Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Jennifer Pardo

Committee Member

Jennifer Yang

Committee Member

Michael Bixter


The present study examined native English listeners sensitivity to foreign-accented speech. The study assessed four different non-native accents (French, Spanish, Korean and Mandarin), examining the effect of stimulus length (sentence and word) and speaker gender (female and male). Each subject was presented with the four non-native accents and different item length while randomly assigned to speaker gender. Two speakers of respective foreign-accented speech were included. The results indicated that listeners were more sensitive to sentence condition than word condition and were consistent across the different accents. The main effect of speaker gender was not significant, however, the interaction between gender and accents were significant. Listeners show greater sensitivity to different accent pairings in female speakers of French-Spanish and male speakers of French-Mandarin. Despite that, this interpretation is limited by the size of study. The overall accent discrimination performance indicated that European language family performance was better than Asian language family. The findings suggest that stimulus length and perceived degrees of foreign accents affect the sensitivity of listeners.

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