Differences between Word Intelligibility and Sentence Identification Responses to Synthetic Sentences
NAVAL SUBMARINE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB GROTON CT
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The study compared directly the responses of word intelligibility and of sentence identification to the identical speech material. Synthetic sentences constructed by Speaks and Jerger, containing very little meaning, were mixed with white noise and presented to 64 Navy enlisted men who were asked in one case to write down as many words as they understood in each sentence, and in the second case simply to select the correct sentence from a printed list of ten sentences. The white noise tended to obscure the high-frequency consonant discriminations necessary for intelligibility, but left relatively untouched the perception of pitch contour and other prosodic parameters which made sentence identification still possible. A zero correlation between the two tasks revealed that sentence identification from a closed set of sentences is a task unrelated to an understanding of the individual words in a sentence. Thus sentence identification, though quick and useful for some purposes, cannot be used to assess intelligibility as such.
- Voice Communications