Talker-familiarity benefit in non-native recognition memory and word identification: The role of listening conditions and proficiency

Polina Drozdova, Roeland van Hout, Odette Scharenborg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Native listeners benefit from talker familiarity in recognition memory and word identification, especially in adverse listening conditions. The present study addresses the talker familiarity benefit in non-native listening, and the role of listening conditions and listeners’ lexical proficiency in the emergence of this benefit. Dutch non-native listeners of English were trained to identify four English talkers over 4 days. Talker familiarity benefit in recognition memory was investigated using a recognition memory task with “old” and “new” words produced by familiar and unfamiliar talkers presented either in the clear or in noise. Talker familiarity benefit in word identification was investigated by comparing non-native listeners’ performances on the first and the last day in identifying words in different noise levels, produced by either a trained (included in the voice recognition training) or by an untrained talker (not included in the voice recognition training). Non-native listeners demonstrated a talker familiarity benefit in recognition memory, which was modulated by listening conditions and proficiency in the non-native language. No talker familiarity benefit was found in word identification. These results suggest that, similar to native listening, both linguistic and indexical (talker-specific) information influence non-native speech perception. However, this is dependent on the task and type of speech recognition process involved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1675-1697
Number of pages23
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Accepted author manuscript


  • Familiar talker benefit
  • Noise
  • Non-native proficiency
  • Non-native speech comprehension


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