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J Acoust Soc Am. 2002 Jul;112(1):259-71.

Vowel intelligibility in clear and conversational speech for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners.

Author information

1
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington 47405, USA. safergus@indiana.edu

Abstract

Several studies have demonstrated that when talkers are instructed to speak clearly, the resulting speech is significantly more intelligible than speech produced in ordinary conversation. These speech intelligibility improvements are accompanied by a wide variety of acoustic changes. The current study explored the relationship between acoustic properties of vowels and their identification in clear and conversational speech, for young normal-hearing (YNH) and elderly hearing-impaired (EHI) listeners. Monosyllabic words excised from sentences spoken either clearly or conversationally by a male talker were presented in 12-talker babble for vowel identification. While vowel intelligibility was significantly higher in clear speech than in conversational speech for the YNH listeners, no clear speech advantage was found for the EHI group. Regression analyses were used to assess the relative importance of spectral target, dynamic formant movement, and duration information for perception of individual vowels. For both listener groups, all three types of information emerged as primary cues to vowel identity. However, the relative importance of the three cues for individual vowels differed greatly for the YNH and EHI listeners. This suggests that hearing loss alters the way acoustic cues are used for identifying vowels.

PMID:
12141351
DOI:
10.1121/1.1482078
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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