Natural speech often contains conflicting cues that are characteristic of confusable sounds. For example, the /k/, defined by a mid-frequency burst within 12 kHz, may also contain a high-frequency burst above 4 kHz indicative of /ta/, or vice versa. Conflicting cues can cause people to confuse the two sounds in a noisy environment. An efficient way of reducing confusion and improving speech intelligibility in noise is to modify these speech cues. This paper describes a method to manipulate consonant sounds in natural speech, based on our a priori knowledge of perceptual cues of consonants. We demonstrate that: 1) the percept of consonants in natural speech can be controlled through the manipulation of perceptual cues; 2) speech sounds can be made much more robust to noise by removing the conflicting cue and enhancing the target cue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5508367
Pages (from-to)496-504
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2011


  • Conflicting cue
  • perceptual cue
  • speech processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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