4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3-6, 1996

Enhancing Information-rich Regions of Natural VCV and Sentence Materials Presented in Noise

Valerie Hazan, Andrew Simpson

Department of Phonetics and Linguistics, University College London, UK

Two sets of experiments to test the perceptual benefits of enhancing information-rich regions of consonants in natural speech were performed. In the first set, hand-annotated consonantal regions of natural VCV stimuli were amplified to increase their salience, and filtered to stylize the cues they contained. In the second set, natural semantically unpredictable sentence (SUS) material was annotated and enhanced in the same way. Both sets of stimuli were combined with speech-shaped noise and presented to normally-hearing listeners. Both sets of experiments showed statistically significant improvements in intelligibility as a result of enhancement, although the increase was greater for VCV than for SUS. These results demonstrate the benefits gained from enhancement techniques which use knowledge about acoustic cues to phonetic contrasts to improve the resistance of speech to noise.

Full Paper
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Bibliographic reference.  Hazan, Valerie / Simpson, Andrew (1996): "Enhancing information-rich regions of natural VCV and sentence materials presented in noise", In ICSLP-1996, 161-164.