15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Development of a New Speech Comprehension Test with a Phonological Distance Metric

Robert McAllister

Stockholms Universitet, Sweden

A new speech comprehension test has been developed. The test has been constructed with special consideration of test features, which enhance construct validity. These features include a careful selection of test stimuli from large databases enabling phonetic balancing that reflects word and phoneme frequency in the test language, Swedish. Words are presented in noise and the adaptive procedure results in a comprehension threshold expressed as a signal to noise ratio. An innovative feature is the use of a phonological distance metric, which gives the subject credit for good guesses. A group of native Swedish speakers with normal hearing was tested to establish a normal base line test result. A group of L2 users was tested and their results indicate that Perceptual Foreign Accent can be measured with the test. It was demonstrated with synthetic speech that speech quality could also be measured with this method.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  McAllister, Robert (2003): "Development of a new speech comprehension test with a phonological distance metric", In ICPhS-15, 2213-2216.