Ninth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Pittsburgh, PA, USA
September 17-21, 2006

Steady-State Suppression in Reverberation: A Comparison of Native and Nonnative Speech Perception

Nao Hodoshima (1), Dawn Behne (2), Takayuki Arai (1)

(1) Sophia University, Japan; (2) Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Norway

This study investigated whether the steady-state suppression method proposed by Arai et al. (2001, 2002) improved consonant identification for nonnative listeners in reverberation. It also compared the effect of steady-state suppression on consonant identification by native and nonnative listeners in reverberation. We used steady-state suppression as a preprocessing technique which processes speech signals before they are radiated from loudspeakers in order to reduce the amount of overlap-masking. Participants were 24 native English (native listeners) and 24 Japanese speakers (nonnative listeners), both with normal hearing. A diotic Modified Rhyme Test was conducted with and without steady-state suppression for reverberation times of 0.4, 0.7 and 1.1 s and a non-reverberant condition. The results showed that native listeners performed better than nonnative listeners, and that the mean percentage of correct answers in initial consonants was higher than in final consonants. The results also showed that processed and unprocessed speech was comparable for word initial and final consonants. These findings indicate that parameters of steady-state suppression would need adjustment to accommodate speech materials and reverberant conditions. They also suggest that the difficulties that nonnative listeners have might not be due to the actual acoustic-phonetic information from the signal.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hodoshima, Nao / Behne, Dawn / Arai, Takayuki (2006): "Steady-state suppression in reverberation: a comparison of native and nonnative speech perception", In INTERSPEECH-2006, paper 1819-Tue1BuP.6.