Navy Diver/Swimmer Vocabularies: Phonemic Intelligibility in Hyperbaric Environments
NAVAL SUBMARINE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB GROTON CT
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Data from several investigations of speech intelligibility under various diving conditions were evaluated in an attempt to better understand the existing problems of communication under water and in chambers by Navy diving personnel. The paper compares data on the phonemic confusions found in diving environments with regard to their nature and severity and evaluates them in terms of the need to develop a new diving vocabulary. The data indicate that the sounds which are high in intelligibility in some environments are not in others. Moreover, the errors made at particular environments are not consistent over all conditions studied. From the point of view of maximum intelligibility of speech, the present analysis suggests that priority in the selection of words should be given to the specific phonemes that maintain their stability with increases in static pressure rather than to variations caused by the mixture of the breathing gas. A survey of available data indicates that minor changes in the phonemic structure of messages may provide increased intelligibility in the hyperbaric chamber and underwater environments.
- Voice Communications