This study examined changes in speech production when distracting background audio is present. Forty typically speaking adults completed a repetitive sentence reading task in the presence of 5 different audio conditions (pink noise, movie dialogue, heated debate, classical music, and contemporary music) and a silent condition. Acoustic parameters measured during the study included vowel space area (VSA), vowel articulation index (VAI), formant transition extent, formant transition rate, and diphthong duration for /É‘Éª/ and /É‘ÊŠ/. It was hypothesized that there would be significant increases in vowel space area and vowel articulation index as well as an increase in formant transition measures in the presence of background noise. There were statistically significant decreases in vowel space are and vowel articulation index in the presence of all noise conditions compared to the silent baseline condition. Results also demonstrated a significant decrease in F2 transition extent for both /É‘Éª/, and /É‘ÊŠ/ diphthongs in all noise conditions except the pink noise condition when compared to the silent condition. These findings were contrary to what was originally hypothesized. It is possible that VAI and VSA decreased in the presence of background noise due to an increase in speaking rate. Formant transition measurements were consistent with the VAI and VSA results. More research is needed to accurately determine the acoustic changes a speaker makes in response to distracting background audio.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Cowley, Camille Margaret, "The Effects of Distracting Background Audio on Speech Production" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 8522.
speech acoustics, formants, vowels, diphthongs, speech in noise