Contributing Factors to Listener Effort for Dysarthric Speech.
The primary aim of this study was to determine contributing factors to listeners’ judgment of effort when listening to speakers with dysarthria. Thirty-three Cantonese speakers with dysarthria, aged 14 to 78 years, provided the speech samples. Twenty speech and hearing sciences students served as listeners. Listening tasks included orthographic transcription, rating of listener effort using a visual analogue scale (VAS), and selection of factors contributing to the judgment of listener effort. A list of 18 perceptual features was developed for this study, using a preliminary task conducted by a panel of five expert listeners. Mean listener effort across speakers ranged from 0.56 to 9.44 on the 10 mm VAS. A multiple regression analysis suggested that segmental features were the primary predictors of listener effort. However, factors relating to voice quality also contributed to ratings of effort. There was a strong correlation between listener effort and intelligibility, but also a few exceptional cases. **********