Speaking and hearing clearly: Talker and listener factors in speaking style changes

Rajka Smiljanić*, Ann R. Bradlow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


This article provides an overview of the research concerning the nature of the distinct, listener-oriented speaking style called 'clear speech' and its effect on intelligibility for various listener populations. We review major findings that identify talker, listener and signal characteristics that contribute to the characteristically high intelligibility of clear speech. Understanding the interplay of these factors sheds light on the interaction between higher level cognitive and lower-level sensory and perceptual factors that affect language processing. Clear speech research is, thus, relevant for both its theoretical insights and practical applications. Throughout the review, we highlight open questions and promising future directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-264
Number of pages29
JournalLinguistics and Language Compass
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language

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