Effect of Speech Dialect on Speech Naturalness Ratings A Systematic Replication of Martin, Haroldson, and Triden (1984) Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1997
Effect of Speech Dialect on Speech Naturalness Ratings
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Linda S. Mackey
    Claremore Regional Hospital Home Health, OK
  • Patrick Finn
    University of New Mexico Albuquerque
  • Roger J. Ingham
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: pfinn@unm.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1997
Effect of Speech Dialect on Speech Naturalness Ratings
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1997, Vol. 40, 349-360. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4002.349
History: Received May 20, 1996 , Accepted August 30, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1997, Vol. 40, 349-360. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4002.349
History: Received May 20, 1996; Accepted August 30, 1996

This study investigated the effect of speech dialect on listeners' speech naturalness ratings by systematically replicating Martin, Haroldson, and Triden's (1984) study using three groups of speaker samples. Two groups consisted of speakers with General American dialect—one with persons who stutter and the other with persons who do not stutter. The third group also consisted of speakers who do not stutter but who spoke non-General American dialect. The results showed that speech naturalness ratings distinguished among the three speaker groups. The variables that appeared to influence speech naturalness ratings were type of dialect, speech fluency, and speaking rate, though they differed across speaker groups. The findings also suggested that strength of speech dialect may be a scaleable dimension that judges can rate with acceptable levels of reliability. Dialect may also be an important factor that needs to be incorporated or controlled within systems designed to train speech naturalness ratings. It may also be an important factor in determining the extent to which stuttering treatment produces natural sounding speech.

Acknowledgments
Authorship of this paper is equal. The authors wish to thank Jack Damico, PhD, for his invaluable suggestions and contributions. Preparation of this paper was supported (in part) by research grant number 5 R01 DC 00060-05 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health.
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