3. Signal-to-Signal Ratio Independent Speaker Identification for Co-channel Speech Signals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saeidi, Rahim; Mowlaee, Pejman; Kinnunen, Tomi

    2010-01-01

    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...

  4. A Comparison of Coverbal Gesture Use in Oral Discourse among Speakers with Fluent and Nonfluent Aphasia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Anthony Pak-Hin; Law, Sam-Po; Chak, Gigi Wan-Chi

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Coverbal gesture use, which is affected by the presence and degree of aphasia, can be culturally specific. The purpose of this study was to compare gesture use among Cantonese-speaking individuals: 23 neurologically healthy speakers, 23 speakers with fluent aphasia, and 21 speakers with nonfluent aphasia. Method: Multimedia data of…

  5. Race in Conflict with Heritage: "Black" Heritage Language Speaker of Japanese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doerr, Neriko Musha; Kumagai, Yuri

    2014-01-01

    "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,…

  6. The (TNO) Speaker Diarization System for NIST Rich Transcription Evaluation 2005 for meeting data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, D.A. van

    2005-01-01

    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

  7. The TNO speaker diarization system for NIST RT05s meeting data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, D.A. van

    2006-01-01

    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.

  8. Is a shared interlanguage beneficial? Mutual intelligibility of American, Dutch and Mandarin speakers of English

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, H.; Heuven, van V.J.J.P.; Doel, van den R.; Rupp, L.

    2014-01-01

    We determined the mutual intelligibility Mandarin Chinese, Dutch and American speakers of English in all nine logically possible combinations of speaker and listener native language backgrounds. Designated speakers (one male, one female per language group) were selected from larger sets of 20

  9. The Influence of Language Proficiency on Book Search Behaviour

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skov, Mette; Bogers, Toine

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we describe our participation in the Interactive Social Book Search task at CLEF 2015. We focus our analysis on differences in search behaviour between native and non-native speakers of English. The analysis is based on both questionnaire and log data. 49 participants out of the 192...... speakers, but no significant differences were found in relation to number of queries, query length, depth of results inspection, number of books added to the book-bag, or length of notes explaining why a book was added to the book-bag....

  10. Listening and Reading Proficiency Levels of College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschirner, Erwin

    2016-01-01

    This article examines listening and reading proficiency levels of U.S. college foreign language students at major milestones throughout their undergraduate career. Data were collected from more than 3,000 participants studying seven languages at 21 universities and colleges across the United States. The results show that while listening…

  11. Developing a Psychometrically Sound Measure of Collegiate Teaching Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Donald C.; Engelland, Brian T.; Matherine, Curtis F.; Martin, William C.; Orgeron, Craig P.; Ring, J. Kirk; Smith, Gregory R.; Williams, Zachary

    2008-01-01

    While student evaluation of teaching (SET) has become a common practice on most college campuses, research suggests that weaknesses exist in many of the common instruments employed for this assessment. This study lays the groundwork for the development of an improved psychometrically sound measure of teaching proficiency that can be used in a…

  12. Oral proficiency assessment: the use of automatic speech ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The development and assessment of oral proficiency and listening comprehension is one of the most problematic aspects in language teaching, especially when the majority of testtakers are non-standard users of English. The main problems concern the feasibility of such testing and the need for reliable scoring. As far as ...

  13. Language Learning Strategies and English Proficiency of Chinese University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nisbet, Deanna L.; Tindall, Evie R.; Arroyo, Alan A.

    2005-01-01

    This study investigated the relationship between language learning strategy (LLS) preferences and English proficiency among Chinese university students. Oxford's (1990), Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) and an institutional version (ITP) of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) were administered to 168 third-year English…

  14. Assessing Critical Thinking Skills in Students with Limited English Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustafson, Marianne; Bochner, Joseph

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to describe a procedure that has been used successfully to evaluate the critical thinking (CT) abilities of a population of undergraduates having limited proficiency in the English language. The results of this study demonstrate that it is possible to obtain reliable evaluations of CT skills in undergraduates who…

  15. Advisory Working Alliance, Perceived English Proficiency, and Acculturative Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Meifen; Tsai, Pei-Chun; Chao, Ruth Chu-Lien; Du, Yi; Lin, Shu-Ping

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the moderators of (a) general or cross-cultural advisory working alliances and (b) perceived English proficiency on the association between acculturative stress and psychological distress. A total of 143 East Asian international students completed an online survey. Results from a hierarchical regression…

  16. Masked translation priming effects with low proficient bilinguals

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dimitropoulou, Maria; Duñabeitia, Jon Andoni; Carreiras, Manuel

    2011-01-01

    ... (Experimental Psychology 56:173–179). In a series of masked translation priming lexical decision experiments we examined whether the same pattern of effects would emerge with late and low proficient Greek (L1)–Spanish (L2) bilinguals...

  17. Online Assessment of Oral Proficiency for Intercultural Professional Communication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rusman, Ellen; Stoyanov, Slavi

    2012-01-01

    Rusman, E., & Stoyanov, S. (2011, 18 May). Online Assessment of Oral Proficiency for Intercultural Professional Communication. Presentation about the CEFcult project (www.cefcult.eu) at the workshop ‘Crossing borders’ organised by the Talenacademie, Heerlen, The Netherlands: Open University in the

  18. A retrospective evaluation of proficiency testing, and rapid HIV test ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Proficiency testing (PT) has been implemented as a form of External Quality Assurance (EQA) by the National HIV Reference Laboratory in Kenya since 2007 in order to monitor and improve on the quality of HIV testing and counselling HTC services. Objective: To compare concordance between National HIV ...

  19. Mismatch repair proficiency is not required for radioenhancement by gemcitabine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Bree, Chris; Rodermond, Hans M.; de Vos, Judith; Haveman, Jaap; Franken, Nicolaas A. P.

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: Mismatch repair (MMR) proficiency has been reported to either increase or decrease radioenhancement by 24-h incubations with gemcitabine. This study aimed to establish the importance of MMR for radioenhancement by gemcitabine after short-exposure, high-dose treatment and long-exposure,

  20. Bilingual Competence and Bilingual Proficiency in Child Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Norbert

    2011-01-01

    When two or more languages are part of a child's world, we are presented with a rich opportunity to learn something about language in general and about how the mind works. In this book, Norbert Francis examines the development of bilingual proficiency and the different kinds of competence that come together in making up its component parts. In…

  1. Internet Behaviours as Predictors of Reading Proficiency of Model ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Two instruments were validated and used for data collection: Students' Internet Behaviour Questionnaire r=.87) and Reading Proficiency Test (r=.79). Frequency counts, percentages and multiple regression analysis were used to analyse data. The results which were interpreted at 0.05 level of significance show students' ...

