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J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2012 Oct;55(5):1342-55. doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0260). Epub 2012 Mar 12.

New sentence recognition materials developed using a basic non-native English lexicon.

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Queens College of the City University of New York, Flushing, USA.



The objective of this project was to develop new sentence test materials drawing on a basic non-native English lexicon that could be used to test speech recognition for various listener populations. These materials have been designed to provide a test tool that is less linguistically biased, compared with materials that are currently available, for sentence recognition for non-native as well as native speakers of English.


One hundred non-native speakers of English were interviewed on a range of 20 conversational topics. Over 26 hr of recorded non-native English speech were transcribed. These transcriptions were used to create a lexicon of over 4,000 unique words. The words from this lexicon were used to create the new materials based on a simple syntactic sentence structure frame.


Twenty lists of 25 sentences were developed. Each sentence has 4 keywords, providing 100 keywords per list. Lists were equated for rate of occurrence of keywords in lexicon, high-frequency count (total number of affricates and fricatives), number of syllables, and distribution of syntactic structure. Listening-in-noise results for native-English-speaking, normal-hearing listeners indicated similar performance across lists.


The Basic English Lexicon materials provide a large set of sentences for native and non-native English speech-recognition testing.

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