Perceptual effects of deviance in pitch accent distributions in L1 and L2 Dutch

Lieke van Maastricht, Emiel Krahmer, Marc Swerts

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This paper describes the effect of deviance in focus marking by means of pitch accent distributions in Dutch on L1 perceptions of accentedness, nativeness and comprehensibility in L1 and L2 speech. On a rating task Dutch natives demonstrate that they have unambiguous intuitions concerning L2 speech by Spanish learners of Dutch by categorically rating it as more accented, more difficult to comprehend and less typical of an L1 speaker than L1 speech, with proficiency factor as a modulating factor. Interestingly, accentedness and nativeness are rated more extremely than comprehensibility, suggesting that non-native, foreign accented speech can still be highly comprehensible. A preference task reveals that Dutch natives prefer prosodically accurate utterances to prosodically inaccurate ones, when making nativeness judgments based on prosodic cues only, for both L1 and proficient L2 speakers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2015


  • prosodic deviance
  • speech perception
  • accentedness
  • comprehensibility
  • nativeness


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