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Consonant confusions in frozen and random white noise

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Research areas:
Year:
2014
Type of Publication:
Misc
Authors:
Zaar, Johannes; Jørgensen, Søren; Dau, Torsten
How published:
Poster presented at the Speech in Noise Workshop, Marseille, France, and at the INSPIRE Winter School on Concepts and Computational Models of Robust Bottom-Up Encoding, Copenhagen, Denmark
Month:
January
Abstract:
This study investigates the effect of deterministic ("frozen") white noise maskers on the recognition and confusion of consonants by normal-hearing listeners. Consonant-vowel combinations (CVs) consisting of 15 Danish consonants combined with the vowel /i/ were used as speech stimuli. Only one recording of each CV was used, all spoken by the same male talker. The CVs were presented in quiet and in white noise at 6 signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). For each SNR, three noise conditions were defined: CV & fro-zen noise "A", CV & frozen noise "B", CV & random noise (i.e., noise newly generated for every presenta-tion). 8 normal-hearing native Danish listeners partic-ipated in the experiment. The results show that (i) the influence of the masking noise on the perception of a given speech token varies considerably across the frozen noise tokens, (ii) the within-listener consisten-cy is larger for frozen noise than for random noise, and (iii) more systematic confusions occur for frozen noise than for random noise, particularly at low SNRs. These observations indicate that different noise tokens with uniform statistical properties can have different effects on the perception of the same speech token. Studies investigating consonant con-fusions in noise typically use random noise maskers that are merely defined in terms of their overall statis-tical and spectral characteristics. The results discussed here suggest that the influence of the noise on a token-by-token basis might be underestimated and in fact account for the typically observed variability across listeners.
Full text: P9-JohannesZaar.pdf
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