Cross-Language Differences in Informational Masking of Speech by Speech: English Versus Mandarin Chinese PurposeThe purpose of the study was to determine why perceived spatial separation provides a greater release from informational masking in Chinese than English when target sentences in each of the languages are masked by other talkers speaking the same language.MethodMonolingual speakers of English and Mandarin Chinese listened to semantically anomalous ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2011
Cross-Language Differences in Informational Masking of Speech by Speech: English Versus Mandarin Chinese
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Xihong Wu
    National Key Laboratory on Machine Perception, Speech and Hearing Research Centre, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • Zhigang Yang
    National Key Laboratory on Machine Perception, Speech and Hearing Research Centre, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • Ying Huang
    National Key Laboratory on Machine Perception, Speech and Hearing Research Centre, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • Jing Chen
    National Key Laboratory on Machine Perception, Speech and Hearing Research Centre, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • Liang Li
    National Key Laboratory on Machine Perception, Speech and Hearing Research Centre, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • Meredyth Daneman
    University of Toronto Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  • Bruce A. Schneider
    University of Toronto Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  • Correspondence to Bruce A. Schneider: bruce.schneider@utoronto.ca
  • Editor: Anne Smith
    Editor: Anne Smith×
  • Associate Editor: Alex Francis
    Associate Editor: Alex Francis×
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / International & Global / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   December 01, 2011
Cross-Language Differences in Informational Masking of Speech by Speech: English Versus Mandarin Chinese
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2011, Vol. 54, 1506-1524. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0282)
History: Received October 9, 2010 , Accepted April 25, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2011, Vol. 54, 1506-1524. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0282)
History: Received October 9, 2010; Accepted April 25, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

PurposeThe purpose of the study was to determine why perceived spatial separation provides a greater release from informational masking in Chinese than English when target sentences in each of the languages are masked by other talkers speaking the same language.

MethodMonolingual speakers of English and Mandarin Chinese listened to semantically anomalous sentences in their own language when 1 of 3 maskers was present (speech-spectrum noise, a 2-talker speech masker in the same language, and a 2-talker speech masker in the other language).

ResultsBoth groups benefitted equally from spatial separation when the maskers were speech-spectrum noise or cross-language. Chinese listeners benefitted less from spatial separation than did English listeners when a same-language masker was used. Performance was scored in terms of the number of target words correctly identified; because Chinese target words were composed of 2 “stand-alone” morphemes, the authors also scored Chinese target words as correct when either of the morphemes was correctly identified. When this was done, Chinese and English listeners benefitted equally from spatial separation in all conditions.

ConclusionThese results support a model in which release from informational masking in both monolingual English and Chinese listeners occurs because spatial separation facilitates morpheme access in both languages.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Grants CCI-85674 and MOP 15359 and National Science Foundation of China Grants 60545030, 30670704, and 30711120563.
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