Perceptual organization of interrupted speech and text

Valeriy Shafiro, Daniel Fogerty, Kimberly Smith, Stanley Sheft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Visual recognition of interrupted text may predict speech intelligibility under adverse listening conditions. This study investigated the nature of the linguistic information and perceptual processes underlying this relationship. Method: To directly compare the perceptual organization of interrupted speech and text, we examined the recognition of spoken and printed sentences interrupted at different rates in 14 adults with normal hearing. The interruption method approximated deletion and retention of rate-specific linguistic information (0.5-64 Hz) in speech by substituting either white space or silent intervals for text or speech in the original sentences. Results: A similar U-shaped pattern of cross-rate variation in performance was observed in both modalities, with minima at 2 Hz. However, at the highest and lowest interruption rates, recognition accuracy was greater for text than speech, whereas the reverse was observed at middle rates. An analysis of word duration and the frequency of word sampling across interruption rates suggested that the location of the function minima was influenced by perceptual reconstruction of whole words. Overall, the findings indicate a high degree of similarity in the perceptual organization of interrupted speech and text. Conclusion: The observed rate-specific variation in the perception of speech and text may potentially affect the degree to which recognition accuracy in one modality is predictive of the other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2578-2588
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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