Effects of Urgent Speech and Congruent/Incongruent Text on Speech Intelligibility in Noise and Reverberation

Nao Hodoshima


Public-address (PA) announcements are widely used, but noise and reverberation can render them unintelligible. Furthermore, in an emergency, textual information available to smartphone users or displayed on electronic bulletin boards may not coincide with PA announcements, and this mismatch may degrade the intelligibility of PA announcements. This study investigated how speech spoken in a normal/urgent style and preceding congruent/incongruent textual information affected word intelligibility and perceived urgency in noisy and reverberant environments. The results obtained from 18 participants showed that the word correct rate (WCR) was significantly higher for urgently spoken speech than for normal speech, and for congruent text than for incongruent/no text. However, there was no speaking style-text interaction, indicating that the improvement in WCR provided by urgent speech over normal speech was the same regardless of the preceding text condition. This suggests that listeners rely more on visual information when speech intelligibility is poor. The results for perceived urgency also showed that the congruent condition was rated “evacuate now”, while the incongruent condition was rated “wait and see”. These results suggest that simple combinations of speaking style and textual information decrease the intelligibility of emergency PA announcements, and audio-visual incongruence must be considered.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1902

Cite as: Hodoshima, N. (2019) Effects of Urgent Speech and Congruent/Incongruent Text on Speech Intelligibility in Noise and Reverberation. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 3113-3117, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1902.


@inproceedings{Hodoshima2019,
  author={Nao Hodoshima},
  title={{Effects of Urgent Speech and Congruent/Incongruent Text on Speech Intelligibility in Noise and Reverberation}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={3113--3117},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1902},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1902}
}