Accent rating by native and non-native listeners

Mirjam Wester, Cassie Mayo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This study investigates the influence of listener native language with respect to talker native language on perception of degree of foreign accent in English. Listeners from native English, Finnish, German and Mandarin backgrounds rated the accentedness of native English, Finnish, German and Mandarin talkers producing a controlled set of English sentences. Results indicate that non-native listeners, like native listeners, are able to classify non-native talkers as foreign-accented, and native talkers as unaccented. However, while non-native talkers received higher accentedness ratings than native talkers from all listener groups, non-native listeners judged talkers with non-native accents less harshly than did native English listeners. Similarly, non-native listeners assigned higher degrees of foreign accent to native English talkers than did native English listeners. It seems that non-native listeners give accentedness ratings that are less extreme, or closer to the centre of the rating scale in both directions, than those used by native listeners.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ICASSP
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014


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