Cross-Language Identification of Long-Term Average Speech Spectra in Korean and English: Toward a Better Understanding of the Quantitative Difference Between Two Languages

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Abstract

Objective:

To identify the quantitative differences between Korean and English in long-term average speech spectra (LTASS).

Design:

Twenty Korean speakers, who lived in the capital of Korea and spoke standard Korean as their first language, were compared with 20 native English speakers. For the Korean speakers, a passage from a novel and a passage from a leading newspaper article were chosen. For the English speakers, the Rainbow Passage was used. The speech was digitally recorded using GenRad 1982 Precision Sound Level Meter and GoldWave® software and analyzed using MATLAB® program.

Results:

There was no significant difference in the LTASS between the Korean subjects reading a news article or a novel. For male subjects, the LTASS of Korean speakers was significantly lower than that of English speakers above 1.6 kHz except at 4 kHz and its difference was more than 5 dB, especially at higher frequencies. For women, the LTASS of Korean speakers showed significantly lower levels at 0.2, 0.5, 1, 1.25, 2, 2.5, 6.3, 8, and 10 kHz, but the differences were less than 5 dB. Compared with English speakers, the LTASS of Korean speakers showed significantly lower levels in frequencies above 2 kHz except at 4 kHz. The difference was less than 5 dB between 2 and 5 kHz but more than 5 dB above 6 kHz.

Conclusions:

To adjust the formula for fitting hearing aids for Koreans, our results based on the LTASS analysis suggest that one needs to raise the gain in high-frequency regions.

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