Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 210

Search results for: spoken intelligibility

210 The Effect of Problem-Based Mobile-Assisted Tasks on Spoken Intelligibility of English as a Foreign Language Learners

Authors: Loghman Ansarian, Teoh Mei Lin

Abstract:

In an attempt to increase oral proficiency of Iranian EFL learners, the researchers compared the effect of problem-based mobile-assisted language learning with the conventional language learning approach (Communicative Language Teaching) in Iran. The experimental group (n=37) went through PBL instruction and the control group (n=33) went through conventional instruction. The results of quantitative data analysis after 26 sessions of treatment revealed that PBL could positively affect participants' knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, spoken fluency, and pronunciation; however, in terms of task achievement, no significant effect was found. This study can have pedagogical implications for language teachers, and material developers.

Keywords: problem-based learning, spoken intelligibility, Iranian EFL context, cognitive learning

Procedia PDF Downloads 94
209 Speech Intelligibility Improvement Using Variable Level Decomposition DWT

Authors: Samba Raju, Chiluveru, Manoj Tripathy

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Intelligibility is an essential characteristic of a speech signal, which is used to help in the understanding of information in speech signal. Background noise in the environment can deteriorate the intelligibility of a recorded speech. In this paper, we presented a simple variance subtracted - variable level discrete wavelet transform, which improve the intelligibility of speech. The proposed algorithm does not require an explicit estimation of noise, i.e., prior knowledge of the noise; hence, it is easy to implement, and it reduces the computational burden. The proposed algorithm decides a separate decomposition level for each frame based on signal dominant and dominant noise criteria. The performance of the proposed algorithm is evaluated with speech intelligibility measure (STOI), and results obtained are compared with Universal Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) thresholding and Minimum Mean Square Error (MMSE) methods. The experimental results revealed that the proposed scheme outperformed competing methods

Keywords: discrete wavelet transform, speech intelligibility, STOI, standard deviation

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208 Aspects of Diglossia in Arabic Language Learning

Authors: Adil Ishag

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Diglossia emerges in a situation where two distinctive varieties of a language are used alongside within a certain community. In this case, one is considered as a high or standard variety and the second one as a low or colloquial variety. Arabic is an extreme example of a highly diglossic language. This diglossity is due to the fact that Arabic is one of the most spoken languages and spread over 22 Countries in two continents as a mother tongue, and it is also widely spoken in many other Islamic countries as a second language or simply the language of Quran. The geographical variation between the countries where the language is spoken and the duality of the classical Arabic and daily spoken dialects in the Arab world on the other hand; makes the Arabic language one of the most diglossic languages. This paper tries to investigate this phenomena and its relation to learning Arabic as a first and second language.

Keywords: Arabic language, diglossia, first and second language, language learning

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207 A Web-Based Self-Learning Grammar for Spoken Language Understanding

Authors: S. Biondi, V. Catania, R. Di Natale, A. R. Intilisano, D. Panno

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One of the major goals of Spoken Dialog Systems (SDS) is to understand what the user utters. In the SDS domain, the Spoken Language Understanding (SLU) Module classifies user utterances by means of a pre-definite conceptual knowledge. The SLU module is able to recognize only the meaning previously included in its knowledge base. Due the vastity of that knowledge, the information storing is a very expensive process. Updating and managing the knowledge base are time-consuming and error-prone processes because of the rapidly growing number of entities like proper nouns and domain-specific nouns. This paper proposes a solution to the problem of Name Entity Recognition (NER) applied to a SDS domain. The proposed solution attempts to automatically recognize the meaning associated with an utterance by using the PANKOW (Pattern based Annotation through Knowledge On the Web) method at runtime. The method being proposed extracts information from the Web to increase the SLU knowledge module and reduces the development effort. In particular, the Google Search Engine is used to extract information from the Facebook social network.

Keywords: spoken dialog system, spoken language understanding, web semantic, name entity recognition

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206 Spoken Rhetoric in Arabic Heritage

Authors: Ihab Al-Mokrani

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The Arabic heritage has two types of spoken rhetoric: the first type which al-Jaahiz calls “the rhetoric of the sign,” which means body language, and the rhetoric of silence which is of no less importance than the rhetoric of the sign, the speaker’s appearance and movements, etc. The second type is the spoken performance of utterances which bears written rhetoric arts like metaphor, simile, metonymy, etc. Rationale of the study: First: in spite of the factual existence of rhetorical phenomena in the Arabic heritage, there has been no contemporary study handling the spoken rhetoric in the Arabic heritage. Second: Arabic Civilization is originally a spoken one. Comparing the Arabic culture and civilization, from one side, to the Greek, roman or Pharaonic cultures and civilizations, from the other side, shows that the latter cultures and civilizations started and flourished written while the former started among illiterate people who had no interest in writing until recently. That sort of difference on the part of the Arabic culture and civilization created a rhetoric different from rhetoric in the other cultures and civilizations. Third: the spoken nature of the Arabic civilization influenced the Arabic rhetoric in the sense that specific rhetorical arts have been introduced matching that spoken nature. One of these arts is the art of concision which compensates for the absence of writing’s means of preserving the text. In addition, this interprets why many of the definitions of the Arabic rhetoric were defining rhetoric as the art of concision. Also, this interprets the fact that the literary genres known in the Arabic culture were limited by the available narrow space like poetry, anecdotes, and stories, while the literary genres in the Greek culture were of wide space as epics and drama. This is not of any contrast to the fact that some Arabic poetry would exceed 100 lines of poetry as Arabic poetry was based on the line organic unity, which means that every line could stand alone with a full meaning that is not dependent on the rest of the poem; and that last aspect has never happened in any culture other than the Arabic culture.

