InterSpeech 2021

Segment and Tone Production in Continuous Speech of Hearing and Hearing-impaired Children
(3 minutes introduction)

Shu-Chuan Tseng (Academia Sinica, Taiwan), Yi-Fen Liu (Feng Chia University, Taiwan)
Verbal communication in daily use is conducted in the form of continuous speech that theoretically is the ideal data format for assessing oral language ability in educational and clinical domains. But as phonetic reduction and particularly lexical tones in Chinese are greatly affected by discourse context, it is a challenging task for automatic systems to evaluate continuous speech only by acoustic features. This study analyzed repetitive and storytelling speech produced by selected Chinese-speaking hearing and hearing-impaired children with distinctively high and low speech intelligibility levels. Word-based reduction types are derived by phonological properties that characterize contraction degrees of automatically generated surface forms of disyllabic words. F0-based tonal contours are visualized using the centroid-nearest data points in the major clusters computed for tonal syllables. Our results show that primary speech characteristics across different groups of children can be differentiated by means of reduction type and tone production.