Talker Versus Dialect Effects on Speech Intelligibility: A Symmetrical Study

Daniel R. McCloy*, Richard A. Wright, Pamela E. Souza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This study investigates the relative effects of talker-specific variation and dialect-based variation on speech intelligibility. Listeners from two dialects of American English performed speech-in-noise tasks with sentences spoken by talkers of each dialect. An initial statistical model showed no significant effects for either talker or listener dialect group, and no interaction. However, a mixed-effects regression model including several acoustic measures of the talker’s speech revealed a subtle effect of talker dialect once the various acoustic dimensions were accounted for. Results are discussed in relation to other recent studies of cross-dialect intelligibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-386
Number of pages16
JournalLanguage and Speech
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 7 2015


  • Speech intelligibility
  • acoustics
  • dialect variation
  • mixed models
  • speech perception in noise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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