Altrov, Rene
June 2013
TRAMES: A Journal of the Humanities & Social Sciences;2013, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p159
Academic Journal
Case Study
The study addresses cultural influence in the recognition of moderately expressed emotions in a second language (L2) and foreign speech. The web-based listening test consisted of context-free sentences drawn from the Estonian Emotional Speech Corpus. The task was to recognize the emotion (joy, anger, sadness) or neutrality of each sentence without seeing the speaker. Three adult groups participated: (1) 36 Estonians, with Estonian as mother tongue; (2) 16 highly educated Russians living in Estonia, with Russian as their mother tongue and Estonian as a second language; (3) 16 highly educated Russians living in Russia, with Russian mother tongue and no knowledge of Estonian. The results showed a significant difference between Estonians and Russians living in Estonia in their recognition of joy and neutrality; Russians living in Russia differed significantly from Estonians and Russians living in Estonia on all emotion scores. This confirms that cultural norms are mastered through interaction: to recognize vocal emotions expressed in another language it is necessary to live in the culture and communicate in its language.


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