Relative difficulty of understanding foreign accents as a marker of proficiency. / Lev Ari, Shiri; van Heugten, Marieke; Peperkamp, Sharon.

In: Cognitive Science, Vol. 41, No. 4, 01.05.2017, p. 1106-1118.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Foreign-accented speech is generally harder to understand than native-accented speech. This difficulty is reduced for non-native listeners who share their first language with the non-native speaker. It is currently unclear, however, how non-native listeners deal with foreign-accented speech produced by speakers of a different language. We show that the process of (second) language acquisition is associated with an increase in the relative difficulty of processing foreign-accented speech. Therefore, experiencing greater relative difficulty with foreign-accented speech compared with native speech is a marker of language proficiency. These results contribute to our understanding of how phonological categories are acquired during second language learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1106-1118
Number of pages13
JournalCognitive Science
Issue number4
Early online date12 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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