Effects of Distance on Vocal Intensity The vocal response of speakers to change of distance from a listener is in dispute. Warren (1968) found that speakers obeyed the inverse square law when compensating for distance changes; that is, they decreased their vocal intensity by 6 dB when distance was halved. However, speakers in a study of ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1995
Effects of Distance on Vocal Intensity
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Deirdre D. Michael
    Department of Communication Disorders, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Gerald M. Siegel
    Department of Communication Disorders, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Herbert L. Pick, Jr.
    Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Contact author: Gerald M. Siegel, Department of Communication Disorders, Shevlin Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail: siegel@vx.cis.umn.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Normal Language Processing / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1995
Effects of Distance on Vocal Intensity
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1995, Vol. 38, 1176-1183. doi:10.1044/jshr.3805.1176
History: Received December 6, 1994 , Accepted June 5, 1995
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1995, Vol. 38, 1176-1183. doi:10.1044/jshr.3805.1176
History: Received December 6, 1994; Accepted June 5, 1995

The vocal response of speakers to change of distance from a listener is in dispute. Warren (1968) found that speakers obeyed the inverse square law when compensating for distance changes; that is, they decreased their vocal intensity by 6 dB when distance was halved. However, speakers in a study of Johnson, Pick, Siegel, Cicciarelli, and Garber (1981) changed their vocal intensity by much less than 6 dB. This study was an attempt to reconcile the conflicting results and to gain better understanding of what people know implicitly about the effects of distance on intensity. Speakers in the present study significantly changed their vocal intensity to compensate for changes in distance, but by a maximum of 2.46 dB. Possible reasons for the different results are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by a grant from the Bryng Bryngelson Fund, Department of Communication Disorders, University of Minnesota.
Special gratitude is extended to Julie Liss for her assistance with the Kay DSP Sonagraph, to Suzanne Bauer for making the reliabililty observations, and to Kimberly Fisher and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access