4aSC16. Lexical stress perception by hearing-impaired listeners.

Session: Thursday Morning, May 16

Author: Dragana Barac-Cikoja
Author: Sally Revoile
Location: Ctr. for Auditory and Speech Sciences, Gallaudet Univ., Washington, DC 20002


Identification of lexical stress in VCVs isolated from sentences was studied for moderately to profoundly hearing-impaired listeners. Two factors, sentential stress position and speech rate, were manipulated separately in the production of ``You put VCV to bed.'' When sentential stress was manipulated, each of: you, put, VCV, bed, was stressed. When speech rate (fast and slow) was manipulated, the VCVs were from sentences with stress on the VCV only. Twenty VCVs for each speech rate and ten VCVs for each sentential stress position were tested. Hearing-impaired (n=33) and normal-hearing listeners (n=8) identified whether the VC or the CV was stressed. In contrast to the normal-hearing listeners, lexical stress identification by the hearing-impaired listeners was significantly reduced for the fast speech rate. Both listener groups showed the same effect of sentential stress location: Performance was best when emphasis was on the VCV, and worst when either constituent adjacent to the VCV was emphasized. Results will be discussed with reference to the acoustic consequences of the production constraints and the accessibility of the prosodic cues to the hearing-impaired subjects as predicted by several audiological and psychoacoustic variables. [Work supported by NIH and the Gallaudet Research Institute.]

from ASA 131st Meeting, Indianapolis, May 1996