Voiced Initial Consonant Perception Deficits in Older Listeners With Hearing Loss and Good and Poor Word Recognition

Phillips, Susan L.; Richter, Scott J.; McPherson, David
February 2009
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Feb2009, Vol. 52 Issue 1, p118
Academic Journal
Purpose: This study examined differences in voiced consonant-vowel (CV) perception in older listeners with normal hearing and in 2 groups of older listeners with matched hearing losses: those with good and those with poor word recognition scores. Method: Thirty-six participants identified CVs from an 8-item display from the natural voiced initial consonants /b, d, g, m, n, ð, v and z/ in three vowel contexts (/a, o, u/) spoken by a male and a female talker. Results: The listeners with hearing loss and poor word recognition scores (WRS) made more of the same types of errors, as well as errors not made by listeners with hearing loss and good word recognition. Errors above chance rates for these listeners were highest in the context of /a/ and were similar in the contexts of /o/ and /u/. Sequential information analyses (SINFAs) verified that information was transmitted least efficiently in the context of /a/. The results yielded a list of consonant confusions unique to listeners with poor WRS. Conclusions: Listeners with poor WRS have more difficulty identifying voiced initial consonants in CV syllables than do listeners with good WRS. These listeners made some systematic errors, but most errors were nonsystematic, perhaps due to the low level of feature information transmitted.


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