A Comparison of Intelligibility Among Natural Speech and Seven Speech Synthesizers with Listeners from Three Age Groups

Pat Mirenda, David R. Beukelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Scopus citations


This investigation examined the intelligibility of natural speech and the synthetic speech produced by the Smoothtalker 3.0 male, Smoothtalker 2.0 male, Smoothtalker 2.0 female, RealVoice female, Attic R65B, Votrax SC02, and Lightwriter voices. All of these are commonly used in portable communication devices currently available on the commercial market. Both single word and sentence intelligibility across listeners from three age groups (7-8 year olds, 11-12 year olds, and adults) were assessed using tasks presented with no contextual cues. The results revealed Age Group X Voice interactions for both the word and sentence tasks, indicating different patterns of intelligibility across the age groups. The individual patterns, their implications, and future research directions arising from this study are described in detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalAugmentative and Alternative Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1990



  • VOCAs
  • communication devices
  • intelligibility
  • speech synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing

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