Effects of Masking, and Sex on Lombard Vowel Production
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
The change a speaker makes in response to background noise is known as the Lombard Effect (LE). This study investigated the acoustic changes that are undergone in the presence of broadband noise and two-talker babble. Of particular interest were vocal fundamental frequency (F0) and formant frequency vowel space measures across sex. Forty participants (20 male, 20 female) were recruited and asked to read phrases in quiet and in the presence of two-talker babble and broadband noise. These masker conditions were presented at 50 and 70 dB HL. The phrases were recorded and acoustically analysed. The results showed a significant sex difference for both F0 and vowel space. A masking condition effect was not displayed for either F0 or vowel space. A significant effect was however shown for F0 according to intensity level, suggesting a LE. While the sex difference in F0 values can be explained on the basis of differences in vocal anatomy, the sex difference in vowel space was indicative of a sociophonetic influence on speech production.