Clear speech adaptations in spontaneous speech produced by young and older adults

Valerie Hazan, Outi Tuomainen, Jeesun Kim, Christopher Davis, Benjamin Sheffield, Douglas Brungart
2018 Journal of the Acoustical Society of America  
The study investigated the speech adaptations by older adults with and without age-related hearing loss made to communicate effectively in challenging communicative conditions. Acoustic analyses were carried out on spontaneous speech produced during a problem-solving task (diapix) carried out by talker pairs in different listening conditions. There were 83 talkers of Southern British English. 57 talkers were older adults (OA) aged 65-84: 30 with normal hearing (OANH) and 27 (OAHL) with
more » ... is (mean PTA .250-4kHz: 27.7 dB HL). 26 talkers were younger adults (YA) aged 18-26 with normal hearing. Participants were recorded while completing the diapix task with a conversational partner (YA of the same sex) when (a) both talkers heard normally (NORM), (b) the partner had a simulated hearing loss (HLS) and (c) both talkers heard babble noise (BAB2). Irrespective of hearing status, there were age-related differences in some acoustic characteristics of YA and OA speech produced in NORM, most likely linked to physiological factors. In challenging conditions, while OANH talkers typically patterned with YA talkers, OAHL talkers made adaptations more consistent with an increase in vocal effort. Our study suggests that even mild presbycusis in healthy older adults can affect the speech adaptations made to maintain effective communication. PACS number: 43.70 Mn I.
doi:10.1121/1.5053218 pmid:30424655 fatcat:yxkfuoxhjfdnhbtuxtbwjeb4uy