Development, evaluation and scoring of a nonsense word test suitable for use with speakers of Canadian English
AbstractHearing researchers and clinicians frequently need to estimate the overall accuracy of consonant identification for a listener, over time or in various listening conditions, and to know how frequently specific types of consonant confusion errors are made in each condition. The present paper summarizes the development of a closed-set nonsense word test that provides both a general measure of listeners' abilities to identify consonant sounds, and an indication of the types of confusion errors that listeners make. The acoustical characteristics of test items and statistics of performance measures are summarized and two different scoring procedures are evaluated. The test, termed the University of Western Ontario Distinctive Features Differences test (UWODFD), is comprised of high-quality digital recordings of 21 items spoken by four native speakers of Canadian English; two male and two female. All items occur in a fixed, word-medial context. All aspects of testing, including presentation of stimuli, recording of subject responses, and the scoring and presentation of results, are under computer control. The test can be administered relatively quickly, it has been found to be appropriately sensitive to changes in listening conditions and has been used successfully with listeners from a variety of linguistic backgrounds
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