Second Language Intelligibility Trainer

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1 R43 DC02213-1,
Agency Tracking Number: 24996
Amount: $749,992.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1995
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Communication Disorders
205 S Walnut Street, Bloomington, IN, 47404
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jonathan Dalby
 (812) 336-1766
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
A large and growing number of the residents of the United States speak English as a secondlanguage. Opportunities for employment, promotion, and education for this population can be negativelyaffected by their inability to communicate effectively in English. Little is known, however, about thespecific phonetic and phonological factors which affect the intelligibility of non-native speech. Thisproject proposes to investigate the effects on intelligibility of the phonetic and phonologicalcharacteristics of two types of foreign-accented English (native Chinese and Spanish speakers). Thisresearch will provide the empirical basis for the development of a computer-based pronunciation trainingsystem which will utilize both speaker-dependent and speaker-independent automatic speech recognitiontechnology. Unlike other efforts to develop computer-based speech trainers, this system will provide,as feedback, a measure of speech quality which has been shown to correlate well with humanjudgements. To establish the validity' of utilizing speech-recognition technology for second-languagepronunciation training the capability of the speech recognizer to perform the relevant acousticdiscriminations will be assessed. The effectiveness of the computer-based speech training aid will thenbe evaluated through pre- and post-training intelligibility testing of non-native speech.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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