Frequency-Importance Functions for Words in High- and Low-Context Sentences The relative importance and absolute contributions of various spectral regions to speech intelligibility under conditions of either neutral or predictable sentential context were examined. Specifically, the frequency-importance functions for a set of monosyllabic words embedded in a highly predictive sentence context versus a sentence with little predictive information were developed ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1992
Frequency-Importance Functions for Words in High- and Low-Context Sentences
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Theodore S. Bell
    UCLA School of Medicine Head and Neck Surgery Los Angeles, CA
  • Donald D. Dirks
    UCLA School of Medicine Head and Neck Surgery Los Angeles, CA
  • Timothy D. Trine
    UCLA School of Medicine Head and Neck Surgery Los Angeles, CA
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1992
Frequency-Importance Functions for Words in High- and Low-Context Sentences
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1992, Vol. 35, 950-959. doi:10.1044/jshr.3504.950
History: Received July 18, 1991 , Accepted November 7, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1992, Vol. 35, 950-959. doi:10.1044/jshr.3504.950
History: Received July 18, 1991; Accepted November 7, 1991

The relative importance and absolute contributions of various spectral regions to speech intelligibility under conditions of either neutral or predictable sentential context were examined. Specifically, the frequency-importance functions for a set of monosyllabic words embedded in a highly predictive sentence context versus a sentence with little predictive information were developed using Articulation Index (Al) methods. Forty-two young normal-hearing adults heard sentences presented at signal-to-noise ratios from –8 to +14 dB in a noise shaped to conform to the peak spectrum of the speech. Results indicated only slight differences in ⅓-octave importance functions due to differences in semantic context, although the crossovers differed by a constant 180 Hz. Methodological and theoretical aspects of parameter estimation in the Al model are discussed. The results suggest that semantic context, as defined by these conditions, may alter frequency-importance relationships in addition to the dynamic range over which intelligibility rises.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported in part by a grant from NINCDS. In addition, the authors gratefully acknowledge significant contributions from Gail Kincaid Jauck, Amy Schaefer, Kelley Sewell, and Jane Ahlstrom.
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