Sentence Intelligibility as a Function of Key Word Selection The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between word predictability and sentence intelligibility. This relationship was examined by comparing intelligibility scores obtained with frequency-filtered sentences (CID Sentence Lists B and D and Revised List C) which were scored using key words empirically determined to be representative of ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1974
Sentence Intelligibility as a Function of Key Word Selection
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joseph R. Duffy
    University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
  • Thomas G. Giolas
    University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1974
Sentence Intelligibility as a Function of Key Word Selection
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1974, Vol. 17, 631-637. doi:10.1044/jshr.1704.631
History: Received March 8, 1973 , Accepted February 28, 1974
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1974, Vol. 17, 631-637. doi:10.1044/jshr.1704.631
History: Received March 8, 1973; Accepted February 28, 1974

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between word predictability and sentence intelligibility. This relationship was examined by comparing intelligibility scores obtained with frequency-filtered sentences (CID Sentence Lists B and D and Revised List C) which were scored using key words empirically determined to be representative of three different degrees of predictability. We hypothesized that the scores obtained would be a function of the predictability status of the key words used in scoring. Results indicated significant differences between the three scoring procedures for each sentence list under two filtering conditions (420-Hz and 360-Hz low pass) and these differences were in the hypothesized direction. The results suggest that use of “easy-to-predict” words for scoring purposes will increase sentence intelligibility scores, while use of “difficult-to-predict” words will depress scores. We concluded that word predictability is a factor influencing sentence intelligibility and that careful selection of key words, based on their predictability status, is a method of controlling or influencing the intelligibility of sentences.

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