The Speech Characteristics of Divers in HeO2 Breathing Mixtures at High Pressures.
FLORIDA UNIV GAINESVILLE COMMUNICATION SCIENCES LAB
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The development of saturation diving has enabled man to work in the sea for long periods of time--and at great depths. This situation has created problems in speech communication due to the effects of breathing HeO2 gas mixtures at high ambient pressures. The paper describes program of empirical research conducted at depths ranging from 250 to 825 feet used to investigate the effects of HeO2P on speech. Specifically, a series of experiments is described that relate the distorting effects of the HeO2P environment to intelligibility levels, phonemic confusions, non-linearity of vowel format shifts, speech adaptation over time, and speech modification techniques to improve intelligibility. The research demonstrates that the intelligibility of a divers speech under HeO2P conditions improves over time, i.e., even unsystematic speaker adaptation to the environment occurs as a function of the length of time the diver remains in HeO2P. Finally, it was found that divers can systematically manipulate their speech characteristics in order to be more intelligible in the HeO2P milieu. Author Modified Abstract
- Voice Communications