Listeners must accommodate acoustic differences between vocal tracts and speaking styles of conversation partners - a process called normalization or accommodation. This study explores what acoustic cues are used to make this perceptual adjustment by listeners with normal hearing or with cochlear implants, when the acoustic variability is related to the talker's gender. A continuum between /∫/ and /s/ was paired with naturally spoken vocalic contexts that were parametrically manipulated to vary by numerous cues for talker gender including fundamental frequency (F0), vocal tract length (formant spacing), and direct spectral contrast with the fricative. The goal was to examine relative contributions of these cues toward the tendency to have a lower-frequency acoustic boundary for fricatives spoken by men (found in numerous previous studies). Normal hearing listeners relied primarily on formant spacing and much less on F0. The CI listeners were individually variable, with the F0 cue emerging as the strongest cue on average.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant No. NIH NIDCD R01 DC017114 (Winn). Data collection and participant recruitment were assisted by Kate Teece, Heather Kreft, Moira McShane, Tiffany Mitchell, Josephine Lyou, Siuho Gong, Steven Gianakas, Emily Hugo, Paula Rodriguez, Hannah Matthys, and Lindsay Williams.
© 2020 Acoustical Society of America.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural