Hearing-impaired listeners' use of anticipatory coarticulation cues for consonant identification
Smith, Diana E.
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Through clinical observation it is apparent that hearing-impaired listeners, with similar pure-tone threshold configurations, differ in word recognition abilities. It was the purpose of this investigation to determine: (a) whether normal-hearing (Group A) and hearing-impaired listeners use anticipatory coarticulation cues for consonant identification in a similar manner, (b) if hearing-impaired listeners with good word recognition abilities (Group B) and hearing-impaired listeners with poor word recognition abilities (Group C) use anticipatory coarticulation cues in a similar fashion, and (c) what feature information was used most by the different subject groups. Unmodified and truncated syllables within a carrier phrase were presented to the three listening groups. Subjects' consonant identification data were analyzed by subject group and by cut condition. The normal-hearing subject group was found not to be significantly different from the hearing-impaired listener group with good word recognition skills in the ability to use cues from anticipatory coarticulation for correct consonant identification. Yet, the normal-hearing listeners were significantly different from the hearing-impaired listeners with poor word recognition skills in their ability to identify correctly consonants in truncated speech. Further, it was found that hearing-impaired listeners with good word recognition skills were not significantly different from hearing-impaired listeners with poor word recognition skills in their ability to use anticipatory coarticulation cues for consonant identification. Also, it was found that all subjects perceived consonant features in a similar order of importance. However, when compared to normal-hearing listeners, hearing-impaired listeners were less efficient in transferring feature information.