Listening to Laryngectomees: A study of Intelligibility and Self-reported Listening Effort of Spanish Oesophageal Speech

Sneha Raman, Inma Hernaez, Eva Navas, Luis Serrano


Oesophageal speakers face a multitude of challenges, such as difficulty in basic everyday communication and inability to interact with digital voice assistants. We aim to quantify the difficulty involved in understanding oesophageal speech (in human-human and human-machine interactions) by measuring intelligibility and listening effort. We conducted a web-based listening test to collect these metrics. Participants were asked to transcribe and then rate the sentences for listening effort on a 5-point Likert scale. Intelligibility, calculated as Word Error Rate (WER), showed significant correlation with user rated effort. Speaker type (healthy or oesophageal) had a major effect on intelligibility and effort. Listeners familiar with oesophageal speech did not have any advantage over non familiar listeners in correctly understanding oesophageal speech. However, they reported lesser effort in listening to oesophageal speech compared to non familiar listeners. Additionally, we calculated speaker-wise mean WERs and they were significantly lower when compared to an automatic speech recognition system.


 DOI: 10.21437/IberSPEECH.2018-23

Cite as: Raman, S., Hernaez, I., Navas, E., Serrano, L. (2018) Listening to Laryngectomees: A study of Intelligibility and Self-reported Listening Effort of Spanish Oesophageal Speech. Proc. IberSPEECH 2018, 107-111, DOI: 10.21437/IberSPEECH.2018-23.


@inproceedings{Raman2018,
  author={Sneha Raman and Inma Hernaez and Eva Navas and Luis Serrano},
  title={{Listening to Laryngectomees: A study of Intelligibility and Self-reported Listening Effort of Spanish Oesophageal Speech}},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. IberSPEECH 2018},
  pages={107--111},
  doi={10.21437/IberSPEECH.2018-23},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/IberSPEECH.2018-23}
}