International Journal of Speech Language and the Law, Vol 22, No 1 (2015)

Bilingual speaker identification: Chinese and English

Peggy P.K. Mok, Robert Bo Xu, Donghui Zuo
Issued Date: 8 Jul 2015


Very few studies have examined voice memory and speaker identification in bilingual contexts. This study investigated how well bilingual listeners could identify bilingual voices in different language conditions. 89 Cantonese-English and 89 Mandarin-English listeners participated in voice line-ups with Cantonese-English voices in the same-language and cross-language conditions. Results show that the overall identification accuracy was low. Cantonese-English listeners performed significantly better in the same-language than cross-language conditions, similar to previous findings based on monolingual subjects. However, there was no language effect for the Mandarin-English listeners, possibly due to their unfamiliarity with the languages concerned. Confidence ratings showed that all listeners were more confident in the same-language condition with their most familiar language, although the relationship between confident and accuracy was not reliable. The results suggest that some indexical information about speaker identity is language-dependent. Different articulatory settings may explain the better performance of Cantonese-English listeners in the same-language conditions.

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DOI: 10.1558/ijsll.v22i1.18636


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