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Open Access Acoustic Cues Utilized by Normal-hearing and Hearing-impaired Listeners Are Different for Mandarin Concurrent-vowels Identification

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Lexical Tones provide semantic meaning for Chinese words, and they are inherently bonded with vowels for Chinese speech. The present work examined the effect of lexical Tone contrast on concurrent-vowels identification for both normal-hearing (NH) and sensorineural-hearing-loss (SNHL) listeners. To ensure listeners utilize the primary cues of Tone perception, e.g. F0 contour, acoustic cues of mean F0 and durations were controlled for the speech stimuli. The result showed that benefit from Tone contrast existed for NH listeners, but was weak for SNHL listeners. Further analysis based on the measurement of Tone contrast suggested that F0 contour contrast and temporal envelope contrast were both highly correlated with identification performance for each of the listener groups. However, the importance of F0 contour was bigger than that of temporal envelope, especially for NH listeners. These findings would have implications for developing speech processing strategies for Mandarinnative SNHL listeners.

© 2018 The Author(s). Published by S. Hirzel Verlag · EAA. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license (

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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