The relation between acoustic-phonetic properties and speech intelligibility in noise across languages and talkers
* Presenting author
This study explored the role of acoustic-phonetic properties on talker- and language-specific differences in the intelligibility of speech in noise. Matrix sentence speech was recorded by bilingual talkers of German/Spanish, Spanish/English and English/German, as well as by monolingual talkers of each language. We analyzed how acoustic-phonetic speech features varied across languages, looking both at inter-individual (across talker) as well as intra-individual (within talker) variability. We then measured intelligibility of the matrix sentence speech in speech-shaped noise for normal-hearing, native listeners in each language. Matrix speech has the advantage of being similar in intelligibility across languages, as it uses the same size, closed stimulus set and has the same semantic and syntactic information in all languages. Various acoustic-phonetic parameters, previously identified as affecting speech intelligibility (including speaking rate, vowel space area, and energy in the mid-frequency region), were determined for each individual talker, in each language. In general, variation in speech intelligibility across talkers within the same language was greater than the variation within the same talker across languages. Acoustic-phonetic properties corresponding to speech intelligibility seem to be equal across languages.