How bilinguals perceive speech depends on which language they think they're hearing

Kalim Gonzales, Krista Byers-Heinlein, Andrew J Lotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Bilinguals understand when the communication context calls for speaking a particular language and can switch from speaking one language to speaking the other based on such conceptual knowledge. There is disagreement regarding whether conceptually-based language selection is also possible in the listening modality. For example, can bilingual listeners perceptually adjust to changes in pronunciation across languages based on their conceptual understanding of which language they're currently hearing? We asked French- and Spanish-English bilinguals to identify nonsense monosyllables as beginning with /b/ or /p/, speech categories that French and Spanish speakers pronounce differently than English speakers. We conceptually cued each bilingual group to one of their two languages or the other by explicitly instructing them that the speech items were word onsets in that language, uttered by a native speaker thereof. Both groups adjusted their /b–p/ identification boundary as a function of this conceptual cue to the language context. These results support a bilingual model permitting conceptually-based language selection on both the speaking and listening end of a communicative exchange.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages318-330
Number of pages13
JournalCognition
Volume182
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Hearing
Language
language
speaking
Population Groups
listener
Cues
Group
Communication
communication

Keywords

  • Language switching
  • Neural network models
  • Rational listener
  • Speech perception
  • Top-down processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

How bilinguals perceive speech depends on which language they think they're hearing. / Gonzales, Kalim; Byers-Heinlein, Krista; Lotto, Andrew J.

In: Cognition, Vol. 182, 01.01.2019, p. 318-330.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gonzales, Kalim ; Byers-Heinlein, Krista ; Lotto, Andrew J. / How bilinguals perceive speech depends on which language they think they're hearing. In: Cognition. 2019 ; Vol. 182. pp. 318-330.
@article{c2c15f1a86e54b268516c8339bf92fa0,
title = "How bilinguals perceive speech depends on which language they think they're hearing",
abstract = "Bilinguals understand when the communication context calls for speaking a particular language and can switch from speaking one language to speaking the other based on such conceptual knowledge. There is disagreement regarding whether conceptually-based language selection is also possible in the listening modality. For example, can bilingual listeners perceptually adjust to changes in pronunciation across languages based on their conceptual understanding of which language they're currently hearing? We asked French- and Spanish-English bilinguals to identify nonsense monosyllables as beginning with /b/ or /p/, speech categories that French and Spanish speakers pronounce differently than English speakers. We conceptually cued each bilingual group to one of their two languages or the other by explicitly instructing them that the speech items were word onsets in that language, uttered by a native speaker thereof. Both groups adjusted their /b–p/ identification boundary as a function of this conceptual cue to the language context. These results support a bilingual model permitting conceptually-based language selection on both the speaking and listening end of a communicative exchange.",
keywords = "Language switching, Neural network models, Rational listener, Speech perception, Top-down processing",
author = "Kalim Gonzales and Krista Byers-Heinlein and Lotto, {Andrew J}",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.cognition.2018.08.021",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "182",
pages = "318--330",
journal = "Cognition",
issn = "0010-0277",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - How bilinguals perceive speech depends on which language they think they're hearing

AU - Gonzales, Kalim

AU - Byers-Heinlein, Krista

AU - Lotto, Andrew J

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Bilinguals understand when the communication context calls for speaking a particular language and can switch from speaking one language to speaking the other based on such conceptual knowledge. There is disagreement regarding whether conceptually-based language selection is also possible in the listening modality. For example, can bilingual listeners perceptually adjust to changes in pronunciation across languages based on their conceptual understanding of which language they're currently hearing? We asked French- and Spanish-English bilinguals to identify nonsense monosyllables as beginning with /b/ or /p/, speech categories that French and Spanish speakers pronounce differently than English speakers. We conceptually cued each bilingual group to one of their two languages or the other by explicitly instructing them that the speech items were word onsets in that language, uttered by a native speaker thereof. Both groups adjusted their /b–p/ identification boundary as a function of this conceptual cue to the language context. These results support a bilingual model permitting conceptually-based language selection on both the speaking and listening end of a communicative exchange.

AB - Bilinguals understand when the communication context calls for speaking a particular language and can switch from speaking one language to speaking the other based on such conceptual knowledge. There is disagreement regarding whether conceptually-based language selection is also possible in the listening modality. For example, can bilingual listeners perceptually adjust to changes in pronunciation across languages based on their conceptual understanding of which language they're currently hearing? We asked French- and Spanish-English bilinguals to identify nonsense monosyllables as beginning with /b/ or /p/, speech categories that French and Spanish speakers pronounce differently than English speakers. We conceptually cued each bilingual group to one of their two languages or the other by explicitly instructing them that the speech items were word onsets in that language, uttered by a native speaker thereof. Both groups adjusted their /b–p/ identification boundary as a function of this conceptual cue to the language context. These results support a bilingual model permitting conceptually-based language selection on both the speaking and listening end of a communicative exchange.

KW - Language switching

KW - Neural network models

KW - Rational listener

KW - Speech perception

KW - Top-down processing

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85056160822&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85056160822&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.08.021

DO - 10.1016/j.cognition.2018.08.021

M3 - Article

VL - 182

SP - 318

EP - 330

JO - Cognition

T2 - Cognition

JF - Cognition

SN - 0010-0277

ER -