Younger and Older Adults Rate Performance When Listening to Synthetic Speech

Brenda Sutton, Julia King, Karen Hux, David R. Beukelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This study investigated adults rate preferences when listening to synthetic speech. Twenty younger and 20 older adults listened to phonemically balanced sentences generated by MultiVoice (DECtalk) and presented at randomized rates between 120 to 250 words per minute (wpm). Participants rated their listening comfort on a 7-point Likert-type scale. Analysis revealed a significant quadratic trend between comfort rating and speech rate. Most comfortable rates ranged from 150 to 200 wpm for both age groups; differences between the groups occurred at both ends of the rate continuum. The findings provide guidelines for selecting synthetic speech presentation rates when interacting with AAC users and communication partners of different ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalAugmentative and Alternative Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1995


  • adults
  • communication partners
  • intervention
  • rate
  • speech synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing


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