Vibrotactile perception of suprasegmental features of speech: A comparison of single-channel and multichannel instruments

Arlene Earley Carney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The recognition of three suprasegmental aspects of speech—the number of syllables in a word, the stress pattern of a word, and rising or falling intonation patterns—through a single-channel tactile device and through a 24-channel tactile vocoder, using two groups of normal-hearing subjects, was compared. All subjects received an initial pretest on three recognition tasks, one for each prosodic feature. Half the subjects from each group then received 12 h of training with feedback on the tasks and stimuli used in the pretest. All subjects received a post-test which contained physically different stimuli from those previously tested. Performance was significantly better on the syllable-number and syllabic stress tasks with the single-channel than with the multichannel device on both the pre and post-tests; no difference was found for the intonation task. Performance on the post-test was poorer for all trained subjects compared to their final training results, suggesting that cues learned in training were not readily transferable to new stimuli, even those with similar prosodic characteristics. Overall, the results provide support for the notion that certain prosodic features of speech may be conveyed more readily when the waveform envelope is preserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-140
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume79
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1986

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