Frequency-Importance Functions for Words in High- and Low-Context Sentences The relative importance and absolute contributions of various spectral regions to speech intelligibility under conditions of either neutral or predictable sentential context were examined. Specifically, the frequency-importance functions for a set of monosyllabic words embedded in a highly predictive sentence context versus a sentence with little predictive information were developed ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1992
Frequency-Importance Functions for Words in High- and Low-Context Sentences
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Theodore S. Bell
    UCLA School of Medicine Head and Neck Surgery Los Angeles, CA
  • Donald D. Dirks
    UCLA School of Medicine Head and Neck Surgery Los Angeles, CA
  • Timothy D. Trine
    UCLA School of Medicine Head and Neck Surgery Los Angeles, CA
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1992
Frequency-Importance Functions for Words in High- and Low-Context Sentences
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1992, Vol. 35, 950-959. doi:10.1044/jshr.3504.950
History: Received July 18, 1991 , Accepted November 7, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1992, Vol. 35, 950-959. doi:10.1044/jshr.3504.950
History: Received July 18, 1991; Accepted November 7, 1991
Web of Science® Times Cited: 35

The relative importance and absolute contributions of various spectral regions to speech intelligibility under conditions of either neutral or predictable sentential context were examined. Specifically, the frequency-importance functions for a set of monosyllabic words embedded in a highly predictive sentence context versus a sentence with little predictive information were developed using Articulation Index (Al) methods. Forty-two young normal-hearing adults heard sentences presented at signal-to-noise ratios from –8 to +14 dB in a noise shaped to conform to the peak spectrum of the speech. Results indicated only slight differences in ⅓-octave importance functions due to differences in semantic context, although the crossovers differed by a constant 180 Hz. Methodological and theoretical aspects of parameter estimation in the Al model are discussed. The results suggest that semantic context, as defined by these conditions, may alter frequency-importance relationships in addition to the dynamic range over which intelligibility rises.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported in part by a grant from NINCDS. In addition, the authors gratefully acknowledge significant contributions from Gail Kincaid Jauck, Amy Schaefer, Kelley Sewell, and Jane Ahlstrom.
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