Keywords: Arabic rhetoric, spoken rhetoric, Arabic heritage, culture

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205 Grammatically Coded Corpus of Spoken Lithuanian: Methodology and Development

Authors: L. Kamandulytė-Merfeldienė

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The paper deals with the main issues of methodology of the Corpus of Spoken Lithuanian which was started to be developed in 2006. At present, the corpus consists of 300,000 grammatically annotated word forms. The creation of the corpus consists of three main stages: collecting the data, the transcription of the recorded data, and the grammatical annotation. Collecting the data was based on the principles of balance and naturality. The recorded speech was transcribed according to the CHAT requirements of CHILDES. The transcripts were double-checked and annotated grammatically using CHILDES. The development of the Corpus of Spoken Lithuanian has led to the constant increase in studies on spontaneous communication, and various papers have dealt with a distribution of parts of speech, use of different grammatical forms, variation of inflectional paradigms, distribution of fillers, syntactic functions of adjectives, the mean length of utterances.

Keywords: CHILDES, corpus of spoken Lithuanian, grammatical annotation, grammatical disambiguation, lexicon, Lithuanian

Procedia PDF Downloads 154
204 Anti-Language in Jordanian Spoken Arabic: A Sociolinguistic Perspective

Authors: Ahmad Mohammad Al-Harahsheh

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Anti-language reflects anti-society; it is a restricted spoken code used among a group of interlocutors because of anti-society. This study aims to shed light on the sociolinguistic characteristics of anti-language used by prisoners in Jordan. The participants included were 15 male-Jordanian prisoners who have recently been released. The data were written, transliterated, and analyzed on the basis of sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. This study draws on sociolinguistic theory of language codes as the theoretical framework. The study concludes that anti-language is a male language and is used for secrecy, as the prisoners' tendency to protect themselves from the police; it is a verbal competition, contest and display. In addition, it is employed to express obnoxious ideas and acts by using more pleasant or blurred words and expressions. Also, the anti-language used by prisoners has six linguistic characteristics in JSA (Jordanian Spoken Arabic), such as relexicalization, neologism, rhyme formation, semantic change, derivation, and metaphorical expressions.

Keywords: anti-language, Jordanian Spoken Arabic, sociolinguistics, prisoners

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203 Multi-Granularity Feature Extraction and Optimization for Pathological Speech Intelligibility Evaluation

Authors: Chunying Fang, Haifeng Li, Lin Ma, Mancai Zhang

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Speech intelligibility assessment is an important measure to evaluate the functional outcomes of surgical and non-surgical treatment, speech therapy and rehabilitation. The assessment of pathological speech plays an important role in assisting the experts. Pathological speech usually is non-stationary and mutational, in this paper, we describe a multi-granularity combined feature schemes, and which is optimized by hierarchical visual method. First of all, the difference granularity level pathological features are extracted which are BAFS (Basic acoustics feature set), local spectral characteristics MSCC (Mel s-transform cepstrum coefficients) and nonlinear dynamic characteristics based on chaotic analysis. Latterly, radar chart and F-score are proposed to optimize the features by the hierarchical visual fusion. The feature set could be optimized from 526 to 96-dimensions.The experimental results denote that new features by support vector machine (SVM) has the best performance, with a recognition rate of 84.4% on NKI-CCRT corpus. The proposed method is thus approved to be effective and reliable for pathological speech intelligibility evaluation.

Keywords: pathological speech, multi-granularity feature, MSCC (Mel s-transform cepstrum coefficients), F-score, radar chart

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202 Imprecise Vowel Articulation in Down Syndrome: An Acoustic Study

Authors: Anitha Naittee Abraham, N. Sreedevi

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Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) have relatively better expressive language compared to other individuals with intellectual disabilities. Reduced speech intelligibility is one of the major concerns of this group of individuals due to their anatomical and physiological differences. The study investigated the vowel articulation of Malayalam speaking children with DS in the age range of 5-10 years. The vowel production of 10 children with DS was compared with typically developing children in the same age range. Vowels were extracted from 3 words with the corner vowels /a/, /i/ and /u/ in the word-initial position, using Praat (version 5.3.23) software. Acoustic analysis was based on vowel space area (VSA), Formant centralization ration (FCR) and F2i/F2u. The findings revealed increased formant values for the control group except for F2a and F2u. Also, the experimental group had higher FCR, lower VSA, and F2i/F2u values suggestive of imprecise vowel articulation due to restricted tongue movements. The results of the independent t-test revealed a significant difference in F1a, F2i, F2u, VSA, FCR and F2i/F2u values between the experimental and control group. These findings support the fact that children with DS have imprecise vowel articulation that interferes with the overall speech intelligibility. Hence it is essential to target the oromotor skills to enhance the speech intelligibility which in turn benefit in the social and vocational domains of these individuals.

