5pSC1. The perception of stop consonants in silent-center syllables by listeners with high-frequency hearing loss.

Session: Friday Afternoon, May 17

Time: 1:00

Author: Janet W. Stack
Location: Commun. Disord. Program, Univ. of Virginia, P.O. Box 9022, Charlottesville, VA 22906-9022


This study investigated whether stop consonant perception in listeners with high-frequency hearing loss could be improved by eliminating nonsimultaneous masking effects of high-amplitude vowels on consonants in consonant--vowel--consonant (CVC) syllables. Full syllables (FS) contained the consonants /b,d,g/ in all combinations with eight vowels (/(small capital eye),I,(cursive beta),(ae ligature),(inverted vee),(open aye),u/). Syllables were produced by a male speaker. Silent-center (SC) syllables were created by attenuating vowel steady-state portions to silence. Stimuli were presented to 12 normal-hearing (NH) and 36 hearing-impaired (HI) adults under the age of 60. HI listeners had steeply sloping high-frequency hearing losses. FS and SC conditions were presented at 50 and 80 dB HL. All subjects showed more accurate vowel and consonant identification in the FS vs SC condition and at 50 vs 80 dB. Errors were significantly higher on initial than on final consonants. Acoustic analysis suggested the possibility of both temporal and spectral explanations for this final consonant advantage. In spite of experimental failure to improve consonant perception in the HI listeners, suggestions for future research emerged which might enhance the effect of the SC condition and the decrement of nonsimultaneous masking effects. [Work supported by Veterans Administration.]

from ASA 131st Meeting, Indianapolis, May 1996