Linguistics Senior Research Projects

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linguistics, hearing, hearing science, comprehension, speech comprehension, noise, hearing in noise


The influence of signal-independent information and sentence predictability on listeners’ comprehension was investigated by measuring transcription accuracy of a series of English sentences spoken in multi-talker babble background noise with circumstances varying between sets of sentences. Fourteen native English speaking young adults with no self-reported hearing or language disabilities completed written transcriptions of four sets of sentences. Listeners were presented with a control set of the signal alone, followed by a set of sentences spoken in multi-talker babble noise, then a set with visual presence of the speaker included, and finally a set where content context was given in addition to the previous conditions. These sentences also alternated in predictability, as defined by the content and grammar of the sentence. Overall, results were consistent with existing literature on the topic of speech comprehension. This study shows that comprehension in noise for typical hearing native speakers is significantly influenced by a variety of factors, and so these factors should be considered during communication in noise as well as in the context of speech comprehension testing.

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Creative Commons License
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