  2. Vocabulary and Reading Performances of Redesignated Fluent English Proficient Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Jin Kyoung; Lawrence, Joshua Fahey; Collins, Penelope; Snow, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    In this article, the researchers examined general vocabulary, academic vocabulary, and reading comprehension growth trajectories of adolescent redesignated fluent English proficient (RFEP) students using individual growth modeling analysis. The sample included 1,226 sixth- to eighth-grade RFEP students from six middle schools in an urban school…

  3. Fundamental movement skill proficiency of South African girls from a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Poor fundamental movement skills (FMS) proficiency can contribute to a decrease in participation in energy-expending recreational and sporting endeavours. Against the backdrop of the increasing obesity epidemic, ensuring that these foundational motor skills are established in childhood is justified. The purpose of this ...

  4. Convergent and Discriminant Validation of Oral Language Proficiency Tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachman, Lyle F.; Palmer, Adrian S.

    In a study designed to validate oral language proficiency tests, it is planned to administer a series of tests to 100 native Mandarin Chinese-speaking subjects (foreign students and their spouses). The tests will measure communicative competence in speaking (ability to speak, exhibiting control of linguistic, sociolinguistic, and pragmatic rules;…

  5. Proficiency test on incurred and spiked pesticide residues in cereals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Mette Erecius; Christensen, Hanne Bjerre; Herrmann, Susan Strange

    2009-01-01

    A proficiency test on incurred and spiked pesticide residues in wheat was organised in 2008. The test material was grown in 2007 and treated in the field with 14 pesticides formulations containing the active substances, alpha-cypermethrin, bifentrin, carbendazim, chlormequat, chlorpyrifos-methyl,...

  6. Determinants of second language proficiency among refugees in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tubergen, F.A. van

    2010-01-01

    Little is known about the language acquisition of refugees in Western countries. This study examines how pre- and post-migration characteristics of refugees are related to their second language proficiency. Data are from a survey of 3,500 refugees, who were born in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, former

  7. Conversion to a Proficiency Oriented Curriculum at the University Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Carmen Villegas; And Others

    A state grant to the Department of Romance Languages of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville has allowed development of a proficiency-based curriculum for first- and second-year French and Spanish. Most of the effort to date has been preparation of the syllabus based on specified goals and objectives, or student outcomes, focusing on allowing…

  8. The educational consequences of language proficiency for young children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yao, Yuxin; Ohinata, Asako; van Ours, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Our paper studies the educational consequences of language proficiency by investigating the relationship between dialect-speaking and academic performance of 5–6 year old children in the Netherlands. We find that dialect-speaking has a modestly negative effect on boys’ language test scores. In

  9. The Education Consequences of Language Proficiency for Young Children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yao, Yuxin; Ohinata, Asako; van Ours, Jan

    2016-01-01

    This paper studies the educational consequences of language proficiency by investigating the relationship between dialect-speaking and academic performance of 5-6 year old children in the Netherlands. We find that dialect-speaking has a modestly negative effect on boys' language test scores. In

  10. Motor proficiency and physical fitness in active and inactive girls ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In modern day society physical activity levels diminish rapidly among girls and may be a direct consequence of girls experiencing motor difficulties. Therefore the aim of the study was to compare motor proficiency levels and physical fitness levels among active and inactive girls (N=97), aged 12 to 13 years. The BOTMP ...

  11. Impact of English Proficiency on Academic Performance of International Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martirosyan, Nara M.; Hwang, Eunjin; Wanjohi, Reubenson

    2015-01-01

    Using an ex-post facto, non-experimental approach, this research examined the impact of English language proficiency and multilingualism on the academic performance of international students enrolled in a four-year university located in north central Louisiana in the United States. Data were collected through a self-reported questionnaire from 59…

  12. Developing Autonomous Learning for Oral Proficiency Using Digital Storytelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, SoHee

    2014-01-01

    Since online educational technology can support a ubiquitous language learning environment, there are many ways to develop English learners' autonomy through self-access learning. This study investigates whether English as a second language (ESL) learners can improve their oral proficiency through independent study by using online self-study…

  13. Second Language Proficiency and Cross-Language Lexical Activation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hell, J.G. van; Tanner, D.

    2012-01-01

    Although research has consistently shown that a bilingual's two languages interact on multiple levels, it is also well-established that bilinguals can vary considerably in their proficiency in the second language (L2). In this paper we review empirical studies that have examined how differences in

  14. Are antibiotic screening approaches sufficiently adequate? A proficiency test

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berendsen, B.J.A.; Pikkemaat, M.G.; Stolker, A.A.M.

    2011-01-01

    A proficiency test including the screening analysis of antibiotics in beef using cryogenicly minced materials was organized by RIKILT in 2009. The test included blank beef samples and beef samples spiked with either flumequine or a combination of lincomycin and spectinomycin around the maximum

  15. Reduced Frontal Activation with Increasing 2nd Language Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Maria; Federspiel, Andrea; Koenig, Thomas; Wirth, Miranka; Lehmann, Christoph; Wiest, Roland; Strik, Werner; Brandeis, Daniel; Dierks, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The factors influencing the degree of separation or overlap in the neuronal networks responsible for the processing of first and second language are still subject to investigation. This longitudinal study investigates how increasing second language proficiency influences activation differences during lexico-semantic processing of first and second…

  16. Music Teachers in Turkey: Their Proficiency, Working Environments and Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otacioglu, Sena Gursen

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was the collection of data concerning Turkish music teachers' proficiency and their place in the primary and secondary education system. In addition, information was collected regarding the teachers' working environment and professional complications. A total of 200 music teachers' opinions were compiled for the determination…

  17. English-for-Teaching: Rethinking Teacher Proficiency in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Donald; Katz, Anne; Garcia Gomez, Pablo; Burns, Anne

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of English teaching in state education systems places increasing demands on English language teachers and how they are trained. A major thrust of these efforts has focused on improving teachers' English language proficiency. This expectation is manifested in policy and pedagogical directives that teachers "teach English in…

  18. Proficiency in English as a second official language (ESOL) in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The paper first presents a background to English as the international and global language and the second official language as well as the medium of instruction in Lesotho. It further discusses the meaning of proficiency in English and the rationale for teaching and learning English as well as using English as the medium of ...

