Listeners can adapt to errors in foreign-accented speech, but not all errors are alike. We investigated whether exposure to unsystematic tone errors in second language Mandarin impacts responses to accurately produced words. Native Mandarin speakers completed a cross-modal priming task with words produced by foreign-accented talkers who either produced consistently correct tones, or frequent tone errors. Facilitation from primes bearing correct tones was unaffected by the presence of tone errors elsewhere in the talker's speech. However, primes bearing tone errors inhibited recognition of real words and elicited stronger accentedness ratings. We consider theoretical implications for tone in foreign-accent adaptation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language