Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Linguistics

Second Advisor

Rebecca Scarborough

Third Advisor

Kathryn Arehart

Fourth Advisor

Kevin Cohen

Abstract

Speakers tend to accommodate listeners when communicate in difficult situations. Noise and hearing loss can induce similar or different difficulties for listeners due to the nature of noise and hearing loss. Speakers may be aware of the characteristics of difficulties experienced by listeners and make speech modifications accordingly. The current study aims to explore the similarities and differences between the effects of white noise and a simulated hearing loss on listener-directed Mandarin tone production. Mean f0 and tone space dispersion were measured for four native Mandarin speakers.

Mean f0 was found to be elevated when addressing a listener in white noise and a listener who was simulated to experience a hearing loss. The modification of tone space dispersion was found to be greater in hearing loss condition than in white noise condition. The results suggested that speakers were aware of the difference between the audibility problem and the clarity problem on the listener and adjusted their speech accordingly. The results can be explained in the model of Lindblom’s H&H theory. When speakers are aware that the listener’s access to information is blocked by some barriers, speakers will accommodate the listener by producing hyperarticulation in certain dimensions according to the nature of the barrier.

Included in

Linguistics Commons

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