  19. Automated Assembly of Pre-equated Language Proficiency Tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Grant; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Examines the effectiveness of an automated language proficiency test assembly system at an air force base English Language Center. The study focuses on the equivalence of mean score difficulty, total score variance, and intercorrelation covariance across test norms and finds a high level of test-form equivalence and internal consistency. (nine…

  20. The Relationship Between Foreign Language Proficiency and Various Psychological Variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oskarsson, Mats

    A large-scale test development project at the Language Teaching Research Center of the University of Gothenburg aims to develop tests in English as a foreign language for use in various areas of business and public administration. After testing, certificates stating current proficiency level in each of the four language skills (listening, reading,…

  1. Beyond Host Language Proficiency: Coping Resources Predicting International Students' Satisfaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mak, Anita S.; Bodycott, Peter; Ramburuth, Prem

    2015-01-01

    As international students navigate in a foreign educational environment, having higher levels of coping or stress-resistance resources--both internal and external--could be related to increased satisfaction with personal and university life. The internal coping resources examined in this study were host language proficiency, self-esteem,…

  2. Learning Disabled Children's Syntactic Proficiency on a Communicative Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donahue, Mavis; And Others

    1982-01-01

    The syntactic proficiency of 67 learning disabled children was evaluated during a task requiring them to convey information to a listener. Learning disabled children in all grades were found to produce shorter mean main clauses than nondisabled children even on this relatively simple communicative task. (Author/SEW)

  3. Equine-assisted therapy as intervention for motor proficiency in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Equine-assisted therapy as intervention for motor proficiency in children with autism spectrum disorder: Case studies. ... EAT interventions could provide a suitable alternative approach for children on this spectrum who experience impairments in low muscle tone, repetitive motor movements, poor motor planning, postural ...

  4. The Impact of Second Language Proficiency in Dyadic Peer Feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, David; Mills, Amy

    2016-01-01

    Peer feedback is widely used in second and foreign language writing contexts. While second language (L2) proficiency is likely to be an important factor in determining peers' ability to give and utilize feedback, its contribution has been relatively under-researched. In the present study, 54 undergraduates in a foreign language writing context…

  5. Determinants of Second Language Proficiency among Refugees in the Netherlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Tubergen, Frank

    2010-01-01

    Little is known about the language acquisition of refugees in Western countries. This study examines how pre- and post-migration characteristics of refugees are related to their second language proficiency. Data are from a survey of 3,500 refugees, who were born in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, former Yugoslavia and Somalia, and who resided in the…

  6. Comparison of Critical Listening Proficiency of Teacher Candidates in Terms of Several Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazu, Hilal; Demiralp, Demet

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The research has been designed to determine the level of critical listening proficiency of the teacher candidates. It aims at finding answers to the following questions: (1) What is the level of critical listening proficiency of teacher candidates? (2) Do the teacher candidates' levels of critical listening proficiency indicate a…

  7. Production of Routines in L2 English: Effect of Proficiency and Study-Abroad Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taguchi, Naoko

    2013-01-01

    This preliminary study examined the effect of proficiency and study abroad experience on L2 learners' ability to produce routines. Participants were 64 Japanese students in an English-medium university in Japan. They were divided into three groups: Group 1 had lower proficiency with no study abroad experience, Group 2 had higher proficiency but no…

  8. Language Proficiency and Language Policy in South Africa: Findings from New Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posel, Dorrit; Casale, Daniela

    2011-01-01

    This study explores new data from 2008 on language proficiency and labour market outcomes in the context of South Africa's language-in-education policy. We show that the economic returns to English language proficiency are large and higher than those to home language proficiency for the majority of employed South Africans. This helps explain why…

  9. English language proficiency in South Africa at the turn of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The paper utilises the World Englishes paradigm to explore the issue of language proficiency: what type of English language proficiency will be most appropriate to South Africa at the start of the millennium? Three broad aspects of proficiency are proposed for further investigation, and in each case one particular area of ...

  10. 25 CFR 39.134 - How does a school identify a Limited English Proficient student?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 25 Indians 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false How does a school identify a Limited English Proficient....134 How does a school identify a Limited English Proficient student? A student is identified as limited English proficient (LEP) by using a nationally recognized scientifically research-based test. ...

  11. Facial Expression Generation from Speaker's Emotional States in Daily Conversation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Hiroki; Ohshima, Koh

    A framework for generating facial expressions from emotional states in daily conversation is described. It provides a mapping between emotional states and facial expressions, where the former is represented by vectors with psychologically-defined abstract dimensions, and the latter is coded by the Facial Action Coding System. In order to obtain the mapping, parallel data with rated emotional states and facial expressions were collected for utterances of a female speaker, and a neural network was trained with the data. The effectiveness of proposed method is verified by a subjective evaluation test. As the result, the Mean Opinion Score with respect to the suitability of generated facial expression was 3.86 for the speaker, which was close to that of hand-made facial expressions.

  12. Willing Learners yet Unwilling Speakers in ESL Classrooms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuraidah Ali

    2007-12-01

    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.

  13. Audio-visual active speaker tracking in cluttered indoors environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talantzis, Fotios; Pnevmatikakis, Aristodemos; Constantinides, Anthony G

    2009-02-01

    We propose a system for detecting the active speaker in cluttered and reverberant environments where more than one person speaks and moves. Rather than using only audio information, the system utilizes audiovisual information from multiple acoustic and video sensors that feed separate audio and video tracking modules. The audio module operates using a particle filter (PF) and an information-theoretic framework to provide accurate acoustic source location under reverberant conditions. The video subsystem combines in 3-D a number of 2-D trackers based on a variation of Stauffer's adaptive background algorithm with spatiotemporal adaptation of the learning parameters and a Kalman tracker in a feedback configuration. Extensive experiments show that gains are to be expected when fusion of the separate modalities is performed to detect the active speaker.

  14. Speaker comfort and increase of voice level in lecture rooms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brunskog, Jonas; Gade, Anders Christian; Bellester, G P

    2008-01-01

    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...... the objectively measurable parameters of the rooms and the objective voice power produced by speakers. In rooms with different sizes, reverberation time and other physical attributes, the sound power levels produced by six speakers where measured while giving a short lecture. Relevant room acoustic parameters...... that these changes were mainly related to the size of the room and to the gain or support produced by the room. To describe this quality, a new room acoustic quantity called 'room gain' is proposed....

  15. PCA/LDA approach for text-independent speaker recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Zhenhao; Sharma, Sudhendu R.; Smith, Mark J. T.

    2012-06-01

    Various algorithms for text-independent speaker recognition have been developed through the decades, aiming to improve both accuracy and efficiency. This paper presents a novel PCA/LDA-based approach that is faster than traditional statistical model-based methods and achieves competitive results. First, the performance based on only PCA and only LDA is measured; then a mixed model, taking advantages of both methods, is introduced. A subset of the TIMIT corpus composed of 200 male speakers, is used for enrollment, validation and testing. The best results achieve 100%, 96% and 95% classification rate at population level 50, 100 and 200, using 39- dimensional MFCC features with delta and double delta. These results are based on 12-second text-independent speech for training and 4-second data for test. These are comparable to the conventional MFCC-GMM methods, but require significantly less time to train and operate.

