Intelligibility of Noise-Adapted and Clear Speech in Child, Young Adult, and Older Adult Talkers Purpose This study examined intelligibility of conversational and clear speech sentences produced in quiet and in noise by children, young adults, and older adults. Relative talker intelligibility was assessed across speaking styles. Method Sixty-one young adult participants listened to sentences mixed with speech-shaped noise at −5 dB signal-to-noise ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 09, 2017
Intelligibility of Noise-Adapted and Clear Speech in Child, Young Adult, and Older Adult Talkers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rajka Smiljanic
    Department of Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin
  • Rachael C. Gilbert
    WeddingWire, Bethesda, MD
  • 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×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 09, 2017
Intelligibility of Noise-Adapted and Clear Speech in Child, Young Adult, and Older Adult Talkers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3069-3080. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0165
History: Received April 25, 2016 , Revised October 21, 2016 , Accepted April 21, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3069-3080. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0165
History: Received April 25, 2016; Revised October 21, 2016; Accepted April 21, 2017

Purpose This study examined intelligibility of conversational and clear speech sentences produced in quiet and in noise by children, young adults, and older adults. Relative talker intelligibility was assessed across speaking styles.

Method Sixty-one young adult participants listened to sentences mixed with speech-shaped noise at −5 dB signal-to-noise ratio. The analyses examined percent correct scores across conversational, clear, and noise-adapted conditions and the three talker groups. Correlation analyses examined whether talker intelligibility is consistent across speaking style adaptations.

Results Noise-adapted and clear speech significantly enhanced intelligibility for young adult listeners. The intelligibility improvement varied across the three talker groups. Notably, intelligibility benefit was smallest for children's speaking style modifications. Listeners also perceived speech produced in noise by older adults to be less intelligible compared to the younger talkers. Talker intelligibility was correlated strongly between conversational and clear speech in quiet, but not for conversational speech produced in quiet and in noise.

Conclusions Results provide evidence that intelligibility variation related to age and communicative barrier has the potential to aid clinical decision making for individuals with speech disorders, particularly dysarthria.

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