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New Sentence Recognition Materials Using a Basic Non-Native English Lexicon (Calandruccio et al., 2012)

posted on 01.10.2012, 00:00 by Lauren Calandruccio, Rajka Smiljanic
Purpose The objective of this project was to develop new sentence test materials drawing on a basic non-native English lexicon that could be used to test speech recognition for various listener populations. These materials have been designed to provide a test tool that is less linguistically biased, compared with materials that are currently available, for sentence recognition for non-native as well as native speakers of English.
Method One hundred non-native speakers of English were interviewed on a range of 20 conversational topics. Over 26 hr of recorded non-native English speech were transcribed. These transcriptions were used to create a lexicon of over 4,000 unique words. The words from this lexicon were used to create the new materials based on a simple syntactic sentence structure frame.
Results Twenty lists of 25 sentences were developed. Each sentence has 4 keywords, providing 100 keywords per list. Lists were equated for rate of occurrence of keywords in lexicon, high-frequency count (total number of affricates and fricatives), number of syllables, and distribution of syntactic structure. Listening-in-noise results for native-English-speaking, normal-hearing listeners indicated similar performance across lists.
Conclusion The Basic English Lexicon materials provide a large set of sentences for native and non-native English speech-recognition testing.


This work was supported in part by the Grant Program for Projects on Multicultural Affairs from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Undergraduate Research/Mentor Experience at Queens College. This project could not have been completed without the tremendous commitment from the undergraduate and graduate students in the Speech and Auditory Research Lab at Queens College and the UTsoundLab at the University of Texas at Austin. The authors are especially thankful to Stacey Rimikis for her incredible dedication to this project. Portions of this project were presented at the 2010 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention in Philadelphia, PA; the 160th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Cancun, Mexico, in 2010; and the 2011 New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention in Saratoga Springs, NY. A preliminary report of this project was published by Lauren Calandruccio in The ASHA Leader (October 12, 2010, edition).