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Abstract

Chinese is a tonal language, which differentiates it from non-tonal languages in the Western countries. A Chinese character consists of an initial, a final, and a tone. In the present study, the effects of noise and reverberation on the Chinese syllable, initial, final, and tone identification in rooms were investigated by using simulated binaural impulse responses through auralization method. The results show that the syllable identification score is the lowest, the tone identification score is the highest, and the initial identification scores are lower than those of the final identification under the same reverberation time and signal-to-noise ratio condition. The Chinese syllable, initial, and final identification scores increase with the increase of signal-to-noise ratio and decrease of the reverberation time. The noise and reverberation have insignificant effects on the Chinese tone identification scores under most room acoustical environments. The statistical relationship between the Chinese syllable articulation and phoneme articulation had been experimentally proved under different noise and reverberation conditions in simulated rooms.
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Abstract

The Chinese word identification and sentence intelligibility are evaluated by grades 3 and 5 students in the classrooms with different reverberation times (RTs) from three primary school under different signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). The relationships between subjective word identification and sentence in- telligibility scores and speech transmission index (STI) are analyzed. The results show that both Chinese word identification and sentence intelligibility scores for grades 3 and 5 students in the classroom in- creased with the increase of SNR (and STI), increased with the increase of the age of students, and decreased with the increase of RT. To achieve a 99% sentence intelligibility score, the STIs required for grades 3, grade 5 students, and adults are 0.71, 0.61, and 0.51, respectively. The required objective acoustical index determined by a certain threshold of the word identification test might be underestimated for younger children (grade 3 students) in classroom but overestimated for adults. A method based on the sentence test is more useful for speech intelligibility evaluation in classrooms than that based on the word test for different age groups. Younger children need more favorable classroom acoustical environment with a higher STI than older children and adults to achieve the optimum speech communication in the classroom.
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Abstract

A questionnaire survey was conducted in the residential quarters of Guangzhou, for which 582 elderly people over 60 years old were randomly recruited. The hearing impairment of the participants was evaluated using the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly (HHIE), The participants’ subjective responses to the acoustical environment of their living place and the impact of the living acoustical environment (LAE) on the participants were investigated. The results show that the participants with a low HHIE score and no hearing impairment evaluated their LAE more favourably, and they considered that the effect of the LAE on their daily life was weak. However, those with a high HHIE score and severe hearing impairment evaluated their LAE poorly, and considered its effect on their daily lives to be significant. For the elderly, the worse the hearing is, the higher their demand for a better LAE. Traffic, construction, residential quarters, and noise from next door or upstairs neighbours were the main noise sources in the elderly’s living places, and traffic noise, construction noise, and noise from next door and upstairs were the most influential sources. 28.9% of the respondents had trouble hearing what their family said in their living place. The elderly without hearing impairment considered that continuous noise was the main reason that they could not hear what their family said in their living place, while those with hearing impairment believed that their own hearing problem was a contributing factor.
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