  16. Lingual Kinematics in Dysarthric and Nondysarthric Speakers with Parkinson's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Ney Wong

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Articulatory dysfunction is recognised as a major contributor to the speech disturbances seen in Parkinson's disease (PD. The present study aimed to compare lingual kinematics during consonant production within a sentence in eight dysarthric (DPD and seven nondysarthric (NDPD speakers with PD with those of eleven nonneurologically impaired normal participants. The tongue tip and tongue back movements of the participants during sentence production were recorded using electromagnetic articulography (EMA. Results showed that both the DPD and NDPD had deviant articulatory movement during consonant production that resulted in longer duration of consonant production. When compared with the NDPD group, the DPD group primarily exhibited increased range of lingual movement and compatible duration of production with an accompanying increase in maximum velocity, maximum acceleration, and maximum deceleration. These findings are contrary to proposed theories that suggest articulatory imprecision in dysarthric speakers with PD is the outcome of reduced range of articulatory movement.

  17. Basque speakers and the media: opinions, habits and attitudes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gorka Salces Alcalde

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This research tries to shed light on the relationship of Basque language speakers with the media, as its main aim is to help understand which social, psychological and cognitive mechanisms influence the media consumption of minoritised language speakers. To fulfill this purpose, it was used an integrated methodological perspective, which has combined conducting in-depth interviews, on the qualitative side, and the compilation of audience data, on the quantitative one. Given that both the media landscape and the Basque linguistic community are involved in a process of deep transformation, this work´s conclusions try to set out some findings and lines of reflection that could help Basque language media understand better their potential audience and anticipate the challenges of the near future.

  18. Nasalance values for syllables produced by Brazilian Portuguese speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marino, Viviane Cristina de Castro; Cardoso, Vanessa Moraes; Ramos, Renata Giorgetto; Dutka, Jeniffer de Cássia Rillo

    2016-07-04

    This study aimed to determine nasalance values for syllables produced by Brazilian Portuguese speakers of different ages and gender. Nasalance scores were collected for 14 syllables (10 orals and 4 nasals) using Nasometer II 6400. The participants were 245 Brazilian Portuguese speakers (121 males and 124 females), both genders, divided into four age groups: 57 children, 61 adolescents, 65 young adults and 62 adults. Nasalance scores for nasal syllables were higher than for oral syllables. For both, oral and nasal syllables, nasalance scores were higher for vowel /i/ than for /a/. Across all syllables, the females' nasalance scores were higher than males, with most of this difference attributed to the oldest age group where females mean nasalance was three points higher than males. Values obtained demonstrated nasalance scores variation according to gender, particularly for the adult group and for the syllables tested.

  19. English exposed common mistakes made by Chinese speakers

    CERN Document Server

    Hart, Steve

    2017-01-01

    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.

  20. Deixis in Spontaneous Speech of Jordanian Urban Arabic Native Speakers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zainab Sa'aida

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This study aims at describing types and usages of deixis in the speech of Jordanian Urban Arabic native speakers. The present study was conducted in different settings which researcher’s family members, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances took part in. Data of the study were collected through observing spontaneous speech of native speakers of Jordanian Urban Arabic. The data consist of transcriptions of deictic expressions, which were categorised into groups according to the types or usages of deictic words. The data were translated and transliterated by the researcher. The International Phonetic Alphabet symbols were used to transcribe the data. Findings of the study show that there are five types of deictic expressions in Jordanian Urban Arabic: Personal, spatial, temporal, discourse and social deixis. The current study has also described the various usages of deictic words in Jordanian Urban Arabic: gestural, symbolic, and non-deictic usage.

  1. The vowel inherent spectral change of English vowels spoken by native and non-native speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Su-Hyun; Liu, Chang

    2013-05-01

    The current study examined Vowel Inherent Spectral Change (VISC) of English vowels spoken by English-, Chinese-, and Korean-native speakers. Two metrics, spectral distance (amount of spectral shift) and spectral angle (direction of spectral shift) of formant movement from the onset to the offset, were measured for 12 English monophthongs produced in a /hvd/ context. While Chinese speakers showed significantly greater spectral distances of vowels than English and Korean speakers, there was no significant speakers' native language effect on spectral angles. Comparisons to their native vowels for Chinese and Korean speakers suggest that VISC might be affected by language-specific phonological structure.

  2. Speaking Effectively: A Guide for Air Force Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-12-01

    anxious. Yet some nervousness is both natural and desirable. Even skilled speakers often experience the queasy feeling of “ butterflies in the stomach ...a) Compare meanings from different cultures (okay and victory signs). (b) Demonstrate use of hands. (3) Torso (demonstrate shoulder, chest, stomach ...as they prepare to speak. The secret is to get the butterflies “flying in formation,” through practice. Just as a visiting athletic team practices on

  3. Neural bases of congenital amusia in tonal language speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Caicai; Peng, Gang; Shao, Jing; Wang, William S-Y

    2017-03-01

    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

  4. Respirator Speech Intelligibility Testing with an Experienced Speaker

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    enunciation, accent, and pronunciation may adversely affect sound conveyance and speech intelligibility during respirator wear. It was postulated that an...having three sounds in a consonant- vowel -consonant sequence. The MRT requires listeners to correctly identify single-syllable words spoken by a...respirator wearer. Sound output level, enunciation, accent, and pronunciation of the respirator-wearing test speaker may adversely affect the sound

  5. Teaching English to speakers of other languages an introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Nunan, David

    2015-01-01

    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.

  6. Repetition Priming Effects in Proficient Mandarin-Cantonese and Cantonese-Mandarin Bidialectals: An Event-Related Potential Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Aiwen; Chen, Zhuoming; Chang, Yanqun; Zhou, Shu; Wu, Limei; Liu, Yaozhong; Zhang, Guoxiong

    2017-12-01

    The present study adopted a repetition priming paradigm to investigate the bidialectal (bilingual) representation of speakers with different native dialects by event-related potential (ERP) technique. Proficient Mandarin-Cantonese and Cantonese-Mandarin bidialectals participated in the study. They were required to judge whether a word was a biological word or not, when the words (target word) were represented under four types of repetition priming conditions: Mandarin (prime)-Mandarin (target), Mandarin (prime)-Cantonese (target), Cantonese (prime)-Cantonese (target) and Cantonese (prime)-Mandarin (target). Results of reaction time and accuracy primarily indicated larger repetition priming effects in Mandarin-Mandarin and Cantonese-Cantonese (within-language) conditions than that in Mandarin-Cantonese and Cantonese-Mandarin (between-language) conditions. But more importantly, P200 and N400 mean amplitudes revealed distinct repetition priming effects between two types of participants. Specifically, both P200 and N400 indicated that the repetition priming effect in Mandarin-Mandarin condition was larger than that in Cantonese-Cantonese condition for Mandarin-Cantonese participants, whereas it was opposite for Cantonese-Mandarin participants. In addition, P200 also suggested opposite patterns of repetition priming effects in between-language priming conditions for two groups of participants. The repetition priming effect in Mandarin-Cantonese condition was larger than that in Cantonese-Mandarin condition for Mandarin-Cantonese participants, while for Cantonese-Mandarin participants, it was opposite (Mandarin-Cantonese < Cantonese-Mandarin). The results implied a clear asymmetric representation of two dialects for proficient bidialectals. They were further discussed in light of native dialect and language use frequency.

