Consistency and Reliability of Voice Quality Ratings for Different Types of Speech Fragments This study describes a perception experiment in which listeners were asked to rate voice fragments obtained from a variety of speakers on grade, breathiness, and roughness. Four different types of stimuli were presented to each listener. One type of stimulus was based on connected speech fragments; the other three were ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1994
Consistency and Reliability of Voice Quality Ratings for Different Types of Speech Fragments
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Guus de Krom
    Research Institute for Language and Speech, University of Utrecht The Netherlands
  • Contact author: Guus de Krom, Research Institute for Language and Speech, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. E-mail: krom@let.ruu.nl
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1994
Consistency and Reliability of Voice Quality Ratings for Different Types of Speech Fragments
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1994, Vol. 37, 985-1000. doi:10.1044/jshr.3705.985
History: Received September 3, 1993 , Accepted March 28, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1994, Vol. 37, 985-1000. doi:10.1044/jshr.3705.985
History: Received September 3, 1993; Accepted March 28, 1994

This study describes a perception experiment in which listeners were asked to rate voice fragments obtained from a variety of speakers on grade, breathiness, and roughness. Four different types of stimuli were presented to each listener. One type of stimulus was based on connected speech fragments; the other three were based on different segments of a sustained vowel, yielding a 200 msec vowel onset stimulus, a 200 msec post-onset stimulus, and a 1000 msec whole vowel stimulus. Analyses focused on the consistency and reliability of grade, roughness, and breathiness ratings. Results indicated that stimulus type had virtually no effect on either within- or between-listener consistency of the grade, breathiness, or roughness ratings. Rating reliability too was hardly influenced by stimulus type. When determined as a function of the overall degree of deviance of a voice, the reliability of breathiness and roughness ratings was slightly higher for whole vowel and vowel onset stimuli than for connected speech and post-onset stimuli. It is concluded that connected speech stimuli are not necessarily to be preferred over vowel-type stimuli for a perceptual evaluation of grade, roughness, or breathiness. The somewhat higher reliability of ratings on vowel onset and whole vowel stimuli as compared to the post-onset stimuli is taken as an indication that the onset part of a vowel may contain voice quality cues that are less salient in the most stable part of a vowel.

Acknowledgments
First of all, I would like to thank the listeners and especially the speakers who provided the material for this study. Staff members of the Phoniatrie, Clinical, and Experimental Audiology Departments of the University Hospital in Utrecht (AZU) are gratefully acknowledged for their cooperation during recording sessions. My supervisors Sieb Nooteboom and Bert Schouten (both at the Research Institute for Language and Speech, University of Utrecht) provided a lot of useful comments on earlier versions of this paper, as did Bert Cranen (Phonetics Department, University of Nijmegen), Dik Hermes (IPO, Eindhoven), Guido F. Smoorenburg (Experimental Audiology Department, AZU), and George Wieneke (Phoniatrie Department, AZU). The software for the presentation of the stimuli was written in cooperation with my former colleague Gert-Jan Vernooij. Last, but not least, I would like to thank Huub van den Bergh (University of Utrecht/Dutch National Institute of Educational Measurement, Arnhem) for his highly appreciated expert help with the statistical analyses.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access