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The identification of 12 English vowels was measured in quiet and in long-term speech-shaped noise (LTSSN) and multi-talker babble for English-native (EN) listeners and Chinese-native listeners in the U.S. (CNU) and China (CNC). The signal-to-noise ratio was manipulated from −15 to 0 dB. As expected, EN listeners performed significantly better in quiet and noisy conditions than CNU and CNC listeners. Vowel identification in LTSSN was similar between CNU and CNC listeners; however, performance in babble was significantly better for CNU listeners than for CNC listeners, indicating that exposing non-native listeners to native English may reduce informational masking of multi-talker babble.


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