Perceived foreign accent as a predicator of face-voice match

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This study examines perceived accentedness as a predictor of perceived match between faces and voices. 85 pictures were rated for the likely education, masculinity and accentedness of the person depicted. Independently, 300 recordings of disyllabic English words from native speakers of English, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish were rated for degree of perceived foreign accent. The highest and lowest rated tokens from each of three male speakers from each language background (30 total tokens) were selected, as were 15 pictures, maximizing the variability in perceived accentedness while avoiding extremes of education or masculinity. All pairwise combinations of these 15 faces and 30 voices were rated for perceived match. The results show that listeners have clear and structured perceptions of “fit” between faces and voices which are based in part, but not entirely, on the congruence of key social attributes such as perceived accentedness and local understandings of ethnolinguistic groupings.


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