Talker Differences in Clear and Conversational Speech: Perceived Sentence Clarity for Young Adults With Normal Hearing and Older Adults With Hearing Loss Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine talker differences for subjectively rated speech clarity in clear versus conversational speech, to determine whether ratings differ for young adults with normal hearing (YNH listeners) and older adults with hearing impairment (OHI listeners), and to explore effects of certain talker characteristics ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   December 21, 2017
Talker Differences in Clear and Conversational Speech: Perceived Sentence Clarity for Young Adults With Normal Hearing and Older Adults With Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sarah Hargus Ferguson
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Shae D. Morgan
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • 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 Sarah Hargus Ferguson: sarah.ferguson@hsc.utah.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun
    Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun×
  • Editor: Daniel Fogerty
    Editor: Daniel Fogerty×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Normal Language Processing / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 21, 2017
Talker Differences in Clear and Conversational Speech: Perceived Sentence Clarity for Young Adults With Normal Hearing and Older Adults With Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-17-0082
History: Received March 1, 2017 , Revised June 13, 2017 , Accepted July 11, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-17-0082
History: Received March 1, 2017; Revised June 13, 2017; Accepted July 11, 2017

Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine talker differences for subjectively rated speech clarity in clear versus conversational speech, to determine whether ratings differ for young adults with normal hearing (YNH listeners) and older adults with hearing impairment (OHI listeners), and to explore effects of certain talker characteristics (e.g., gender) on perceived clarity. Relationships among clarity ratings and other speech perceptual and acoustic measures were also explored.

Method Twenty-one YNH and 15 OHI listeners rated clear and conversational sentences produced by 41 talkers on a scale of 1 (lowest possible clarity) to 7 (highest possible clarity).

Results While clarity ratings varied significantly among talkers, listeners rated clear speech significantly clearer than conversational speech for all but 1 talker. OHI and YNH listeners gave similar ratings for conversational speech, but ratings for clear speech were significantly higher for OHI listeners. Talker gender effects differed for YNH and OHI listeners. Ratings of clear speech varied among subgroups of talkers with different amounts of experience talking to people with hearing loss.

Conclusions Perceived clarity varies widely among talkers, but nearly all produce clear speech that sounds significantly clearer than their conversational speech. Few differences were seen between OHI and YNH listeners except the effect of talker gender.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health Grant DC008886. The development of the Ferguson Clear Speech Database was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant DC02229 to Indiana University. Hearing evaluations for the older adults with hearing impairment were provided by the University of Utah Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. Portions of this work were presented at the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology Institute, Providence, RI, 2012. The authors are grateful to Craig Berg, Amanda Malone, and Patrick Pead for their assistance with data collection, Emily Kerr and Billy Speer for stimulus preparation, and Greg Stoddard, Hugo Quené, and Simone Graetzer for statistical guidance.
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