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The impact of variation in phoneme category structure on consonant intelligibility

Hazan, VL; Romeo, R; Pettinato, M; (2013) The impact of variation in phoneme category structure on consonant intelligibility. In: Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics. (pp. 060103). Acoustical Society of America Green open access

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Abstract

Newman et al. [J. Acoustic. Soc. Am, 109, 1181-1196 (2001)] suggested that phoneme identification accuracy and speed for a given talker was affected by the degree of variability in their production of phoneme categories. This study investigates how intra-talker variability in the production of two phoneme contrasts varies with age and gender, and how this variability affects perception. Multiple iterations of tokens differing in initial consonants (/s/-/ʃ/, /p/-/b/) were collected via picture elicitation from 40 adults and 31 children aged 11 to 14; measures of within-category dispersion, between-category distance, overlap and discriminability were obtained. While females produced more discriminable categories than males, children produced farther yet more dispersed - and thus similarly discriminable - categories than adults. Variability was contrast-specific rather than a general talker characteristic. Tokens with initial /s/-/ʃ/ from pairs of adult and child talkers varying in between-category distance or overlap were presented for identification. The presence of overlap had a greater effect on identification accuracy and speed than between-category distance, with strongest effects for adult speakers, but reaction time correlated most highly with within category dispersion. These data suggest that talkers who are less consistent in their speech production may be perceived less clearly than more internally-consistent talkers.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: The impact of variation in phoneme category structure on consonant intelligibility
Event: 21st International Congress on Acoustics
Location: Montreal, Canada
Dates: 2013-06-02 - 2013-06-07
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1121/1.4800618
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4800618
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 Acoustical Society of America
Keywords: Speech perception, speech production, speech development
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1392888
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