Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The role of vowel hyperarticulation in clear speech to foreigners and infants
Author: Kangatharan, Jayanthiny
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 1125
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Research on clear speech has shown that the type of clear speech produced can vary depending on the speaker, the listener and the medium. Although prior research has suggested that clear speech is more intelligible than conversational speech for normal-hearing listeners in noisy environments, it is not known which acoustic features of clear speech are the most responsible for enhanced intelligibility and comprehension. This thesis focused on investigating the acoustic characteristics that are produced in clear speech to foreigners and infants. Its aim was to assess the utility of these features in enhancing speech intelligibility and comprehension. The results of Experiment 1 showed that native speakers produced exaggerated vowel space in natural interactions with foreign-accented listeners compared to native-accented listeners. Results of Experiment 2 indicated that native speakers exaggerated vowel space and pitch to infants compared to clear read speech. Experiments 3 and 4 focused on speech perception and used transcription and clarity rating tasks. Experiment 3 contained speech directed at foreigners and showed that speech to foreign-accented speakers was rated clearer than speech to native-accented speakers. Experiment 4 contained speech directed at infants and showed that native speakers rated infant-directed speech as clearer than clear read speech. In the fifth and final experiment, naturally elicited clear speech towards foreign-accented interlocutors was used in speech comprehension tasks for native and non-native listeners with varying proficiency of English. It was revealed that speech with expanded vowel space improved listeners’ comprehension of speech in quiet and noise conditions. Results are discussed in terms of the Lindblom’s (1990) theory of Hyper and Hypoarticulation, an influential framework of speech production and perception.
Supervisor: Williams, A. Sponsor: Brunel University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Vowel space exaggeration and prosody ; Communication accomodation theory ; Cross-language speech perception in noise ; Spontaneous and clear speech production ; Speech communication, intelligibility and comprehension