14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Effects of Unnatural Pause on Speech Intelligibility

Sumiko Takayanagi, Jody Kreiman, Donald D. Dirks

Division of Head and Neck Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA

Effects of unnatural pausing on spoken sentence intelligibility by native and non-native listeners of American English were studied in a framework of 6 different signal-to-noise ratios. Performance between pause and non-pause sentences differed significantly for native listeners at 0 dB and –2 dB signal-tonoise ratios, but no significant difference was obtained from non-native listeners. The temporal speech flow distortion of prosodic cues negatively affected auditory processing for the population who can fully utilize these cues, whereas smaller declines were shown in listeners who have less ability to exploit them. Pauses appear to provide distinctive speech information and serve as perceptual units that are critical to understanding spoken language. Further implications of suprasegmental cues for foreign language acquisition and speech training are discussed.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Takayanagi, Sumiko / Kreiman, Jody / Dirks, Donald D. (1999): "Effects of unnatural pause on speech intelligibility", In ICPhS-14, 865-868.