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Navigating the bilingual cocktail party: Interference from background speakers in listeners with varying L1/L2 proficiency


Navigating the bilingual cocktail party: Interference from background speakers in listeners with varying L1/L2 proficiency

Lew, Emilia ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4652-796X, Hallot, Sophie, Byers-Heinlein, Krista and Deroche, Mickael (2023) Navigating the bilingual cocktail party: Interference from background speakers in listeners with varying L1/L2 proficiency. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Cocktail party environments require listeners to tune in to a target voice while ignoring surrounding speakers (maskers), which could present unique challenges for bilingual listeners. Our study recruited English-French bilinguals to listen to a male target speaking French or English, masked by two female voices speaking French, English, or Tamil, or by speech-shaped noise. Listeners performed better with first language (L1) than second language (L2) targets, and relative L1/L2 proficiency acted like a categorical rather than a continuous variable with respect to speech reception threshold (SRT) averaged over maskers. Further, listeners struggled the most with L1 maskers and struggled the least with Tamil maskers. The results suggest that the balanced bilinguals have a slight disadvantage with L1 targets but compensate with a larger advantage with L2 targets, compared to unbalanced bilinguals. This positive net result supports the idea that being a balanced bilingual is helpful in speech-on-speech perception tasks in environments that offer substantial exposure to L2.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Lew, Emilia and Hallot, Sophie and Byers-Heinlein, Krista and Deroche, Mickael
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:14 March 2023
Thesis Supervisor(s):Deroche, Mickael
Keywords:cocktail party problem, bilingualism, speech perception, competing speech task
ID Code:991978
Deposited By: Emilia Colasante Lew
Deposited On:21 Jun 2023 14:19
Last Modified:21 Jun 2023 14:19
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