ASA 125th Meeting Ottawa 1993 May

3aSP3. Single- versus multichannel vibrotactile supplements to intonation and stress by normal-hearing and hearing-impaired adults.

Lynne E. Bernstein

Edward T. Auer

Ctr. for Auditory and Speech Sci., Gallaudet Univ., 800 Florida Ave., N.E., Washington, DC 20002

David C. Coulter

Coulter Assoc., Fairfax, VA 22031

Paula E. Tucker

Gallaudet Univ., Washington, DC 20002

Marilyn E. Demorest

Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County, Catonsville, MD 21228-5398

The possible benefit of a wearable, single-channel versus eight-channel tactile aid for conveying voice fundamental frequency (F0) was estimated in three experiments. Severely or profoundly hearing-impaired (HI) and normal-hearing (NH) adults identified position of stressed words and rising versus falling intonation in sentences previously recorded for this purpose by Bernstein et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 85, 397--405 (1989)]. In experiment 1, NH subjects performed the identification task in counter-balanced visual-alone (VA) and visual-tactile (VT) conditions. Both tactile configurations conveyed intonation but neither conveyed stress. In experiment 2, NH subjects performed the task tactile alone. Both stress and intonation were conveyed. In experiment 3, pre- and post-lingually HI subjects demonstrated effects of the aid for identification of intonation but not of stress. As in the previous study (Bernstein et al., 1989), visual stress was highly accurate in all VA conditions and tactile information shown to be present in experiment 2 did not improve identification in VT conditions.