Keywords: Down syndrome, FCR, vowel articulation, vowel space

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201 Efficacy of a Wiener Filter Based Technique for Speech Enhancement in Hearing Aids

Authors: Ajish K. Abraham

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Hearing aid is the most fundamental technology employed towards rehabilitation of persons with sensory neural hearing impairment. Hearing in noise is still a matter of major concern for many hearing aid users and thus continues to be a challenging issue for the hearing aid designers. Several techniques are being currently used to enhance the speech at the hearing aid output. Most of these techniques, when implemented, result in reduction of intelligibility of the speech signal. Thus the dissatisfaction of the hearing aid user towards comprehending the desired speech amidst noise is prevailing. Multichannel Wiener Filter is widely implemented in binaural hearing aid technology for noise reduction. In this study, Wiener filter based noise reduction approach is experimented for a single microphone based hearing aid set up. This method checks the status of the input speech signal in each frequency band and then selects the relevant noise reduction procedure. Results showed that the Wiener filter based algorithm is capable of enhancing speech even when the input acoustic signal has a very low Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR). Performance of the algorithm was compared with other similar algorithms on the basis of improvement in intelligibility and SNR of the output, at different SNR levels of the input speech. Wiener filter based algorithm provided significant improvement in SNR and intelligibility compared to other techniques.

Keywords: hearing aid output speech, noise reduction, SNR improvement, Wiener filter, speech enhancement

Procedia PDF Downloads 182
200 Assessment of the Occupancy’s Effect on Speech Intelligibility in Al-Madinah Holy Mosque

Authors: Wasim Orfali, Hesham Tolba

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This research investigates the acoustical characteristics of Al-Madinah Holy Mosque. Extensive field measurements were conducted in different locations of Al-Madinah Holy Mosque to characterize its acoustic characteristics. The acoustical characteristics are usually evaluated by the use of objective parameters in unoccupied rooms due to practical considerations. However, under normal conditions, the room occupancy can vary such characteristics due to the effect of the additional sound absorption present in the room or by the change in signal-to-noise ratio. Based on the acoustic measurements carried out in Al-Madinah Holy Mosque with and without occupancy, and the analysis of such measurements, the existence of acoustical deficiencies has been confirmed.

Keywords: Al-Madinah Holy Mosque, mosque acoustics, speech intelligibility, worship sound

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199 Development of Non-Intrusive Speech Evaluation Measure Using S-Transform and Light-Gbm

Authors: Tusar Kanti Dash, Ganapati Panda

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The evaluation of speech quality and intelligence is critical to the overall effectiveness of the Speech Enhancement Algorithms. Several intrusive and non-intrusive measures are employed to calculate these parameters. Non-Intrusive Evaluation is most challenging as, very often, the reference clean speech data is not available. In this paper, a novel non-intrusive speech evaluation measure is proposed using audio features derived from the Stockwell transform. These features are used with the Light Gradient Boosting Machine for the effective prediction of speech quality and intelligibility. The proposed model is analyzed using noisy and reverberant speech from four databases, and the results are compared with the standard Intrusive Evaluation Measures. It is observed from the comparative analysis that the proposed model is performing better than the standard Non-Intrusive models.

Keywords: non-Intrusive speech evaluation, S-transform, light GBM, speech quality, and intelligibility

Procedia PDF Downloads 118
198 Spatial Deictics in Face-to-Face Communication: Findings in Baltic Languages

