Acoustics of Clear and Noise-Adapted Speech in Children, Young, and Older Adults Purpose This study investigated acoustic–phonetic modifications produced in noise-adapted speech (NAS) and clear speech (CS) by children, young adults, and older adults. Method Ten children (11–13 years of age), 10 young adults (18–29 years of age), and 10 older adults (60–84 years of age) read sentences in conversational ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 09, 2017
Acoustics of Clear and Noise-Adapted Speech in Children, Young, and Older Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rajka Smiljanic
    Department of Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin
  • Rachael C. Gilbert
    Dropbox, Austin, TX
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Rajka Smiljanic: rajka@austin.utexas.edu
  • Rachael C. Gilbert is now at Atlassian, San Francisco, CA
    Rachael C. Gilbert is now at Atlassian, San Francisco, CA×
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
  • Associate Editor: Amy Neel
    Associate Editor: Amy Neel×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 09, 2017
Acoustics of Clear and Noise-Adapted Speech in Children, Young, and Older Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3081-3096. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0130
History: Received April 4, 2016 , Revised October 23, 2016 , Accepted May 8, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3081-3096. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0130
History: Received April 4, 2016; Revised October 23, 2016; Accepted May 8, 2017

Purpose This study investigated acoustic–phonetic modifications produced in noise-adapted speech (NAS) and clear speech (CS) by children, young adults, and older adults.

Method Ten children (11–13 years of age), 10 young adults (18–29 years of age), and 10 older adults (60–84 years of age) read sentences in conversational and clear speaking style in quiet and in noise. A number of acoustic measurements were obtained.

Results NAS and CS were characterized by a decrease in speaking rate and an increase in 1–3 kHz energy, sound pressure level (SPL), vowel space area (VSA), and harmonics-to-noise ratio. NAS increased fundamental frequency (F0) mean and decreased jitter and shimmer. CS increased frequency and duration of pauses. Older adults produced the slowest speaking rate, longest pauses, and smallest increase in F0 mean, 1–3 kHz energy, and SPL when speaking clearly. They produced the smallest increases in VSA in NAS and CS. Children slowed down less, increased the VSA least, increased harmonics-to-noise ratio, and decreased jitter and shimmer most in CS. Children increased mean F0 and F1 most in noise.

Conclusions Findings have implications for a model of speech production in healthy speakers as well as the potential to aid in clinical decision making for individuals with speech disorders, particularly dysarthria.

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