Evaluation of four Spanish word-recognition-ability lists.

Abstract

Tests of word recognition ability (formerly Speech Discrimination) should be suitable for the linguistic background of the person being tested. Few efforts have been made to develop a standardized test in the Spanish language. Current literature reports on six studies that have several drawbacks. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate a commercially available Spanish language test. The material consists of four lists of 50 bisyllabic tetraphonemic Spanish words. The words were recorded at a professional laboratory (Auditec of St. Louis) by a native Spanish speaker. In the present study, the lists were evaluated in terms of interlist equivalence, word difficulty, intelligibility of the talker, and slope of the performance/intensity (PI) function. Taped lists were presented to 16 normal-hearing native Spanish speaking adults at four presentation levels. Mean intelligibility scores were poorest for list three. Statistical analysis indicated that the intelligibility of list three is significantly different than the other lists at the 0.05 level. On the average, at low presentation levels, the nine subjects of Mexican origin obtained better scores than the seven subjects of other nationalities. The slope of the PI-PB function (4.3%) was comparable to that obtained by other investigators of English lists. The words most frequently missed contain the /s/ sound and are words that retain their meaning even after deletion of the final /s/. The talker's speech intelligibility was judged to be very clear.

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