Authors: Gintare Judzentyte

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The present research is aimed to discuss semantics and pragmatics of spatial deictics (deictic adverbs of place and demonstrative pronouns) in the Baltic languages: in spoken Lithuanian and in spoken Latvian. The following objectives have been identified to achieve the aim: 1) to determine the usage of adverbs of place in spoken Lithuanian and Latvian and to verify their meanings in face-to-face communication; 2) to determine the usage of demonstrative pronouns in spoken Lithuanian and Latvian and to verify their meanings in face-to-face communication; 3) to compare the systems between the two spoken languages and to identify the main tendencies. As meanings of demonstratives (adverbs of place and demonstrative pronouns) are context-bound, it is necessary to verify their usage in spontaneous interaction. Besides, deictic gestures play a very important role in face-to-face communication. Therefore, an experimental method is necessary to collect the data. Video material representing spoken Lithuanian and spoken Latvian was recorded by means of the method of a qualitative interview (a semi-structured interview: an empirical research is all about asking right questions). The collected material was transcribed and evaluated taking into account several approaches: 1) physical distance (location of the referent, visual accessibility of the referent); 2) deictic gestures (the combination of language and gesture is especially characteristic of the exophoric use); 3) representation of mental spaces in physical space (a speaker sometimes wishes to mark something that is psychically close as psychologically distant and vice versa). The research of the collected data revealed that in face-to-face communication the participants choose deictic adverbs of place instead of demonstrative pronouns to locate/identify entities in situations where the demonstrative pronouns would be expected in spoken Lithuanian and in spoken Latvian. The analysis showed that visual accessibility of the referent is very important in face-to-face communication, but the main criterion while localizing objects and entities is the need for contrast: lith. čia ‘here’, šis ‘this’, latv. šeit ‘here’, šis ‘this’ usually identify distant entities and are used instead of distal demonstratives (lith. ten ‘there’, tas ‘that’, latv. tur ‘there’, tas ‘that’), because the referred objects/subjects contrast to further entities. Furthermore, the interlocutors in examples from a spontaneously situated interaction usually extend their space and can refer to a ‘distal’ object/subject with a ‘proximal’ demonstrative based on the psychological choice. As the research of the spoken Baltic languages confirmed, the choice of spatial deictics in face-to-face communication is strongly effected by a complex of criteria. Although there are some main tendencies, the exact meaning of spatial deictics in the spoken Baltic languages is revealed and is relevant only in a certain context.

Keywords: Baltic languages, face-to-face communication, pragmatics, semantics, spatial deictics

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197 The Application of Cognitive Linguistics to Teaching EFL Students to Understand Spoken Coinages: Based on an Experiment with Speakers of Russian

Authors: Ekaterina Lukianchenko

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The present article addresses the nuances of teaching English vocabulary to Russian-speaking students. The experiment involving 39 participants aged 17 to 21 proves that the key to understanding spoken coinages is not only the knowledge of their constituents, but rather the understanding of the context and co-text. The volunteers who took part knew the constituents, but did not know the meaning of the words. The assumption of the authors consists in the fact that the structure of the concept has a direct relation with the form of the particular vocabulary unit, but its form is secondary to its meaning, if the word is a spoken coinage, which is partly proved by the fact that in modern slang words have multiple meanings, as well as one notion can have various embodiments that have virtually nothing in common. The choice of vocabulary items that youngsters use is not exactly arbitrary, but, even if complex nominals are taken into consideration, whose meaning seems clear, as it looks like a sum of their constituents’ meanings, they are still impossible to understand without any context or co-text, as a lot of them are idiomatic, non-transparent. It is further explained what methods might be effective in teaching students how to deal with new words they encounter in real-life situations and how student’s knowledge of vocabulary might be enhanced.

Keywords: spoken language, cognitive linguistics, complex nominals, nominals with the incorporated object, concept, EFL, communicative language teaching

Procedia PDF Downloads 200
196 Towards the Effectiveness/ Performance of Spatial Communication within the Composite Interior Spaces: Wayfinding System in the Saudi National Museum as a Case Study

Authors: Afnan T. Bagasi, Donia M. Bettaieb, Abeer Alsobahi

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The wayfinding system is related to the course of the museum journey for visitors directly and indirectly. The design aspects of this system play an important role, making it an effective and communication system within the museum space. However, translating the concepts that pertain to its design, such as Intelligibility that is based on integration and connectivity in museum space design, needs more customization in the form of specific design considerations with reference to the most important approaches. Those approaches link the organizational and practical aspects to the semiotic and semantic aspects related to the space syntax by targeting the visual and perceived consistency of visitors. In this context, the study aims to identify how to apply the concept of intelligibility and clarity by employing integration and connectivity to design a wayfinding system in museums as a kind of composite interior space. Using the available plans and images to extrapolate the design considerations used to design the wayfinding system in the Saudi National Museum as a case study, a descriptive-analytical method was used to understand the basic organizational and morphological principles of the museum space through four main aspects in space design: morphological, semantic, semiotic, and pragmatic. The study's findings will assist designers, professionals, and researchers in the field of museum design in understanding the significance of the wayfinding system by delving into it through museum spaces by highlighting the essential aspects using a clear analytical method.

Keywords: wayfinding system, museum journey, intelligibility, integration, connectivity

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195 An Exploratory Survey Questionnaire to Understand What Emotions Are Important and Difficult to Communicate for People with Dysarthria and Their Methodology of Communicating

Authors: Lubna Alhinti, Heidi Christensen, Stuart Cunningham

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People with speech disorders may rely on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies to help them communicate. However, the limitations of the current AAC technologies act as barriers to the optimal use of these technologies in daily communication settings. The ability to communicate effectively relies on a number of factors that are not limited to the intelligibility of the spoken words. In fact, non-verbal cues play a critical role in the correct comprehension of messages and having to rely on verbal communication only, as is the case with current AAC technology, may contribute to problems in communication. This is especially true for people’s ability to express their feelings and emotions, which are communicated to a large part through non-verbal cues. This paper focuses on understanding more about the non-verbal communication ability of people with dysarthria, with the overarching aim of this research being to improve AAC technology by allowing people with dysarthria to better communicate emotions. Preliminary survey results are presented that gives an understanding of how people with dysarthria convey emotions, what emotions that are important for them to get across, what emotions that are difficult for them to convey, and whether there is a difference in communicating emotions when speaking to familiar versus unfamiliar people.

