Talk by Prof. Andrea Weber

Event Date: 
Fri, 12/06/2015 - 15:00

CBC Seminars


Andrea Weber, from Department of English, University of Tubingen (Germany), invited by Albert Costa (SPB Group)


Title: Adaptive listening: the case of foreign-accented speech



Understanding a second language (L2) speaker is often perceived to be more difficult than understanding a native (L1) speaker. Speech from L2 speakers typically deviates from the standard pronunciation of a target language, i.e., it is foreign-accented, and the deviations can easily obstruct the complex processes of comprehension. Recent research, however, has shown that we can rapidly overcome initial processing difficulties and adapt to foreign-accented speech, both when listening to our native language and when listening to a second language. In this talk I will discuss underlying mechanisms and boundaries of this adaptation process and present data from a series of experiments on English interdental fricatives. Interdental fricatives are difficult for many L2 speakers of English, and learners often replace English th with other consonants, with different substitution preferences across accents. The results suggest an interesting difference in the use of knowledge about segmental variations, with L2 listeners being able to use this knowledge for immediate form activation but not for meaning activation.



Please notice the chage of location and time!

Friday, June 12nd, at 15:00



Campus de la Comunicacio UPF, C/ Roc Boronat, 132. MAP
Auditiorium at UPF (Poblenou Campus)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra.



How to get there:

Metro: Llacuna or Poblenou <L4>, Glories <L1>, Tram: Ca l’aranyó [T4]