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Second Language Ability and Emotional Prosody Perception
CNRS, Paris, France / University of Paris Descartes, Paris, France.
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Psychology. Stockholm University.
University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.
CNRS, Paris, France / University of Paris Descartes, Paris, France.
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2016 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 6, e0156855Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

The present study examines the effect of language experience on vocal emotion perception in a second language. Native speakers of French with varying levels of self-reported English ability were asked to identify emotions from vocal expressions produced by American actors in a forced-choice task, and to rate their pleasantness, power, alertness and intensity on continuous scales. Stimuli included emotionally expressive English speech (emotional prosody) and non-linguistic vocalizations (affect bursts), and a baseline condition with Swiss-French pseudo-speech. Results revealed effects of English ability on the recognition of emotions in English speech but not in non-linguistic vocalizations. Specifically, higher English ability was associated with less accurate identification of positive emotions, but not with the interpretation of negative emotions. Moreover, higher English ability was associated with lower ratings of pleasantness and power, again only for emotional prosody. This suggests that second language skills may sometimes interfere with emotion recognition from speech prosody, particularly for positive emotions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 11, no 6, e0156855
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URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30618DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156855ISI: 000377218700066PubMedID: 27253326ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84973664669OAI: diva2:949534
Available from: 2016-07-20 Created: 2016-07-18 Last updated: 2016-07-20Bibliographically approved

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