Keywords: alternative and augmentative communication technology, dysarthria, speech emotion recognition, VIVOCA

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194 Developing Active Learners and Efficient Users: A Study on the Implementation of Spoken Interaction Skill in the Malay Language Curriculum in Singapore

Authors: Pairah Bte Satariman

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This study is carried out to evaluate Malay Language Curriculum for secondary schools in Singapore. The evaluation focuses on the implementation of Spoken Interaction Skill which was recommended by the Curriculum Review Committee in 2010. The study found that the students face difficulty in communicating interactively with others in their daily activities. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the results (products) on the implementation of this skill since 2011. The research used a qualitative method which includes oral test and interview with students and teachers teaching the subject. Preliminary findings show that generally, the students are not able to communicate interactively and fluently in the oral test unless they are given enough prompts. The teachers feel that the implementation of the skill is timely as students are more keen to use English in their daily communication even in Malay Language Classes. Teachers also mentioned the challenges in the implementation such as insufficient curriculum time and teaching materials.

Keywords: evaluation, Malay language curriculum, spoken interaction skills, communication, implementation

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193 Healthcare in COVID-19 and It’s Impact on Children with Cochlear Implants

Authors: Amirreza Razzaghipour, Mahdi Khalili

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References from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control for deceleration the spread of the Novel COVID-19, comprises social estrangement, frequent handwashing, and covering your mouth when around others. As hearing healthcare specialists, the influence of existenceinvoluntary to boundary social interactions on persons with hearing impairment was significant for us to understand. We found ourselves delaying cochlear implant (CI) surgeries. All children, and chiefly those with hearing loss, are susceptible to reductions in spoken communication. Hearing plans, such as cochlear implants, provide children with hearing loss access to spoken communication and provision language development. when provided early and used consistently, these supplies help children with hearing loss to engage in spoken connections. Cochlear implant (CI) is a standard medical-surgical treatment for bilateral severe to profound hearing loss with no advantage with the hearing aid. Hearing is one of the most important senses in humans. Pediatric hearing loss establishes one of the most important public health challenges. Children with hearing loss are recognized early and habilitated via hearing aids or with cochlear implants (CIs). Suitable care and maintenance as well as continuous auditory verbal therapy (AVT) are also essential in reaching for the successful attainment of language acquisition. Children with hearing loss posture important challenges to their parents, particularly when there is limited admission to their hearing care providers. The disruption in the routine of their hearing and therapy follow-up services has had substantial effects on the children as well as their parents.

Keywords: healthcare, covid-19, cochlear implants, spoken communication, hearing loss

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192 Perceiving Casual Speech: A Gating Experiment with French Listeners of L2 English

Authors: Naouel Zoghlami

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Spoken-word recognition involves the simultaneous activation of potential word candidates which compete with each other for final correct recognition. In continuous speech, the activation-competition process gets more complicated due to speech reductions existing at word boundaries. Lexical processing is more difficult in L2 than in L1 because L2 listeners often lack phonetic, lexico-semantic, syntactic, and prosodic knowledge in the target language. In this study, we investigate the on-line lexical segmentation hypotheses that French listeners of L2 English form and then revise as subsequent perceptual evidence is revealed. Our purpose is to shed further light on the processes of L2 spoken-word recognition in context and better understand L2 listening difficulties through a comparison of skilled and unskilled reactions at the point where their working hypothesis is rejected. We use a variant of the gating experiment in which subjects transcribe an English sentence presented in increments of progressively greater duration. The spoken sentence was “And this amazing athlete has just broken another world record”, chosen mainly because it included common reductions and phonetic features in English, such as elision and assimilation. Our preliminary results show that there is an important difference in the manner in which proficient and less-proficient L2 listeners handle connected speech. Less-proficient listeners delay recognition of words as they wait for lexical and syntactic evidence to appear in the gates. Further statistical results are currently being undertaken.

Keywords: gating paradigm, spoken word recognition, online lexical segmentation, L2 listening

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191 The Relation between Cognitive Fluency and Utterance Fluency in Second Language Spoken Fluency: Studying Fluency through a Psycholinguistic Lens

Authors: Tannistha Dasgupta

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This study explores the aspects of second language (L2) spoken fluency that are related to L2 linguistic knowledge and processing skill. It draws on Levelt’s ‘blueprint’ of the L2 speaker which discusses the cognitive issues underlying the act of speaking. However, L2 speaking assessments have largely neglected the underlying mechanism involved in language production; emphasis is given on the relationship between subjective ratings of L2 speech sample and objectively measured aspects of fluency. Hence, in this study, the relation between L2 linguistic knowledge and processing skill i.e. Cognitive Fluency (CF), and objectively measurable aspects of L2 spoken fluency i.e. Utterance Fluency (UF) is examined. The participants of the study are L2 learners of English, studying at high school level in Hyderabad, India. 50 participants with intermediate level of proficiency in English performed several lexical retrieval tasks and attention-shifting tasks to measure CF, and 8 oral tasks to measure UF. Each aspect of UF (speed, pause, and repair) were measured against the scores of CF to find out those aspects of UF which are reliable indicators of CF. Quantitative analysis of the data shows that among the three aspects of UF; speed is the best predictor of CF, and pause is weakly related to CF. The study suggests that including the speed aspect of UF could make L2 fluency assessment more reliable, valid, and objective. Thus, incorporating the assessment of psycholinguistic mechanisms into L2 spoken fluency testing, could result in fairer evaluation.

