Long-Term and Short-Term Characteristics of Speech Implications for Hearing Aid Selection for Young Children Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1993
Long-Term and Short-Term Characteristics of Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Patricia G. Stelmachowicz
    Boys Town National Research Hospital Omaha, NE
  • Anne L. Mace
    Boys Town National Research Hospital Omaha, NE
  • Judy G. Kopun
    Boys Town National Research Hospital Omaha, NE
  • Edward Carney
    Boys Town National Research Hospital Omaha, NE
  • Contact author: Patricia G. Stelmachowicz, PhD, Boys Town National Research Hospital, 555 North 30th Street, Omaha, NE 68131.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1993
Long-Term and Short-Term Characteristics of Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1993, Vol. 36, 609-620. doi:10.1044/jshr.3603.609
History: Received September 4, 1992 , Accepted December 4, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1993, Vol. 36, 609-620. doi:10.1044/jshr.3603.609
History: Received September 4, 1992; Accepted December 4, 1992

This study examined the effects of distance and postural position of both parents and children on the long-term and short-term spectral characteristics of speech produced by the parents. Thirty children (ages 2 months to 3 1/2 years) and their parents (30 mothers and 15 fathers) participated. Third-octave band and overall levels of the long-term average speech spectrum (LTASS) for each speech sample were analyzed in three postural positions and a 1-meter reference condition for each age category. Short-term spectral characteristics of three phonemes (/s/, //, /t/) also were analyzed. Results show that typical levels at the input to a child’s hearing aid microphone may be as much as 20 dB higher than those found in face-to-face adult conversation. Furthermore, the spectral shape may deviate substantially from an idealized version of the LTASS. Results of the short-term analysis reveal that the peak levels of the three selected phonemes often exceed the LTASS by more than the 12 dB that is often quoted to represent the 1% rms levels of speech in relation to the long-term average. Implications of these results for specific hearing losses are discussed.

Acknowledgments
The authors thank Martha Auslander, Richard Fahey, Michael Gorga, Susan Nittrouer, and Donald Sinex for many helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. We also thank Theresa Dethlefs for her assistance in data collection. This work was supported by NIH.
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