Consonant identification in consonant-vowel-consonant syllables in speech-spectrum noise

David L Woods, E. William Yund, Timothy J. Herron, Matthew A I Ua Cruadhlaoich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Identification functions of 20 initial and 20 final consonants were characterized in 9600 randomly sampled consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) tokens presented in speech-spectrum noise. Because of differences in the response criteria for different consonants, signal detection measures were used to quantify identifiability. Consonant-specific baseline signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) were adjusted to produce a d′ of 2.20 for each consonant. Consonant identification was measured at baseline SNRs (B), at B-6, and at B+6 dB. Baseline SNRs varied by more than 40 dB for different consonants. Confusion analysis revealed that single-feature place-of-articulation errors predominated at the highest SNR, while combined-feature errors predominated at the lowest SNR. Most consonants were identified at lower SNRs in initial than final syllable position. Vowel nuclei (/a/, /i/, or /u/) significantly influenced the identifiability of 85% of consonants, with consistent vowel effects seen for consonant classes defined by manner, voicing, and place. Manner and voicing of initial and final consonants were processed independently, but place cues interacted: initial and final consonants differing in place of articulation were identified more accurately than those sharing the same place. Consonant identification in CVCs reveals contextual complexities in consonant processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1609-1623
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


Dive into the research topics of 'Consonant identification in consonant-vowel-consonant syllables in speech-spectrum noise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this