Roles of voice onset time and F0 in stop consonant voicing perception: effects of masking noise and low-pass filtering.
The present study examined the benefits of providing amplified speech to the low- and mid-frequency regions of listeners with various degrees of sensorineural hearing loss. Nonsense syllables were low-pass filtered at various cutoff frequencies and consonant recognition was measured as the bandwidth of the signal was increased. In addition, error patterns were analyzed to determine the types of speech cues that were, or were not, transmitted to the listeners. For speech frequencies of 2800 Hz and below, a positive benefit of amplified speech was observed in every case, although the benefit provided was very often less than that observed in normal-hearing listeners who received the same increase in speech audibility. There was no dependence of this benefit upon the degree of hearing loss. Error patterns suggested that the primary difficulty that hearing-impaired individuals have in using amplified speech is due to their poor ability to perceive the place of articulation of consonants, followed by a reduced ability to perceive manner information.