  7. Can Higher-Proficiency L2 Learners Benefit from Working with Lower-Proficiency Partners in Peer Feedback?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Shulin; Hu, Guangwei

    2017-01-01

    Informed by Vygotsky's conceptualization of the Zone of Proximal Development, this case study investigated the benefits of peer feedback on second language (L2) writing for students with high L2 proficiency and the factors that may influence their learning in peer feedback in the Chinese English-as-a-foreign-language context. Specifically, the…

  8. Identifying the Attended Speaker Using Electrocorticographic (ECoG) Signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dijkstra, K.; Brunner, P.; Gunduz, A.; Coon, W.; Ritaccio, A.L.; Farquhar, J.; Schalk, G.

    2015-01-01

    People affected by severe neuro-degenerative diseases (e.g., late-stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or locked-in syndrome) eventually lose all muscular control. Thus, they cannot use traditional assistive communication devices that depend on muscle control, or brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) that depend on the ability to control gaze. While auditory and tactile BCIs can provide communication to such individuals, their use typically entails an artificial mapping between the stimulus and the communication intent. This makes these BCIs difficult to learn and use. In this study, we investigated the use of selective auditory attention to natural speech as an avenue for BCI communication. In this approach, the user communicates by directing his/her attention to one of two simultaneously presented speakers. We used electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals in the gamma band (70–170 Hz) to infer the identity of attended speaker, thereby removing the need to learn such an artificial mapping. Our results from twelve human subjects show that a single cortical location over superior temporal gyrus or pre-motor cortex is typically sufficient to identify the attended speaker within 10 s and with 77% accuracy (50% accuracy due to chance). These results lay the groundwork for future studies that may determine the real-time performance of BCIs based on selective auditory attention to speech. PMID:26949710

  9. On how accent distribution can signal speaker adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaland, Constantijn; Krahmer, Emiel; Swerts, Marc

    2012-01-01

    Some dialogues are perceived as running more smoothly than others. To some extent that impression could be related to how well speakers adapt their prosody to each other. Adaptation in prosody can be signaled by the use of pitch accents that indicate how utterances are structurally related to those of the interlocutor (prosodic function) or by copying the interlocutor's prosodic features (prosodic form). The same acoustic features, such as pitch, are involved in both ways of adaptation. Further, function and form may require a different prosody for successful adaptation in certain discourse contexts. In this study we investigate to what extent interlocutors are perceived as good adapters, depending on whether the prosody of both speakers is functionally coherent or similar in form. This is done in two perception tests using prosodically manipulated dialogues. Results show that coherent functional prosody can be a cue for speaker adaptation and that this cue is more powerful than similarity in prosodic form. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. Overlap and Differences in Brain Networks Underlying the Processing of Complex Sentence Structures in Second Language Users Compared with Native Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Kirsten; Luther, Lisa; Indefrey, Peter; Hagoort, Peter

    2016-05-01

    When we learn a second language later in life, do we integrate it with the established neural networks in place for the first language or is at least a partially new network recruited? While there is evidence that simple grammatical structures in a second language share a system with the native language, the story becomes more multifaceted for complex sentence structures. In this study, we investigated the underlying brain networks in native speakers compared with proficient second language users while processing complex sentences. As hypothesized, complex structures were processed by the same large-scale inferior frontal and middle temporal language networks of the brain in the second language, as seen in native speakers. These effects were seen both in activations and task-related connectivity patterns. Furthermore, the second language users showed increased task-related connectivity from inferior frontal to inferior parietal regions of the brain, regions related to attention and cognitive control, suggesting less automatic processing for these structures in a second language.

  11. Compensations to auditory feedback perturbations in congenitally blind and sighted speakers: Acoustic and articulatory data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trudeau-Fisette, Pamela; Tiede, Mark; Ménard, Lucie

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of visual deprivation on the relationship between speech perception and production by examining compensatory responses to real-time perturbations in auditory feedback. Specifically, acoustic and articulatory data were recorded while sighted and congenitally blind French speakers produced several repetitions of the vowel /ø/. At the acoustic level, blind speakers produced larger compensatory responses to altered vowels than their sighted peers. At the articulatory level, blind speakers also produced larger displacements of the upper lip, the tongue tip, and the tongue dorsum in compensatory responses. These findings suggest that blind speakers tolerate less discrepancy between actual and expected auditory feedback than sighted speakers. The study also suggests that sighted speakers have acquired more constrained somatosensory goals through the influence of visual cues perceived in face-to-face conversation, leading them to tolerate less discrepancy between expected and altered articulatory positions compared to blind speakers and thus resulting in smaller observed compensatory responses.

  12. The relationship between the critical thinking skills and the academic language proficiency of prospective teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M M (Mary Grosser

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We report on the relationships that exist between the critical thinking skills and the academic language proficiency ofa group of first-year prospective teachers at a South African university (n = 89. The results revealed the nature of the critical thinking skills as well as the academic language proficiency of the students. Significant correlations between academic language proficiency and making inferences, as well as between academic language proficiency and critical thinking as a general competency, were noted. The article concludes with recommendations on how to enhance critical thinking and language proficiency in the teacher-training curriculum.

  13. 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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  14. An analysis of topics and vocabulary in Chinese oral narratives by normal speakers and speakers with fluent aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Sam-Po; Kong, Anthony Pak-Hin; Lai, Christy

    2017-07-13

    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 ( http://www.speech.hku.hk/caphbank/search/ ). 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.

  15. The English Proficiency of the Academics of the Teacher Training and Education Institutions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Saukah

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The study is aimed at describing the general English proficiency level of the academics of Teacher Training and Education Institutions (LPTK's as indicated by their TOEFL scores. Specifically, the study is focused on finding out whether there is any difference among the academics' English proficiencies when they are grouped in terms of the geographic regions of their institutions and their fields of study. This study is also intended to reveal any possible relationship between the academics' English proficiency and their age. The results indicate that the English proficiency of the academics on the average is far below the average of that of the international students. The academics in West Java are the highest in their English proficiency, and the English group, as expected, has the best English proficiency. In addition, there is a negative correlation between English proficiency and age

  16. More on Dutch English ... please? : a study of request performance by Dutch native speakers, English native speakers and Dutch learners of English

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriks, B.C.

