Musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing are linked through sensitivity to pitch and spectral information

Vera Kempe*, Dennis Bublitz, Patricia J. Brooks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Is the observed link between musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing due to enhanced sensitivity to acoustic features underlying both musical and linguistic processing? To address this question, native English speakers (N = 118) discriminated Norwegian tonal contrasts and Norwegian vowels. Short tones differing in temporal, pitch, and spectral characteristics were used to measure sensitivity to the various acoustic features implicated in musical and speech processing. Musical ability was measured using Gordon's Advanced Measures of Musical Audiation. Results showed that sensitivity to specific acoustic features played a role in non-native speech-sound processing: Controlling for non-verbal intelligence, prior foreign language-learning experience, and sex, sensitivity to pitch and spectral information partially mediated the link between musical ability and discrimination of non-native vowels and lexical tones. The findings suggest that while sensitivity to certain acoustic features partially mediates the relationship between musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing, complex tests of musical ability also tap into other shared mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349–366
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Volume106
Issue number2
Early online date13 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015

Fingerprint

Phonetics
Aptitude
Acoustics
Linguistics
Intelligence
Language
Speech Sounds
Musical Ability
Spectrality
Learning

Cite this

@article{7d2a17ee041a4a3897658ee7858f88a5,
title = "Musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing are linked through sensitivity to pitch and spectral information",
abstract = "Is the observed link between musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing due to enhanced sensitivity to acoustic features underlying both musical and linguistic processing? To address this question, native English speakers (N = 118) discriminated Norwegian tonal contrasts and Norwegian vowels. Short tones differing in temporal, pitch, and spectral characteristics were used to measure sensitivity to the various acoustic features implicated in musical and speech processing. Musical ability was measured using Gordon's Advanced Measures of Musical Audiation. Results showed that sensitivity to specific acoustic features played a role in non-native speech-sound processing: Controlling for non-verbal intelligence, prior foreign language-learning experience, and sex, sensitivity to pitch and spectral information partially mediated the link between musical ability and discrimination of non-native vowels and lexical tones. The findings suggest that while sensitivity to certain acoustic features partially mediates the relationship between musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing, complex tests of musical ability also tap into other shared mechanisms.",
author = "Vera Kempe and Dennis Bublitz and Brooks, {Patricia J.}",
year = "2015",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/bjop.12092",
language = "English",
volume = "106",
pages = "349–366",
journal = "The British journal of psychology. General section",
issn = "0373-2460",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "2",

}

Musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing are linked through sensitivity to pitch and spectral information. / Kempe, Vera; Bublitz, Dennis; Brooks, Patricia J.

In: British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 106, No. 2, 01.05.2015, p. 349–366.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing are linked through sensitivity to pitch and spectral information

AU - Kempe, Vera

AU - Bublitz, Dennis

AU - Brooks, Patricia J.

PY - 2015/5/1

Y1 - 2015/5/1

N2 - Is the observed link between musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing due to enhanced sensitivity to acoustic features underlying both musical and linguistic processing? To address this question, native English speakers (N = 118) discriminated Norwegian tonal contrasts and Norwegian vowels. Short tones differing in temporal, pitch, and spectral characteristics were used to measure sensitivity to the various acoustic features implicated in musical and speech processing. Musical ability was measured using Gordon's Advanced Measures of Musical Audiation. Results showed that sensitivity to specific acoustic features played a role in non-native speech-sound processing: Controlling for non-verbal intelligence, prior foreign language-learning experience, and sex, sensitivity to pitch and spectral information partially mediated the link between musical ability and discrimination of non-native vowels and lexical tones. The findings suggest that while sensitivity to certain acoustic features partially mediates the relationship between musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing, complex tests of musical ability also tap into other shared mechanisms.

AB - Is the observed link between musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing due to enhanced sensitivity to acoustic features underlying both musical and linguistic processing? To address this question, native English speakers (N = 118) discriminated Norwegian tonal contrasts and Norwegian vowels. Short tones differing in temporal, pitch, and spectral characteristics were used to measure sensitivity to the various acoustic features implicated in musical and speech processing. Musical ability was measured using Gordon's Advanced Measures of Musical Audiation. Results showed that sensitivity to specific acoustic features played a role in non-native speech-sound processing: Controlling for non-verbal intelligence, prior foreign language-learning experience, and sex, sensitivity to pitch and spectral information partially mediated the link between musical ability and discrimination of non-native vowels and lexical tones. The findings suggest that while sensitivity to certain acoustic features partially mediates the relationship between musical ability and non-native speech-sound processing, complex tests of musical ability also tap into other shared mechanisms.

U2 - 10.1111/bjop.12092

DO - 10.1111/bjop.12092

M3 - Article

VL - 106

SP - 349

EP - 366

JO - The British journal of psychology. General section

JF - The British journal of psychology. General section

SN - 0373-2460

IS - 2

ER -