Effect of speech-shaped noise on the recognition of malayalam and english consonants by malayalam listeners

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Objective: The present study compared recognition of native and non-native consonants in quiet and noise among native speakers of Malayalam. Methods and Material: Fifteen native speakers of Malayalam who had English as the medium of instruction at school participated in the study. Stimuli comprised of 16 vowel-consonants-vowel nonsense syllables spoken by eight native speakers of Malayalam (native consonants) and eight native speakers of American English (non-native consonants). Recognition of native and non-native consonants was studied in quiet and in the presence of speech-shaped noise at signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) of 8 dB, 0 dB, and -8 dB. The consonant recognition task was carried out as 16-alternative forced-choice procedure, and the responses were stored as confusion matrix. Results: In favourable listening condition (i.e., quiet and 8 dB SNR), the recognition score for native consonants was greater than non-native consonants. In contrast, at 0 dB SNR and -8 dB SNR, the recognition score of non-native consonants was greater than native consonants. Information transfer analysis revealed that the transfer of information was highest for consonant feature manner of articulation and lowest for voicing, across listening conditions for both native and non-native consonants. Conclusions: Recognition of native and non-native consonants were affected differently in the presence of speech-shaped noise among native speakers of Malayalam. In favourable listening condition, recognition of native consonants was better than non-native consonants. However, in challenging listening condition, non-native consonants were found to be recognised better than native consonants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
JournalNoise and Health
Issue number99
Publication statusPublished - 01-03-2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Speech and Hearing

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