Young normal-hearing listeners, elderly normal-hearing listeners, and elderly hearing-impaired listeners were tested on a variety of phonetic identification tasks. Where identity was cued by stimulus duration, the elderly hearing-impaired listeners evidenced normal identification functions. On a task in which there were multiple cues to vowel identity, performance was also normal. On a /b d g/ identification task in which the starting frequency of the second formant was varied, performance was abnormal for both the elderly hearing-impaired listeners and the elderly normal-hearing listeners. We conclude that errors in phonetic identification among elderly hearing-impaired listeners with mild to moderate, sloping hearing impairment do not stem from abnormalities in processing stimulus duration. The results with the /b d g/ continuum suggest that one factor underlying errors may be an inability to base identification on dynamic spectral information when relatively static information, which is normally characteristic of a phonetic segment, is unavailable.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics