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J Acoust Soc Am. 2013 May;133(5):EL391-7. doi: 10.1121/1.4800191.

English vowel identification in long-term speech-shaped noise and multi-talker babble for English and Chinese listeners.

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State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, People's Republic of China.


The identification of 12 English vowels was measured in quiet and in long-term speech-shaped noise (LTSSN) and multi-talker babble for English-native (EN) listeners and Chinese-native listeners in the U.S. (CNU) and China (CNC). The signal-to-noise ratio was manipulated from -15 to 0 dB. As expected, EN listeners performed significantly better in quiet and noisy conditions than CNU and CNC listeners. Vowel identification in LTSSN was similar between CNU and CNC listeners; however, performance in babble was significantly better for CNU listeners than for CNC listeners, indicating that exposing non-native listeners to native English may reduce informational masking of multi-talker babble.

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