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Audiology  2012 

Stress Deafness in Persian Speakers

Keywords: Speech Perception , Stress Deafness Model , Persian Speakers , Perceptual Cues , Synthetic Stimuli

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Background and Aim: The current study has been designed based on the framework of the Stress Deafness Model (SDM), and aims at investigating native listeners’ general perceptual sensitivity to theacoustic correlates of stress in Persian, a language with predictable stress. According to SDM, more regularity in a language implies poorer perceptual sensitivity of its native speakers, as regular stress patterns will not require lexical encoding.Methods: The experiment was a modified method of adjustment task where subjects had to simulate stimuli played to them. A total of thirty five Persian speakers took part in the experiment and wereplaced in three groups based on their linguistic background. In addition to overall perceptual sensitivity, the effect of exposure to English and phonetic knowledge were also tested.Results: Persian speakers showed a weak perception of stress correlates. It was found, however, that exposure to English will improve stress deafness among Persian natives (p<0.0001). However, the results failed to show any significant effect by phonetic knowledge. It was also shown that the duration had the most erroneous perception by participants (p=0.0001), while there was no statistically significant difference between understanding fundamental frequency clues and intensity perception by listeners.Conclusion: Since Persian speakers showed an overall weak perception of stress correlates, the results support the predictions made by SDM.


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