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×
Article Information
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: Received December 7, 2010 , Revised July 29, 2011 , Accepted September 20, 2011
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2012, Vol. 55, 779-790. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0342)
History: Received December 7, 2010; Revised July 29, 2011; Accepted September 20, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

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.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Grants DC008886 and DC005803 and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grant HD002528. Data analyses were performed under the guidance of Gregory J. Stoddard of the University of Utah Study Design and Biostatistics Center, which is funded in part by National Center for Research Resources Grants UL1-RR025764 and C06-RR11234. Development of the Ferguson Clear Speech Database was supported by NIDCD Grant DC02229, awarded to Indiana University.
Douglas Kieweg, Leela Parimisetty, Katherine Beam, Jessica Stamey, and Kyung Ae Keum assisted with data collection and entry. Chiung-ju Liu and Susan Kemper assisted in participant recruiting, and the Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic provided hearing evaluations for the older adults. Diane Kewley-Port, Allard Jongman, Michael Blomgren, and Sean Redmond provided useful comments on an early draft of this article.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access