Native speakers' perceptions of fluency and accent in L2 speech
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The goal of this study is threefold. It is aimed at exploring (i) the relationship between objective properties of speech and perceived fluency, (ii) the relationship between segmental characteristics of speech and perceived accent, and (iii) the relationship between fluency and accent. We collected 90 speech samples from Turkish and English L2 learners of Dutch. Objective measures of fluency and accent were made for each sample. Forty untrained native speakers of Dutch rated the samples for fluency and accentedness. The results showed that the temporal measures of fluency were good predictors of fluency ratings, and that their predictive power depends on the type of measures used (i.e. traditional measures per time units, measures per information units, measures that take the L1 into consideration). Furthermore, the segmental measure of accent could predict a small part of accent ratings. Finally, perceived fluency and accent appeared to be weakly correlated, but objective measures of fluency and accent did not add additional explanatory power to the models of perceived accent and perceived fluency respectively.