Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access



First Advisor

Chad Rogers




cognitive neuroscience, psychology, neuroscience, psycholinguistics, speech perception, accent, memory, semantic context


Nonnative accented speech is associated with increased listening effort for English-monolingual listeners, even if the speech signal is intelligible. Semantic context is a global characteristic of English phrases that quantifies the degree to which words communicate a cohesive idea. Previous research suggests that semantic context may be used as a helping factor during speech perception in adverse conditions. The current work examines the relationship between speaker accent and semantic context using global semantic anomalies. Participants performed a randomly prompted recall task during lists of varying semantic context levels recorded by native and nonnative-accented speakers. Results are discussed in terms of two frameworks for understanding listening effort and speech processing: the Ease of Language Understanding Model and the Effortfulness Hypothesis, which differ in their prediction of an interaction between speaker accent and semantic context. A significant interaction was found between Speaker Accent and Context Group, lending support for the Effortfulness Hypothesis.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.