Evaluating the Effect of Instruction and Task on the Acoustic Characteristics of Speech Production in Older Adults
AuthorSwink, Natasha Marie
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractOlder adults often experience hearing loss in one or both ears, and as a result, many participate in aural rehabilitation programs. Often these programs incorporate communication partners and train them to use compensatory strategies. One common compensatory strategy cited is encouraging communication partners to speak more clearly to their loved one with hearing loss. Clear speech often encompass several different strategies such as speaking slower, louder, or over articulating. However, it is unclear what acoustic changes talkers employ when cued to speak in these different ways. The present study evaluated the effect of different cues (i.e., control (habitual), clear, slow, loud, and over articulate) and speaking tasks (oral reading versus monologue) on the acoustic characteristics of speech produced by eight older adults with hearing in the normal range. All speech was recorded in a sound treated booth and analyzed acoustically along six dimensions: articulation rate, percent change in fundamental frequency from control, change in sound pressure level from control, voice range density area, vowel space density area, and cepstral peak prominence. Results revealed statistically significant acoustic changes between conditions for all six acoustic measures. There was also significant effect of task for three acoustic measures. Findings show both group trends as well as individual talker variability. Further research is needed to determine how the acoustic changes associated with different instructional cues negatively or positively impact listeners with hearing loss.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences