Session Perception III:

Perception III: Fast/Synthetic Speech

Type: oral
Chair: Pat Beddor
Date: Wednesday - August 08, 2007
Time: 09:00
Room: 4 (Green)


Perception III-1 The effect of hearing loss on the intelligibility of synthetic speech
Maria Wolters, University of Edinburgh
Pauline Campbell , Queen Margaret University
Christine DePlacido, Queen Margaret University
Amy Liddell, Queen Margaret University / University of Edinburgh
David Owens, Queen Margaret University / University of Edinburgh
Paper File Additional Files
  Many factors affect the intelligibility of synthetic speech. One aspect that has been severely neglected in past work is hearing loss. In this study, we investigate whether pure-tone audiometry thresholds across a wide range of frequencies (0.25--20kHz) are correlated with participants' performance on a simple task that involves accurately recalling and processing reminders. Participants' scores correlate not only with thresholds in the frequency ranges commonly associated with speech, but also with extended high-frequency thresholds.
Anja Moos, Saarland University, Institute of Phonetics
Jürgen Trouvain, Saarland University, Institute of Phonetics
Paper File Additional Files
  This study explores how much speech can be temporally compressed and still understood by blind people who have daily practice with speech synthesis vs. sighted persons without such training. Texts with formant-synthesized speech, and compressed natural speech with and without pauses were generated at rates between 9 and 14 syll/sec (sighted persons) and 17 and 22 syll/sec (blind). The removal of pauses in compressed natural speech shows significant benefits at only few speaking rates. Results also show that synthesis is understood worst by sighted but best by blind. The fact that some of the blind still understood speech at 22 s/s reveals the flexibility of speech perception during the processing of ultra-fast speech.
Perception III-3 Listening to fast speech: aging and sentence context
Esther Janse, Utrecht institute of Linguistics UiL OTS & Max Planck institute for Psycholinguistics
Majoke van der Werff, Utrecht institute of Linguistics OTS
Hugo Quené, Utrecht institute of Linguistics OTS
Paper File
  In this study we investigated to what extent a meaningful sentence context facilitates spoken word processing in young and older listeners if listening is made taxing by time-compressing the speech. Even though elderly listeners have been shown to benefit more from sentence context in difficult listening conditions than young listeners, time compression of speech may interfere with semantic comprehension, particularly in older listeners because of cognitive slowing. The results of a target detection experiment showed that, unlike young listeners who showed facilitation by context at both rates, elderly listeners showed context facilitation at the intermediate, but not at the fastest rate. This suggests that semantic interpretation lags behind target identification.

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