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Journal Article

The correlation between auditory speech sensitivity and speaker recognition ability


Schiller,  Niels O.
Language Production Group Levelt, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Utterance Encoding, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Köster, O., Hess, M. M., Schiller, N. O., & Künzel, H. J. (1998). The correlation between auditory speech sensitivity and speaker recognition ability. Forensic Linguistics: The international Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 5, 22-32.

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In various applications of forensic phonetics the question arises as to how far aural-perceptual speaker recognition performance is reliable. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the relationship between speaker recognition results and human perception/production abilities like musicality or speech sensitivity. In this study, performance in a speaker recognition experiment and a speech sensitivity test are correlated. The results show a moderately significant positive correlation between the two tasks. Generally, performance in the speaker recognition task was better than in the speech sensitivity test. Professionals in speech and singing yielded a more homogeneous correlation than non-experts. Training in speech as well as choir-singing seems to have a positive effect on performance in speaker recognition. It may be concluded, firstly, that in cases where the reliability of voice line-up results or the credibility of a testimony have to be considered, the speech sensitivity test could be a useful indicator. Secondly, the speech sensitivity test might be integrated into the canon of possible procedures for the accreditation of forensic phoneticians. Both tests may also be used in combination.