The Importance of Consonant-Vowel Intensity Ratio in the Intelligibility of Voiceless Consonants The purpose of this study was to evaluate the extent to which variations in the consonant-vowel (C-V) intensity ratio could account for variations in speech intelligibility among the productions of 10 talkers. Fifty normal-hearing individuals listened in noise to syllables consisting of voiceless consonants followed by the vowel // under ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1989
The Importance of Consonant-Vowel Intensity Ratio in the Intelligibility of Voiceless Consonants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Richard L. Freyman
    University of Massachusetts
  • G. Patrick Nerbonne
    University of Massachusetts
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1989
The Importance of Consonant-Vowel Intensity Ratio in the Intelligibility of Voiceless Consonants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1989, Vol. 32, 524-535. doi:10.1044/jshr.3203.524
History: Received May 23, 1988 , Accepted December 9, 1988
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 1989, Vol. 32, 524-535. doi:10.1044/jshr.3203.524
History: Received May 23, 1988; Accepted December 9, 1988

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the extent to which variations in the consonant-vowel (C-V) intensity ratio could account for variations in speech intelligibility among the productions of 10 talkers. Fifty normal-hearing individuals listened in noise to syllables consisting of voiceless consonants followed by the vowel // under three conditions in which: (a) C-V ratio varied naturally as produced by the talkers, and the stimuli were calibrated according to vowel intensity; (b) C-V ratios were increased and equated via digital signal processing; and (c) C-V ratios were unmodified, but the syllables were calibrated according to consonant level rather than vowel level. Results indicated that variations in C-V ratio explained a great deal of the variation in the intelligibility of some consonants (/s, ∫, t∫/) but not others (the voiceless stops). This difference may well be due to differences in audibility between the two groups of consonants when they are presented at similar consonant-to-noise ratios. The majority of the data suggest that the importance of C-V ratio is related to the intensity of consonants but is independent of the ratio per se between consonant and vowel levels.

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