[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: Technological advancements in human communication have led to the development of several French synthesized voices, which specialists are recommending more and more often to people with communication disorders. This study aimed to determine which French synthesized voice was the most intelligible in various productions (words, sentences), and to assess people's ratings of these voices. Method: We recruited sixty-one participants and split them into three age groups (14-20 years, n = 20; 21-40 years, n = 20; 41-60 years, n = 21). The task consisted of 1) identifying words (in isolation and utterances) produced by nine synthesized voices, as well as words produced by one human voice (in isolation and in context); and 2) giving an overall rating to each synthesized voice. Results: Statistical analysis shows no effect of sex or age on intelligibility or voice rating. The best performance was noted with words in context (90%) as compared to isolated words (71%). In addition, results indicate that two synthesized voices producing words in isolation (> 84%) and five synthesized voices producing words in context (> 92%) were equally as intelligible as the human voice. We noted a significant difference between the rating levels given to the synthesized voices. There was also a positive correlation between the intelligibility of the produced words and the subjective ratings given to these productions. Conclusion: This study outlines a hierarchy in the intelligibility and rating levels of various French synthesized voices, which will give professionals objective benchmarks to guide decision-making when they recommend communication systems and software to their clients.
No preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Given the frequent use of graphic symbols in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems, some individuals who use AAC may have greater familiarity with constructing graphic-symbol sequences than do speaking individuals without disabilities. Whether this increased familiarity has an impact on the interpretation of such sequences or on the relationship between construction and interpretation is fundamental to our understanding of the mechanisms underlying communication using graphic symbols. In this study, individuals who use graphic-symbol AAC systems were asked to construct and interpret graphic-symbol sequences representing the same target content (simple and complex propositions). The majority of participants used stable response patterns on both tasks; a minority were inconsistent on both tasks. Asymmetrical patterns (stable on one task but not the other) were rare, suggesting that neither channel (construction or interpretation) preceded the other, in contrast to earlier findings with participants without disabilities (i.e., novice users of graphic symbols). Furthermore, there were differences between stable and less stable responders on measures of syntactic comprehension and cognitive level but not on chronological age, receptive vocabulary, or AAC system characteristics and length of use.
No preview · Article · Dec 2010 · Augmentative and alternative communication (Baltimore, Md.: 1985)