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of the study is to investigate similarities and differences in the use of politeness strategies in formulating requests between Dutch learners of English, native speakers of Dutch and native speakers of English. A second objective was to gain more insights into the influence of

  17. Making Math Real: Effective Qualities of Guest Speaker Presentations and the Impact of Speakers on Student Attitude and Achievement in the Algebra Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKain, Danielle R.

    2012-01-01

    The term real world is often used in mathematics education, yet the definition of real-world problems and how to incorporate them in the classroom remains ambiguous. One way real-world connections can be made is through guest speakers. Guest speakers can offer different perspectives and share knowledge about various subject areas, yet the impact…

  18. Who's Marking My Essay? The Assessment of Non-Native-Speaker and Native-Speaker Undergraduate Essays in an Australian Higher Education Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hagan, Sally Roisin; Wigglesworth, Gillian

    2015-01-01

    Assessment is a crucial factor in higher education where marks gained can determine future study and career options. Increasing student numbers, and an increasing proportion of international students, raises concerns regarding marking practices, and whether the same criteria are used to mark both native-speaker (NS) and non-native-speaker (NNS)…

  19. First Language Proficiency and Successful Foreign Language Learning: The Case of High School Students Learning French as a Foreign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gnintedem, Antoine

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated whether there was a correlation between first language proficiency as measured by the Mississippi Curriculum Test (MCT II) Reading and Language Arts and foreign language proficiency as measured by the French Language Proficiency Test. Data for the independent variable, first language proficiency, was collected from the…

  20. "I May Be a Native Speaker but I'm Not Monolingual": Reimagining "All" Teachers' Linguistic Identities in TESOL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Elizabeth M.

    2016-01-01

    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…

  1. Clinical teachers' perceptions of medical students' English language proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chur-Hansen, A; Vernon-Roberts, J

    1998-07-01

    Medical educators from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, have expressed reservations about the adequacy of some undergraduate medical students' English language proficiency for satisfactory academic and clinical performance. This study explores the occurrence and nature of the comments made in writing by clinical teachers about the English language proficiency of 568 students over a period of 4 years. The frequency and nature of the comments made by clinicians have important implications for the planning and implementation of pedagogical strategies to support non-English-speaking background medical students experiencing difficulties with their course due to language. Although the University of Adelaide has introduced initiatives in response to some of the problems that have been identified, it is recommended that any teaching interventions require careful evaluation through a longitudinal research design to ensure that their aims are being achieved.

  2. Theory and practice: Science for undergraduates of limited English proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenthal, Judith W.

    1993-06-01

    Between 1980 and 1990, the total number of Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, and foreign undergraduates increased by more than 50% at public and private, four-year and two-year colleges. Many of these students may be of limited English proficiency, suggesting that the traditional science lecture/lab format may need modification to incorporate the theory of second language acquisition as it pertains to the practice of content instruction. Various methods exist to improve science instruction for limited English proficient undergraduates. These included the adjunct and tutorial models, sheltered or bridge science instruction, faculty development, and science instruction in the students' native language. Any plan for science education reform at the collegiate level or for increasing minority participation in science must address the needs of the growing population of undergraduates who speak English as a second language.

  3. Fluctuation analysis of proficient and dysgraphic handwriting in children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblum, S.; Roman, H. E.

    2009-03-01

    We analyze handwriting records from several school children with the aim of characterizing the fluctuating behavior of the writing speed. It will be concluded that remarkable differences exist between proficient and dysgraphic handwritings which were unknown so far. It is shown that in the case of proficient handwriting, the variations in handwriting speed are strongly autocorrelated within times corresponding to the completion of a single character or letter, while become uncorrelated at longer times. In the case of dysgraphia, such correlations persist on longer time scales and the autocorrelation function seems to display algebraic time decay, indicating the presence of strong anomalies in the handwriting process. Applications of the results in educational/clinical programs are envisaged.

  4. Hybrid vector quantization/neural tree network classifiers for speaker recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, Kevin R.; Mammone, Richard J.

    1994-10-01

    A new classification system for text-independent speaker recognition is presented. Text- independent speaker recognition systems generally model each speaker with a single classifier. The traditional methods use unsupervised training algorithms, such as vector quantization (VQ), to model each speaker. Such methods base their decision on the distortion between an observation and the speaker model. Recently, supervised training algorithms, such as neural networks, have been successfully applied to speaker recognition. Here, each speaker is represented by a neural network. Due to their discriminative training, neural networks capture the differences between speakers and use this criteria for decision making. Hence, the output of a neural network can be considered as an interclass measure. The VQ classifier, on the other hand, uses a distortion which is independent of the other speaker models, and can be considered as an intraclass measure. Since these two measures are based on different criteria, they can be effectively combined to yield improved performance. This paper uses data fusion concepts to combine the outputs of the neural tree network and VQ classifiers. The combined system is evaluated for text-independent speaker identification and verification and is shown to outperform either classifier when used individually.

  5. Shhh… I Need Quiet! Children's Understanding of American, British, and Japanese-accented English Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bent, Tessa; Holt, Rachael Frush

    2018-02-01

    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.

  6. Real-time production of arguments and adjuncts in normal and agrammatic speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jiyeon; Thompson, Cynthia K

    2011-10-01

    Two eyetracking experiments examined the real-time production of verb arguments and adjuncts in healthy and agrammatic aphasic speakers. Verb argument structure has been suggested to play an important role during grammatical encoding (Bock & Levelt, 1994) and in speech deficits of agrammatic aphasic speakers (Thompson, 2003). However, little is known about how adjuncts are processed during sentence production. The present experiments measured eye movements while speakers were producing sentences with a goal argument (e.g., the mother is applying lotion to the baby) and a beneficiary adjunct phrase (e.g., the mother is choosing lotion for the baby) using a set of computer-displayed written words. Results showed that the sentence production system experiences greater processing cost for producing adjuncts than verb arguments and this distinction is preserved even after brain-damage. In Experiment 1, healthy young speakers showed greater gaze durations and gaze shifts for adjuncts as compared to arguments. The same patterns were found in agrammatic and older speakers in Experiment 2. Interestingly, the three groups of speakers showed different time courses for encoding adjuncts: young speakers showed greater processing cost for adjuncts during speech, consistent with incremental production (Kempen & Hoenkamp, 1987). Older speakers showed this difference both before speech onset and during speech, while aphasic speakers appeared to preplan adjuncts before speech onset. These findings suggest that the degree of incrementality may be affected by speakers' linguistic capacity.

