Lexical stress perception as a function of acoustic properties and the native language of the listener

Anders Eriksson, Juraj Šimko, Antti Suni, Martti Vainio, Rosalba Nodari


The study is part of a series investigating production and perception of lexical stress in a number of languages including Brazilian Portuguese, English, Estonian, French, Italian and Swedish. The production database contains data representing male and female speakers in the above languages in three speaking styles – spontaneous speech, phrase reading, and wordlist reading. Keywords from these recordings, representing male and female speakers and all speaking styles are used. The participants’ task is to judge the relative syllable prominences of the keywords presented one by one. In a previous study, subjects were native Swedish speakers. In the present study subjects are native speakers of Italian. In the analyses, perception results are correlated with acoustic variables shown to be important in the production studies. From the previous perception study we know that acoustic syllable prominence affects perceived syllable prominence. But there is also a possibility that listeners’ perception may be biased by expectations based on the listeners’ native language. The main result is that there are great similarities between the Swedish and Italian listeners in the way acoustic prominence affects perceived prominence, but we are also able to demonstrate a case of native language bias.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-92

Cite as: Eriksson, A., Šimko, J., Suni, A., Vainio, M., Nodari, R. (2020) Lexical stress perception as a function of acoustic properties and the native language of the listener. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 449-453, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-92.


@inproceedings{Eriksson2020,
  author={Anders Eriksson and Juraj Šimko and Antti Suni and Martti Vainio and Rosalba Nodari},
  title={{Lexical stress perception as a function of acoustic properties and the native language of the listener}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={449--453},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-92},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-92}
}