Non-native prosody perception in cochlear implant-simulated speech
|PhD ceremony:||dr. M.K. (Marita) Everhardt|
|When:||April 06, 2023|
|Supervisors:||prof. dr. W.M. (Wander) Lowie, prof. dr. ir. D. (Deniz) Baskent, M.L. (Matt) Coler, PhD|
|Co-supervisor:||A. (Anastasios) Sarampalis, Dr|
|Where:||Academy building RUG|
Learning English as a non-native language is an essential component of the Dutch educational system. How learners acquire a non-native language in a school setting has frequently been studied, but usually with the assumption that all learners have “normal hearing”. Far less is known about learners with reduced hearing abilities, such as cochlear implant (CI) users. These learners have to develop listening-based non-native language skills with degraded auditory input and may thus be at a disadvantage compared with their peers without hearing difficulties. This dissertation explores how hearing with a CI, commonly referred to as electric hearing, influences non-native language learning, specifically for native Dutch adolescents who are learning English as a non-native language in a school setting in the Netherlands. The investigation zooms in on the effect of electric hearing for non-native prosody perception. CI users and CI-simulation listeners generally have difficulty processing prosodic patterns in speech—such as stress and intonation—due to the reduced quality of the signal. The question is whether this effect is the same in both the native and the non-native language. This dissertation shows that there is a robust negative effect of electric hearing for prosody perception, regardless of language. Whilst processing prosodic patterns in speech, listeners appear to not be more strongly influenced by electric hearing in the non-native language than in the native language, suggesting that the effect of electric hearing does not interact with any cross-linguistic influences that may occur during non-native prosody perception.