Speaking Clearly for the Hard of Hearing II Acoustic Characteristics of Clear and Conversational Speech Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1986
Speaking Clearly for the Hard of Hearing II
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • M. A. Picheny
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
  • N. I. Durlach
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
  • L. D. Braida
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1986
Speaking Clearly for the Hard of Hearing II
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1986, Vol. 29, 434-446. doi:10.1044/jshr.2904.434
History: Received December 13, 1985 , Accepted May 27, 1986
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1986, Vol. 29, 434-446. doi:10.1044/jshr.2904.434
History: Received December 13, 1985; Accepted May 27, 1986

The first paper of this series (Picheny, Durlach, & Braida, 1985) presented evidence that there are substantial intelligibility differences for hearing-impaired listeners between nonsense sentences spoken in a conversational manner and spoken with the effort to produce clear speech. In this paper, we report the results of acoustic analyses performed on the conversational and clear speech. Among these results are the following. First, speaking rate decreases substantially in clear speech. This decrease is achieved both by inserting pauses between words and by lengthening the durations of individual speech sounds. Second, there are differences between the two speaking modes in the numbers and types of phonological phenomena observed. In conversational speech, vowels are modified or reduced, and word-final stop bursts are often not released. In clear speech, vowels are modified to a lesser extent, and stop bursts, as well as essentially all word-final consonants, are released. Third, the RMS intensities for obstruent sounds, particularly stop consonants, is greater in clear speech than in conversational speech. Finally, changes in the long-term spectrum are small. Thus, speaking clearly cannot be regarded as equivalent to the application of high-frequency emphasis.

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