Perceptual contributions to monosyllabic word intelligibility: Segmental, lexical, and noise replacement factors

Daniel Fogerty, Larry E. Humes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated the relative contributions of consonants and vowels to the perceptual intelligibility of monosyllabic consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words. A noise replacement paradigm presented CVCs with only consonants or only vowels preserved. Results demonstrated no difference between overall word accuracy in these conditions; however, different error patterns were observed. A significant effect of lexical difficulty was demonstrated for both types of replacement, whereas the noise level used during replacement did not influence results. The contribution of consonant and vowel transitional information present at the consonant-vowel boundary was also explored. The proportion of speech presented, regardless of the segmental condition, overwhelmingly predicted performance. Comparisons were made with previous segment replacement results using sentences [Fogerty, and Kewley-Port (2009). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 126, 847-857]. Results demonstrated that consonants contribute to intelligibility equally in both isolated CVC words and sentences. However, vowel contributions were mediated by context, with greater contributions to intelligibility in sentence contexts. Therefore, it appears that vowels in sentences carry unique speech cues that greatly facilitate intelligibility which are not informative and/or present during isolated word contexts. Consonants appear to provide speech cues that are equally available and informative during sentence and isolated word presentations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3114-3125
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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