Article  |   June 2012
Talker Differences in Clear and Conversational Speech: Vowel Intelligibility for Older Adults With Hearing Loss
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sarah Hargus Ferguson
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Correspondence to Sarah Hargus Ferguson, who is now with the University of Utah: sarah.ferguson@hsc.utah.edu
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Marjorie Leek
    Associate Editor: Marjorie Leek×
Hearing
Article   |   June 2012
Talker Differences in Clear and Conversational Speech: Vowel Intelligibility for Older Adults With Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research June 2012, Vol.55, 779-790. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0342)
History: Accepted 20 Sep 2011 , Received 07 Dec 2010 , Revised 29 Jul 2011
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research June 2012, Vol.55, 779-790. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0342)
History: Accepted 20 Sep 2011 , Received 07 Dec 2010 , Revised 29 Jul 2011

Purpose: To establish the range of talker variability for vowel intelligibility in clear versus conversational speech for older adults with hearing loss and to determine whether talkers who produced a clear speech benefit for young listeners with normal hearing also did so for older adults with hearing loss.

Method: Clear and conversational vowels in /bVd/ context produced by 41 talkers were presented in noise for identification by 40 older (ages 65–87 years) adults with sloping sensorineural hearing loss.

Results: Vowel intelligibility within each speaking style and the size of the clear speech benefit varied widely among talkers. The clear speech benefit was equivalent to that enjoyed by young listeners with normal hearing in an earlier study. Most talkers who had produced a clear speech benefit for young listeners with normal hearing also did so for the older listeners with hearing loss in the present study. However, effects of talker gender differed between listeners with normal hearing and listeners with hearing loss.

Conclusion: The clear speech vowel intelligibility benefit generated for listeners with hearing loss varied considerably among talkers. Most talkers who produced a clear speech benefit for normal-hearing listeners also produced a benefit for listeners with hearing loss.

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