Keywords: attention-shifting, cognitive fluency, lexical retrieval, utterance fluency

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190 Integration of Acoustic Solutions for Classrooms

Authors: Eyibo Ebengeobong Eddie, Halil Zafer Alibaba

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The neglect of classroom acoustics is dominant in most educational facilities, meanwhile, hearing and listening is the learning process in this kind of facilities. A classroom should therefore be an environment that encourages listening, without an obstacles to understanding what is being taught. Although different studies have shown teachers to complain that noise is the everyday factor that causes stress in classroom, the capacity of individuals to understand speech is further affected by Echoes, Reverberation, and room modes. It is therefore necessary for classrooms to have an ideal acoustics to aid the intelligibility of students in the learning process. The influence of these acoustical parameters on learning and teaching in schools needs to be further researched upon to enhance the teaching and learning capacity of both teacher and student. For this reason, there is a strong need to provide and collect data to analyse and define the suitable quality of classrooms needed for a learning environment. Research has shown that acoustical problems are still experienced in both newer and older schools. However, recently, principle of acoustics has been analysed and room acoustics can now be measured with various technologies and sound systems to improve and solve the problem of acoustics in classrooms. These acoustic solutions, materials, construction methods and integration processes would be discussed in this paper.

Keywords: classroom, acoustics, materials, integration, speech intelligibility

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189 Exploring the Effectiveness and Challenges of Implementing Self-Regulated Learning to Improve Spoken English

Authors: Md. Shaiful Islam, Mahani Bt. Stapa

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To help learners overcome their struggle in developing proficiency in spoken English, self-regulated learning strategies seem to be promising. Students in the private universities in Bangladesh are expected to communicate with the teachers, peers, and staff members in English, but most of them suffer from their inadequate oral communicative competence in English. To address this problem, the researchers adopted a qualitative research approach to answer the research questions. They employed the learner diary method to collect data from the first-semester undergraduate students of a reputed private university in Bangladesh who were involved in writing weekly diaries about their use of self-regulated learning strategies to improve speaking in an English speaking course. The learners were provided with prompts for writing the diaries. The thematic analysis method was applied to analyze the entries of the diaries for the identification of themes. Seven strategies related to the effectiveness of SRL for the improvement of spoken English were identified from the data, and they include goal-setting, strategic planning, identifying the sources of self-motivation, help-seeking, environmental restructuring, self-monitoring, and self-evaluation. However, the students reported in their diaries that they faced challenges that impeded their SRL strategy use. Five challenges were identified, and they entail the complex nature of SRL, lack of literacy on SRL, teachers’ preference for controlling the class, learners’ past habit of learning, and students’ addiction to gadgets. The implications the study addresses include revising the syllabus and curriculum, facilitating SRL training for students and teachers, and integrating SRL in the lessons.

Keywords: private university in Bangladesh, proficiency, self-regulated learning, spoken English

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188 A Genre-Based Approach to the Teaching of Pronunciation

Authors: Marden Silva, Danielle Guerra

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Some studies have indicated that pronunciation teaching hasn’t been paid enough attention by teachers regarding EFL contexts. In particular, segmental and suprasegmental features through genre-based approach may be an opportunity on how to integrate pronunciation into a more meaningful learning practice. Therefore, the aim of this project was to carry out a survey on some aspects related to English pronunciation that Brazilian students consider more difficult to learn, thus enabling the discussion of strategies that can facilitate the development of oral skills in English classes by integrating the teaching of phonetic-phonological aspects into the genre-based approach. Notions of intelligibility, fluency and accuracy were proposed by some authors as an ideal didactic sequence. According to their proposals, basic learners should be exposed to activities focused on the notion of intelligibility as well as intermediate students to the notion of fluency, and finally more advanced ones to accuracy practices. In order to test this hypothesis, data collection was conducted during three high school English classes at Federal Center for Technological Education of Minas Gerais (CEFET-MG), in Brazil, through questionnaires and didactic activities, which were recorded and transcribed for further analysis. The genre debate was chosen to facilitate the oral expression of the participants in a freer way, making them answering questions and giving their opinion about a previously selected topic. The findings indicated that basic students demonstrated more difficulty with aspects of English pronunciation than the others. Many of the intelligibility aspects analyzed had to be listened more than once for a better understanding. For intermediate students, the speeches recorded were considerably easier to understand, but nevertheless they found it more difficult to pronounce the words fluently, often interrupting their speech to think about what they were going to say and how they would talk. Lastly, more advanced learners seemed to express their ideas more fluently, but still subtle errors related to accuracy were perceptible in speech, thereby confirming the proposed hypothesis. It was also seen that using genre-based approach to promote oral communication in English classes might be a relevant method, considering the socio-communicative function inherent in the suggested approach.

