Acoustic Cue Integration in Speech Intonation Recognition With Cochlear Implants

Shu Chen Peng, Monita Chatterjee, Nelson Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The present article reports on the perceptual weighting of prosodic cues in question-statement identification by adult cochlear implant (CI) listeners. Acoustic analyses of normal-hearing (NH) listeners’ production of sentences spoken as questions or statements confirmed that in English the last bisyllabic word in a sentence carries the dominant cues (F0, duration, and intensity patterns) for the contrast. Furthermore, these analyses showed that the F0 contour is the primary cue for the question-statement contrast, with intensity and duration changes conveying important but less reliable information. On the basis of these acoustic findings, the authors examined adult CI listeners’ performance in two question-statement identification tasks. In Task 1, 13 CI listeners’ question-statement identification accuracy was measured using naturally uttered sentences matched for their syntactic structures. In Task 2, the same listeners’ perceptual cue weighting in question-statement identification was assessed using resynthesized single-word stimuli, within which fundamental frequency (F0), intensity, and duration properties were systematically manipulated. Both tasks were also conducted with four NH listeners with full-spectrum and noise-band-vocoded stimuli. Perceptual cue weighting was assessed by comparing the estimated coefficients in logistic models fitted to the data. Of the 13 CI listeners, 7 achieved high performance levels in Task 1. The results of Task 2 indicated that multiple sources of acoustic cues for question-statement identification were utilized to different extents depending on the listening conditions (e.g., full spectrum vs. spectrally degraded) or the listeners’ hearing and amplification status (e.g., CI vs. NH).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-82
Number of pages16
JournalTrends in Amplification
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • cochlear implants
  • cue weighting
  • intonation
  • perception
  • prosody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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