THE EFFECT OF ACCENT FAMILIARITY ON THE INTELIGIBILITY OF NATIVE SPEAKER SPEECH

Abstract

Author(s): Kofo A. ADEDEJI

In native and non-native speaker discourse, lack of intelligibility is often identified as one of the main hindrances of effective communication. A number of empirical investigations have attempted to pinpoint the variables which determine level of intelligibility in discourse and familiarity of the listener to the speaker’s accent is one of such established variables. In this study, an attempt is made to correlate the level of accent familiarity with the degree of listener’s understanding of the speaker’s speech with a view to examining the impact of this variable on speech comprehension. The focus is native and non-native speech, specifically, British speakers of Englishand Nigerian listeners. The outcome of the assessment is that the degree of listener’s familiarity with an accent determines the level of comprehension of the speaker.

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