1986-02-24

Effects of Alcohol on the Acoustic-Phonetic Properties of Speech 860361

ABSTRACT

This paper summarizes the results of studies designed to examine the effects of alcohol on the acoustic-phonetic properties of speech. Audio recordings were made of four male talkers reading lists of sentences and shadowing samples of speech under two conditions: a sober condition and an intoxicated condition. The samples of speech obtained from the talkers under these conditions were then subjected to two experimental procedures. In one procedure, listeners heard matched pairs of sentences from each talker and were required to identify the sentence that was produced while the talker was in an intoxicated state. In the second procedure, digital signal processing techniques were used to analyze the acoustic-phonetic changes that took place in speech production when the talker was intoxicated. The results of the perceptual tests indicated that listeners can reliably identify impairments in speech production that are due to alcohol consumption. The results of the acoustical analyses revealed consistent and well-defined changes in articulation between sober and intoxicated conditions.

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