Keywords: EFL, genre-based approach, oral skills, pronunciation

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187 The Effect of Speech-Shaped Noise and Speaker’s Voice Quality on First-Grade Children’s Speech Perception and Listening Comprehension

Authors: I. Schiller, D. Morsomme, A. Remacle

Abstract:

Children’s ability to process spoken language develops until the late teenage years. At school, where efficient spoken language processing is key to academic achievement, listening conditions are often unfavorable. High background noise and poor teacher’s voice represent typical sources of interference. It can be assumed that these factors particularly affect primary school children, because their language and literacy skills are still low. While it is generally accepted that background noise and impaired voice impede spoken language processing, there is an increasing need for analyzing impacts within specific linguistic areas. Against this background, the aim of the study was to investigate the effect of speech-shaped noise and imitated dysphonic voice on first-grade primary school children’s speech perception and sentence comprehension. Via headphones, 5 to 6-year-old children, recruited within the French-speaking community of Belgium, listened to and performed a minimal-pair discrimination task and a sentence-picture matching task. Stimuli were randomly presented according to four experimental conditions: (1) normal voice / no noise, (2) normal voice / noise, (3) impaired voice / no noise, and (4) impaired voice / noise. The primary outcome measure was task score. How did performance vary with respect to listening condition? Preliminary results will be presented with respect to speech perception and sentence comprehension and carefully interpreted in the light of past findings. This study helps to support our understanding of children’s language processing skills under adverse conditions. Results shall serve as a starting point for probing new measures to optimize children’s learning environment.

Keywords: impaired voice, sentence comprehension, speech perception, speech-shaped noise, spoken language processing

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186 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Yoruba Language Teaching

Authors: Ayoola Idowu Olasebikan

Abstract:

The global community has become increasingly dependent on various kinds of technologies out of which Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) appear to be the most prominent. ICTs have become multipurpose tools which have had a revolutionary impact on how we see the world and how we live in it. Yoruba is the most widely spoken African language outside Africa but it remains one of the badly spoken language in the world as a result of its outdated teaching method in the African schools which prevented its standard version from being spoken and written. This paper conducts a critical review of the traditional methods of teaching Yoruba language. It then examines the possibility of leveraging on ICTs for improved methods of teaching Yoruba language to achieve global standard and spread. It identified key ICT platforms that can be deployed for the teaching of Yoruba language and the constraints facing each of them. The paper concludes that Information and Communication Technologies appear to provide veritable opportunity for paradigm shift in the methods of teaching Yoruba Language. It also opines that Yoruba language has the potential to transform economic fortune of Africa for sustainable development provided its teaching is taken beyond the brick and mortar classroom to the virtual classroom/global information super highway called internet or any other ICTs medium. It recommends that students and teachers of Yoruba language should be encouraged to acquire basic skills in computer and internet technology in order to enhance their ability to develop and retrieve electronic Yoruba language teaching materials.

Keywords: Africa, ICT, teaching method, Yoruba language

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185 The Acoustic Features of Ulu Terengganu Malay Monophthongs

Authors: Siti Nadiah Nuwawi, Roshidah Hassan

Abstract:

Dialect is one of the language variants emerge due to certain factors. One of the distinctive dialects spoken by people in Malaysia is the one spoken by those who reside in the inland area of the East Peninsular Malaysia; Hulu Terengganu, which is known as Ulu Terengganu Malay dialect. This dialect is unique since it possesses ancient elements in its phonology elements, which makes it is hard to be understood by people who come from other states. There is dearth of acoustic studies of the dialect in which this paper aims to attain by describing the quality of the monophthongs found in the dialect instrumentally based on their first and second formant values. The hertz values are observed and recorded from the waveforms and spectrograms depicted in PRAAT version 6.0.43 software. The findings show that Ulu Terengganu Malay speakers produced ten monophthongs namely /ɛ/, /e/, /a/, /ɐ/, /ɞ/, /ɔ/, /i/, /o/, /ɵ/ and /ɘ/ which applauds a few monophthongs suggested by past researchers which were based on auditory impression namely /ɛ/, /e/, /a/, ɔ/, and /i/. It also discovers the other five monophthongs of the dialect which are unknown before namely /ɐ/, /ɞ/, /o/, /ɵ/ and /ɘ/.

