ASA 130th Meeting - St. Louis, MO - 1995 Nov 27 .. Dec 01

5aSC10. Stress identification by hearing-impaired listeners.

Dragana Barac-Cikoja

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

Sally Revoile

Gallaudet Univ., Washington, DC 20002

Some acoustic correlates of stress perception were studied for listeners with moderate to profound hearing loss. The sentence ``You put VCV to bed'' was spoken with emphasis on each of the main constituents (you, put, VCV, to bed) respectively, yielding four stress contexts. For each stress context, ten different sentence utterances were tested. The sentences were modified acoustically to neutralize the temporal and/or amplitude prominence of the stressed word. Hearing-impaired (n=22) and normal-hearing listeners (n=8) identified the stressed word for the modified and unmodified sentences. Contrary to the performance in normal-hearing listeners, stress perception by the hearing-impaired listeners was significantly reduced when both amplitude and temporal characteristics of the stressed word were modified. Less of an effect occurred when only amplitude or temporal characteristics alone were neutralized. Results are discussed with reference to the extent and rate of F0 change across the sentence for the four stress contexts, and the accessibility of the intonational cues to the hearing impaired subjects as predicted by several audiological and psychoacoustic variables. [Work supported by NIH.]