Evaluation of a Danish speech corpus for assessment of spatial unmasking

Thomas Behrens, Tobias Neher, René B. Johannesson

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This paper reports on an evaluation of a new Danish speech corpus for assessment of spatial unmasking. The structure of the sentences used (Example “Michael had seven yellow boxes”), lends itself to be used in a multitalker speech intelligibilitytask with selective attention, by using the leading name as a call sign. In experiment 1 the speech material was evaluated for speech recognition homogeneity of the compiled test lists. The evaluation was carried out using 9 normal hearing native Danish speaking subjects, who listened to and repeated sentences from a female target talker presented against a background of two concurrent female talkers. All sound was presented from a single loudspeaker. Data analysis, carried out on group data, revealed systematic differences in speech intelligibility, which could be related to target call sign and target talker. Based on the analysis, the selection of the speech material to use in future studies was limited to reduce spread in speech intelligibility. Training effects were observed, but they were of small magnitude. In experiment 2 the speech material selected in experiment 1 was used for assessing spatial unmasking in a group of 9 normal hearing native Danish speaking subjects. Target sentences were always played from directly in front of the subject. Spatial unmasking was assessed in two unmasked conditions, offering different sets of spatial cues. The first condition elicited unmasking along the median plane by playing maskers from one speaker directly behind the subject. The benefit obtained by subjects was about 10 dB on average, but varied considerably. In the second unmasked condition, maskers were played from two speakers placed +/- 50 degrees to the left and right of the target. The benefit obtained by subjects was much more consistent than in the first condition, with an average effect of about 14 dB.
TitelProceedings of the International Symposium on Auditory and Audiological Research : Auditory Signal Processing in Hearing-Impaired Listeners
ForlagCentertryk A/S
ISBN (Trykt)87-990013-1-4
StatusUdgivet - 2007
Udgivet eksterntJa


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