  7. The impact of threshold language assistance programming on the accessibility of mental health services for persons with limited English proficiency in the Medi-Cal setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClellan, Sean R; Wu, Frances M; Snowden, Lonnie R

    2012-06-01

    Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits federal funds recipients from providing care to limited English proficiency (LEP) persons more limited in scope or lower in quality than care provided to others. In 1999, the California Department of Mental Health implemented a "threshold language access policy" to meet its Title VI obligations. Under this policy, Medi-Cal agencies must provide language assistance programming in a non-English language where a county's Medical population contains either 3000 residents or 5% speakers of that language. We examine the impact of threshold language policy-required language assistance programming on LEP persons' access to mental health services by analyzing the county-level penetration rate of services for Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese speakers across 34 California counties, over 10 years of quarterly data. Exploiting a time series with nonequivalent control group study design, we studied this phenomena using linear regression with random county effects to account for trends over time. Threshold language policy-required assistance programming led to an immediate and significant increase in the penetration rate of mental health services for Russian (8.2, P language speaking persons. Threshold language assistance programming was effective in increasing mental health access for Russian and Vietnamese, but not for Spanish-speaking LEP persons.

  8. Manufacturing Industry Employers’ Perception of Graduates’ English Language Skills Proficiency

    OpenAIRE

    Manjet Kaur Mehar Singh; Julie Chuah Suan Choo

    2012-01-01

    Proficiency in English language skills among graduates that create advantages for the organization is preferred by prospective employers as one of the main criteria for employability.  This article provides an overview of undergraduates in higher education and also workplace literacy from the perspective of the employers in the manufacturing industry. The result from the research demonstrates that Malaysian manufacturing industry employers perceive that the graduate employees’ English languag...

  9. A Study on Listening Anxiety and Listening Proficiency

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HAN Ju-hong

    2015-01-01

    Three instruments are adopted including the Foreign Language Listening Anxiety Scales (FLLAS), a listening metacog⁃nitive strategy-use questionnaire and a CET-4 listening test. The results indicate that a large proportion of students report experi⁃encing listening anxiety. There is significantly negative correlation between listening anxiety and listening proficiency and there is significant difference in the use of metacognitive strategies across three listening anxiety levels.

  10. Cell Phone Use and Child and Adolescent Reading Proficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofferth, Sandra L.; Moon, Ui Jeong

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the association between cell phone use, including minutes spent talking and number of text messages sent, and two measures of children’s reading proficiency — tests of word decoding and reading comprehension — in the United States. Data were drawn from the Child Development Supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative survey of 1,147 children 10–18 in 2009. Children whose parents were better educated, who had higher family incomes, who had fewer siblings, and who lived in urban areas were more likely to own or share a cell phone. Among those with access to a phone, children who spent more time talking on the phone were less proficient at word decoding, whereas children who spent more time sending text messages had greater reading comprehension. Although girls spent more time texting than did boys, there were no gender differences in the association between time spent talking or number of text messages sent with achievement. In spite of racial/ethnic differences in cell phone use levels, there were no racial/ethnic differences in the association between cell phone use and reading proficiency. PMID:27683624

  11. Resenha: Measuring L2 Proficiency: Perspectives from SLA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Paula Scholl

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available O livro Measuring L2 Proficiency: Perspectives from SLA traz contribuições de autores de diferentes áreas da pesquisa sobre Aquisição de Segunda Língua para a discussão sobre o que significa ser proficiente em uma segunda língua. Essa publicação tem como objetivo principal diminuir a lacuna existente entre a pesquisa de aquisição de segunda língua e o ensino de línguas, trazendo ideias concretas sobre a identificação e a avaliação de proficiência linguística para aplicação em pesquisa ou sala de aula. Assim, a leitura dos artigos que compõem o volume pode contribuir com pesquisadores e professores que em seu trabalho lidem com o conceito de proficiência ou com a sua avaliação.

  12. Neural systems for evaluating speaker (Un)believability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Xiaoming; Sanford, Ryan; Pell, Marc D

    2017-04-30

    Our voice provides salient cues about how confident we sound, which promotes inferences about how believable we are. However, the neural mechanisms involved in these social inferences are largely unknown. Employing functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined the brain networks and individual differences underlying the evaluation of speaker believability from vocal expressions. Participants (n = 26) listened to statements produced in a confident, unconfident, or "prosodically unmarked" (neutral) voice, and judged how believable the speaker was on a 4-point scale. We found frontal-temporal networks were activated for different levels of confidence, with the left superior and inferior frontal gyrus more activated for confident statements, the right superior temporal gyrus for unconfident expressions, and bilateral cerebellum for statements in a neutral voice. Based on listener's believability judgment, we observed increased activation in the right superior parietal lobule (SPL) associated with higher believability, while increased left posterior central gyrus (PoCG) was associated with less believability. A psychophysiological interaction analysis found that the anterior cingulate cortex and bilateral caudate were connected to the right SPL when higher believability judgments were made, while supplementary motor area was connected with the left PoCG when lower believability judgments were made. Personal characteristics, such as interpersonal reactivity and the individual tendency to trust others, modulated the brain activations and the functional connectivity when making believability judgments. In sum, our data pinpoint neural mechanisms that are involved when inferring one's believability from a speaker's voice and establish ways that these mechanisms are modulated by individual characteristics of a listener. Hum Brain Mapp, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Join the NASA Science Mission Directorate Scientist Speaker's Bureau!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, H.; Shupla, C. B.; Buxner, S.; Shipp, S. S.

    2013-12-01

    Join the new NASA SMD Scientist Speaker's Bureau, an online portal to connect scientists interested in getting involved in E/PO projects (e.g., giving public talks, classroom visits, and virtual connections) with audiences! The Scientist Speaker's Bureau helps educators and institutions connect with NASA scientists who are interested in giving presentations, based upon the topic, logistics, and audience. Aside from name, organization, location, bio, and (optional) photo and website, the information that scientists enter into this database will not be made public; instead, it will be used to help match scientists with the requests being placed. One of the most common ways for scientists to interact with students, adults, and general public audiences is to give presentations about or related to their science. However, most educators do not have a simple way to connect with those planetary scientists, Earth scientists, heliophysicists, and astronomers who are interested and available to speak with their audiences. This system is designed to help meet the need for connecting potential audiences to interested scientists. The information input into the database (availability to travel, willingness to present online or in person, interest in presenting to different age groups and sizes of audience, topics, and more) will be used to help match scientists (you!) with the requests being placed by educators. All NASA-funded Earth and space scientists engaged in active research are invited to fill out the short registration form, including those who are involved in missions, institutes, grants, and those who are using NASA science data in their research, and more. There is particular need for young scientists, such as graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, and women and people of diverse backgrounds. Submit your information at http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/speaker.

