ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

5pSP7. Predicting hearing-impaired listeners' use of acoustic cues for consonant recognition.

Linda Kozma-Spytek

Peggy B. Nelson

Sally G. Revoile

Lisa Holden-Pitt

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

Reduced consonant recognition and large inter-listener variability among individuals with sensorineural hearing loss are neither well characterized nor understood. Previous attempts to account for consonant recognition using threshold and suprathreshold measures have produced equivocal results. Classifications of listeners according to performance patterns for acoustic cue use are lacking. The present study classifies hearing-impaired listeners according to their use of information in successive vowel and consonant segments for identification of consonants. Seventy hearing-impaired (moderate to profound) and 19 normal-hearing listeners identified /n/, /l/, and /d/ in spoken VCV's extracted from connected speech. The VCV's were presented unmodified and with consonant and vowel-transition segment deletions. Percent information transmitted scores for each consonant and stimulus condition were submitted to a hierarchical cluster analysis to classify all listeners into homogeneous groups based on the extent to which given consonant and vowel segments contributed to /n/, /l/, /d/, identification. A discriminant analysis was used to examine thresholds, suprathreshold measures, and listener history as variables predictive of group membership. Variables that contributed to differentiation among performance groups will be reported. [Work supported by NIDCD and Gallaudet University.]