Children with speech sound disorders (SSD) often have difficulties with speech perception. Speech perception is the ability to intake speech sounds and interpret them for meaning. Understanding children’s speech perception abilities is pertinent because children use perceptual skills to hone accurate production during SSD treatment. Different types of stimuli have been used in speech perception research. At present, it is unclear how different types of speech stimuli differentially impact speech perception in typical listeners or children with SSD. In this study, we investigated perceptual skills for different speech types in neurotypical adults to better understand how stimulus type impacts perception in individuals without SSD. Thus, we asked the following two research questions: 1) Is there a difference between synthetic speech (generated through a computer) and natural speech perception for adult listeners? 2) Is there a difference in interpersonal (listening to speech from another person) versus intrapersonal (listening to your own speech) natural speech perception for adult listeners? Twenty-five neurotypical adults participated in this study. Participants completed the Wide Range Acoustic Accuracy Scale (WRAAS) discrimination task for syllable pairs beginning with the phonemes /b/-/w/, /d/-/g/ and /r/-/w/ for synthetic speech, and rhyming words beginning with the same phonemes (‘bot’-‘watt’, ‘dot’-‘got’, ‘rot’-‘wot’) interpersonal synthetically altered natural speech (a standard speaker), and intrapersonal synthetically altered natural speech (each participant’s own voice recordings) for nine tasks total. Results show there was no statistical difference in discrimination ability between stimulus types for most phoneme contrasts, except for /d/-/g/ between synthetic and intrapersonal synthetically altered natural speech. There was no difference between interpersonal and intrapersonal perception of synthetically altered natural speech for any phoneme pair. Findings from this study will provide information for future similar studies conducted on children with and without SSD to determine how children perceive different types of speech. This future work will be used to help inform speech therapy decisions for children with SSD who may have speech perception difficulties.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





speech perception, synthetic, interpersonal perception, intrapersonal perception, speech sound disorders



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