Keywords: acoustic analysis, dialect, formant values, monophthongs, Ulu Terengganu Malay

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184 Dialect as a Means of Identification among Hausa Speakers

Authors: Hassan Sabo

Abstract:

Language is a system of conventionally spoken, manual and written symbols by human beings that members of a certain social group and participants in its culture express themselves. Communication, expression of identity and imaginative expression are among the functions of language. Dialect is a form of language, or a regional variety of language that is spoken in a particular geographical setting by a particular group of people. Hausa is one of the major languages in Africa, in terms of large number of people for whom it is the first language. Hausa is one of the western Chadic groups of languages. It constitutes one of the five or six branches of Afro-Asiatic family. The predominant Hausa speakers are in Nigeria and they live in different geographical locations which resulted to variety of dialects within the Hausa language apart of the standard Hausa language, the Hausa language has a variety of dialect that distinguish from one another by such features as phonology, grammar and vocabulary. This study intends to examine such features that serve as means of identification among Hausa speakers who are set off from others, geographically or socially.

Keywords: dialect, features, geographical location, Hausa language

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183 Mouthing Patterns in Indian Sign Language

Authors: Neha Kulshreshtha

Abstract:

This paper examines the patterns of 'Mouthing', a non-manual marker, and its distribution in Indian Sign Language (ISL). Linguistic research in Indian Sign Language is an emerging field where much is needed to be done. The little research which has happened focuses on the structure of ISL in terms of physical or manual markers, therefore a study of mouthing patterns would give an insight into the distribution of this particular non-manual marker. Data has been collected with the help of native ISL users through various techniques in which natural signs can be captured, for example, storytelling, informal conversations etc. The aim of the study is to find out the various situations where mouthing is used. Sometimes, the mouthing is not actually the articulation of the word as spoken in the local languages. The paper aims to find out whether the mouthing patterns in ISL are influenced by any local language or they are independent of any influence from the local language or both. Mouthing patterns have been studied in many sign languages and an investigation into ISL will reveal whether it falls in pattern with the other sign languages.

Keywords: Indian sign language, mouthing, non-manual marker, spoken language influence

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182 American Slang: Perception and Connotations – Issues of Translation

Authors: Lison Carlier

Abstract:

The English language that is taught in school or used in media nowadays is defined as 'standard English,' although unstandardized Englishes, or 'parallel' Englishes, are practiced throughout the world. The existence of these 'parallel' Englishes has challenged standardization by imposing its own specific vocabulary or grammar. These non-standard languages tend to be regarded as inferior and, therefore, pose a problem regarding their translation. In the USA, 'slanguage', or slang, is a good example of a 'parallel' language. It consists of a particular set of vocabulary, used mostly in speech, and rarely in writing. Qualified as vulgar, often reduced to an urban language spoken by young people from lower classes, slanguage – or the language that is often first spoken between youths – is still the most common language used in the English-speaking world. Moreover, it appears that the prime meaning of 'informal' (as in an informal language) – a language that is spoken with persons the speaker knows – has been put aside and replaced in the general mind by the idea of vulgarity and non-appropriateness, when in fact informality is a sign of intimacy, not of vulgarity. When it comes to translating American slang, the main problem a translator encounters is the image and the cultural background usually associated with this 'parallel' language. Indeed, one will have, unwillingly, a predisposition to categorize a speaker of a 'parallel' language as being part of a particular group of people. The way one sees a speaker using it is paramount, and needs to be transposed into the target language. This paper will conduct an analysis of American slang – its use, perception and the image it gives of its speakers – and its translation into French, using the novel Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and other concerns) by way of example. In her autobiography/personal essay book, comedy writer, actress and author Mindy Kaling speaks with a very familiar English, including slang, which participates in the construction of her own voice and style, and enables a deeper connection with her readers.

Keywords: translation, English, slang, French

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181 Detonalization of Punjabi: Towards a Loss of Linguistic Indigeneity

Authors: Sukhvinder Singh

Abstract:

Punjabi language is related to the languages of New Indo-Aryan group that, in turn, is related to the branch of Indo-European language family. Punjabi language covers the areas of Western part (that is in Pakistan) and Eastern part (the Punjab state, Haryana, Delhi Himachal and J&K) and abroad (particularly Canada, USA, U.K. and Arab Emirates), where it is spoken widely. Besides India and Pakistan, Punjabi is the third language spoken in Canada after English, French having more than one hundred millions speakers worldwide. It is the fourth language spoken in Canada after English, French, and Chinese. It is also being taught as second language in most of the community school of British Columbia. The total number of Punjabi speakers is more than one hundred millions including India, Pakistan and abroad. Punjabi has a long tradition of linguistic tradition. A large number of scholars have studied Punjabi at different linguistic levels. Various studies are devoted to its special phonological characteristics, especially the tone, which has now started disappearing in favour of aspiration, a rare example of a language change in progress in its reversal direction. This process of language change in progress in reversal is dealt with in this paper a change towards a loss of linguistic indigeneity. The tone being a distinctive linguistic feature of Punjabi language is getting lost due to the increasing influence of Hindi and English particularly in the speech Urban Punjabi and Punjabi settled abroad. In this paper, an attempt has been made to discuss the sociolinguistics and sociology of Punjabi language and Punjab to trace the initiation and progression of this change towards a loss of Linguistic Indigeneity.

Keywords: language change in reversal, reaspiration, detonalization, new Indo-Aryan group

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