LINGUIST List 32.1976

Tue Jun 08 2021

FYI: Investigating the Effect of Listening Conditions on Speech Intelligibility - Special Issue of ''Languages''

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 07-Jun-2021
From: Anne Pycha <>
Subject: Investigating the Effect of Listening Conditions on Speech Intelligibility - Special Issue of ''Languages''
E-mail this message to a friend

Dear Colleagues,

The goal of the Special Issue of the journal "Languages" is to bring together work investigating the effect of listening conditions on speech intelligibility. Difficulty in perceiving speech in the presence of background noise has been well attested in the literature, particularly for adults and children with hearing impairment (e.g., Caldwell & Nittrouer, 2013; Wong et al., 2009; Bradlow et al., 2003; Ferguson & Kewley-Port, 2002; Armstrong et al., 1997). Competing auditory signals (e.g., noise, other talkers, etc.) can interfere with a listener’s ability to hear a speaker’s intended message (e.g., Van Engen & Bradlow, 2007). Other work has shown that speakers do not monotonically hyperarticulate all aspects of their speech when speaking clearly, but rather target and maintain helpful contrasts for listeners in ways that can be interpreted as communicatively strategic (Scarborough & Zellou, 2013; Cohn et al., 2021). There is also a great deal of individual variation in speech-in-noise perception (e.g., Bent et al., 2016).

Speech intelligibility is both a practical and a theoretical issue (Smiljanić & Bradlow, 2005). For one, work understanding how speech is produced and perceived in different listening conditions, and to different listener populations, can have practical application (e.g., Adlard & Hazan, 1998), e.g., in clinical settings. In addition, understanding such phenomena is important for theories of cognition because human speech is a remarkably durable system of communication that, despite the wide range of environmental conditions present in everyday life, generally succeeds. Yet, pinpointing exactly how and why it manages to succeed — particularly when confronted with a relatively novel barrier to communication, such as face masks — remains an ongoing challenge for language researchers. The purpose of the Special Issue is to bring together work on this issue.

Examples of research topics suitable for this Special Issue include, but are not limited to:

Examination and/or comparisons of the effect of different listening contexts (noise, multitalker-babble, adverse listening conditions, music, etc.) on speech production and/or perception;
Explorations of effect of situational context (speaking style, wearing a face mask, complex tasks, attentional factors) on speech-in-noise perception;
Investigations of speech intelligibility across different listener groups (children, older adults, those with hearing loss, non-native speakers, etc.);
Presentation of novel methods or analyses for examining speech intelligibility in different types of listening conditions;
Analysis of speech intelligibility in languages other than English (we encourage submissions focusing on non-Indo European and/or endangered languages);
Examination of speech in non-prestige dialects, second languages, or multilingual contexts.
We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400–600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the guest editors (Georgia Zellou, and Anne Pycha, or to the Languages editorial office ( Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors for the purposes of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

Tentative completion schedule:

Abstract submission deadline: 01 November 2021
Notification of abstract acceptance: 01 January 2022
Full manuscript deadline: 01 March 2022

For more information, please visit:

Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics

Page Updated: 08-Jun-2021