Lexical and Talker Effects on Word Recognition Among Native and Non-Native Listeners With Normal and Impaired Hearing Evidence suggests that word recognition depends on numerous talker-, listener-, and stimulus-related characteristics. The current study examined the effects of talker variability and lexical difficulty on spoken-word recognition among four groups of listeners: native listeners with normal hearing or hearing impairment (moderate sensorineural hearing loss) and non-native listeners with normal ... Research Article
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Research Article  |   June 01, 2002
Lexical and Talker Effects on Word Recognition Among Native and Non-Native Listeners With Normal and Impaired Hearing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sumiko Takayanagi, PhD
    National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research Veterans Administration Medical Center Portland, OR and Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Los Angeles, CA and UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA
  • Donald D. Dirks
    National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research Veterans Administration Medical Center Portland, OR and Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Los Angeles, CA and UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA
  • Anahita Moshfegh
    Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Los Angeles, CA
  • Contact author: Sumiko Takayanagi, PhD, House Ear Institute, Department of Communication Neuroscience, 2100 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057.
    Contact author: Sumiko Takayanagi, PhD, House Ear Institute, Department of Communication Neuroscience, 2100 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: stakayanagi@mailhouse.hei.org
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2002
Lexical and Talker Effects on Word Recognition Among Native and Non-Native Listeners With Normal and Impaired Hearing
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2002, Vol. 45, 585-597. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/047)
History: Received May 16, 2001 , Accepted January 22, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2002, Vol. 45, 585-597. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/047)
History: Received May 16, 2001; Accepted January 22, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 26

Evidence suggests that word recognition depends on numerous talker-, listener-, and stimulus-related characteristics. The current study examined the effects of talker variability and lexical difficulty on spoken-word recognition among four groups of listeners: native listeners with normal hearing or hearing impairment (moderate sensorineural hearing loss) and non-native listeners with normal hearing or hearing impairment. The ability of listeners to accommodate trial-totrial variations in talkers' voice was assessed by comparing recognition scores for a single-talker condition to those obtained in a multiple-talker condition. Lexical difficulty was assessed by comparing word-recognition performance between lexically ‘easy’ and ‘hard’ words as determined by frequency of occurrence in language and the structural characteristics of similarity neighborhoods formalized in the Neighborhood Activation Model. An up-down adaptive procedure was used to determine the sound pressure level for 50% performance. Non-native listeners in both normal-hearing and hearing-impaired groups required greater intensity for equal intelligibility than the native normal-hearing and hearingimpaired listeners. Results, however, showed significant effects of talker variability and lexical difficulty for the four groups. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that an audibility factor accounts for 2–3 times more variance in performance than does a linguistic-familiarity factor. However, the linguistic-familiarity factor is also essential to the model fit. The results demonstrated effects of talker variability and lexical difficulty on word recognition for both native and nonnative listeners with normal or impaired hearing. The results indicate that linguistic and indexical factors should be considered in the development of speech-recognition tests.

Acknowledgments
A portion of this paper was presented at the International Hearing Aid Research (IHCON) Conference 2000, Lake Tahoe, CA in August 2000 and the 140th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Newport Beach, CA in December 2000. This work was supported by grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitative Research and Development Service to the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (RCTR 597–1060), a Veterans Affairs Merit Review Award (C2225R), and the Hope for Hearing Research Foundation. The authors would like to express appreciation to Stephen A. Fausti and P. Douglas Noffsinger for their support for preparation of this paper. We would also like to express special appreciation to David B. Pisoni, Jody Kreiman, Peter Ladefoged, and Sun-Ah Jun for their insightful comments and suggestions. Special thanks go to the members of UCLA Head/Neck Surgery Clinic and the UCLA Phonetics Laboratory for subject recruitment and experimental participation.
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