The purpose of this study was to develop, digitally record, evaluate, and equate Cantonese trisyllabic words which could then be used in the measurement of the speech reception threshold. A selection of 90 frequently utilized trisyllabic words were selected and then digitally recorded by male and female talkers of Standard Cantonese and presented to 20 subjects with normal hearing beginning at 6 dB below their pure-tone average (PTA) and ascending in 2 dB increments until one of the following criteria had been met: (a) the participant responded correctly to 100% of the test items, or (b) the presentation level reached 16 dB HL. Using logistic regression, psychometric functions were calculated for each word. Twenty-eight trisyllabic words with the steepest psychometric function slopes were selected. The psychometric function slopes for the 28 selected words, at 50% threshold, ranged from 10.3 %/dB to 19.6 %/dB (M = 14.5 %/dB) for the male talker and from 10.3 %/dB to 22.7 %/dB (M = 14.9 %/dB) for the female talker. To decrease the variability among the words the intensities were digitally adjusted to match the mean subject PTA (4.5 dB HL). The resulting lists included mean slopes from 20 to 80% with of a range of 8.9 %/dB to 16.9 %/dB (M = 12.6 %/dB) for the male talker and a range of 8.9 %/dB to 19.7 %/dB (M = 12.9 %/dB) for the female talker. Digital recordings of the psychometrically equivalent trisyllabic words are available on compact disc.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





Speech reception threshold, speech audiometry, Cantonese, Chinese, trisyllabic, speech discrimination, word recognition, homogeneous, native language testing, logistic regression, digitally recorded