  14. Text-Independent Speaker Identification Using the Histogram Transform Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ma, Zhanyu; Yu, Hong; Tan, Zheng-Hua

    2016-01-01

    . 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......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...

  15. Gender Identification of the Speaker Using VQ Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasif V. Nabiyev

    2009-11-01

    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

  16. Through the Veil of Language: Exploring the Hidden Curriculum for the Care of Patients With Limited English Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenison, Tiffany C; Madu, Andrea; Krupat, Edward; Ticona, Luis; Vargas, Iris M; Green, Alexander R

    2017-01-01

    Patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) experience lower-quality health care and are at higher risk of experiencing adverse events than fluent English speakers. Despite some formal training for health professions students on caring for patients with LEP, the hidden curriculum may have a greater influence on learning. The authors designed this study to characterize the hidden curriculum that medical and nursing students experience regarding the care of patients with LEP. In 2014, the authors invited students from one medical school and one nursing school, who had completed an interprofessional pilot curriculum on caring for patients with LEP 6 to 10 months earlier, to participate in semistructured interviews about their clinical training experiences with LEP patients. The authors independently coded the interview transcripts, compared them for agreement, and performed content analysis to identify major themes. Thirteen students (7 medical and 6 nursing students) participated. Four major themes emerged: role modeling, systems factors, learning environment, and organizational culture. All 13 students described negative role modeling experiences, and most described role modeling that the authors coded as "indifferent." Students felt that the current system and learning environment did not support or emphasize high-quality care for patients with LEP. The hidden curriculum that health professional students experience regarding the care of patients with LEP is influenced by systems limitations and a learning environment and organizational culture that value efficiency over effective communication. Role modeling seems strongly linked to these factors as supervisors struggle with these same challenges.

  17. Does a peer model's task proficiency influence children's solution choice and innovation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Lara A; Kendal, Rachel L; Flynn, Emma G

    2015-11-01

    The current study investigated whether 4- to 6-year-old children's task solution choice was influenced by the past proficiency of familiar peer models and the children's personal prior task experience. Peer past proficiency was established through behavioral assessments of interactions with novel tasks alongside peer and teacher predictions of each child's proficiency. Based on these assessments, one peer model with high past proficiency and one age-, sex-, dominance-, and popularity-matched peer model with lower past proficiency were trained to remove a capsule using alternative solutions from a three-solution artificial fruit task. Video demonstrations of the models were shown to children after they had either a personal successful interaction or no interaction with the task. In general, there was not a strong bias toward the high past-proficiency model, perhaps due to a motivation to acquire multiple methods and the salience of other transmission biases. However, there was some evidence of a model-based past-proficiency bias; when the high past-proficiency peer matched the participants' original solution, there was increased use of that solution, whereas if the high past-proficiency peer demonstrated an alternative solution, there was increased use of the alternative social solution and novel solutions. Thus, model proficiency influenced innovation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Disparities in Hypertension Associated with Limited English Proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eun Ji; Kim, Taekyu; Paasche-Orlow, Michael K; Rose, Adam J; Hanchate, Amresh D

    2017-06-01

    Limited English proficiency (LEP) is associated with poor health status and worse outcomes. To examine disparities in hypertension between National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) respondents with LEP versus adequate English proficiency. Retrospective analysis of multi-year survey data. Adults 18 years of age and older who participated in the NHANES survey during the period 2003-2012. We defined participants with LEP as anyone who completed the NHANES survey in a language other than English or with the support of an interpreter. Using logistic regression, we estimated the odds ratio for undiagnosed or uncontrolled hypertension (systolic blood pressure (SBP) > 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) > 90 mmHg) among LEP participants relative to those with adequate English proficiency. We adjusted for sociodemographic, acculturation-related, and hypertension-related variables. Fourteen percent (n = 3,269) of the participants had limited English proficiency: 12.4% (n = 2906) used a Spanish questionnaire and 1.6% (n = 363) used an interpreter to complete the survey in another language. Those with LEP had higher odds of elevated blood pressure on physical examination (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.47 [1.07-2.03]). This finding persisted among participants using an interpreter (AOR = 1.88 [1.15-3.06]) but not among those using the Spanish questionnaire (AOR = 1.32 [0.98-1.80]). In a subgroup analysis, we found that the majority of uncontrolled hypertension was concentrated among individuals with a known diagnosis of hypertension (AOR = 1.80 [1.16-2.81]) rather than those with undiagnosed hypertension (AOR = 1.14 [0.74-1.75]). Interpreter use was associated with increased odds of uncontrolled hypertension, especially among patients who were not being medically managed for hypertension (AOR = 6.56 [1.30-33.12]). In a nationally representative sample, participants with LEP were more likely to have poorly

  19. Communicative functions of directional verbal probabilities: Speaker's choice, listener's inference, and reference points.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, Hidehito; Yamagishi, Kimihiko

    2017-10-01

    Verbal probabilities have directional communicative functions, and most can be categorized as positive (e.g., "it is likely") or negative (e.g., "it is doubtful"). We examined the communicative functions of verbal probabilities based on the reference point hypothesis According to this hypothesis, listeners are sensitive to and can infer a speaker's reference points based on the speaker's selected directionality. In four experiments (two of which examined speakers' choice of directionality and two of which examined listeners' inferences about a speaker's reference point), we found that listeners could make inferences about speakers' reference points based on the stated directionality of verbal probability. Thus, the directionality of verbal probabilities serves the communicative function of conveying information about a speaker's reference point.

  20. Maintaining Distinctiveness at Increased Speaking Rates: A Comparison between Congenitally Blind and Sighted Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ménard, Lucie; Côté, Dominique; Trudeau-Fisette, Pamela

    2016-01-01

    The effects of increased speaking rates on vowels have been well documented in sighted adults. It has been reported that in fast speech, vowels are less widely spaced acoustically than in their citation form. Vowel space compression has also been reported in congenitally blind speakers. The objective of the study was to investigate the interaction of vision and speaking rate in adult speakers. Contrast distances between vowels were examined in conversational and fast speech produced by 10 congenitally blind and 10 sighted French-Canadian adults. Acoustic analyses were carried out. Compared with the sighted speakers, in the fast speaking condition, the blind speakers produced more vowels with contrast along the height, place of articulation, and rounding features located within the auditory target regions typical of French vowels. Blind speakers relied more heavily than sighted speakers on auditory properties of vowels to maintain perceptual distinctiveness. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.