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Title: A Study On Bandpassed Speech From The Point Of Intelligibility
Authors: Ganesh, Murthy C N S
Advisors: Satyam, M
Ramkumar, K
Submitted Date: Oct-1989
Publisher: Indian Institute of Science
Abstract: Speech has been the subject of interest for a very long time. Even with so much advancement in the processing techniques and in the understanding of the source of speech, it is, even today, rather difficult to generate speech in the laboratory in all its aspects. A simple aspect like how the speech can retain its intelligibility even if it is distorted or band passed is not really understood. This thesis deals with one small feature of speech viz., the intelligibility of speech is retained even when it is bandpassed with a minimum bandwidth of around 1 KHz located any where on the speech spectrum of 0-4 KHz. Several experiments have been conducted by the earlier workers by passing speech through various distortors like differentiators, integrators and infinite peak clippers and it is found that the intelligibility is retained to a very large extent in the distorted speech. The integrator and the differentiator remove essentially a certain portion of the spectrum. Therefore, it is thought that the intelligibility of the speech is spread over the entire speech spectrum and that, the intelligibility of speech may not be impaired even when it is bandpassed with a minimum bandwidth and the band may be located any where in the speech spectrum. To test this idea and establish this feature if it exists, preliminary experiments have been conducted by passing the speech through different filters and it is found that the conjecture seems to be on the right line. To carry out systematic experiments on this an experimental set up has been designed and fabricated which consists of a microprocessor controlled speech recording, storing and speech playback system. Also, a personal computer is coupled to the microprocessor system to enable the storage and processing of the data. Thirty persons drawn from different walks of life like teachers, mechanics and students have been involved for collecting the samples and for recognition of the information of the processed speech. Even though the sentences like 'This is devices lab' are used to ascertain the effect of bandwidth on the intelligibility, for the purpose of analysis, vowels are used as the speech samples. The experiments essentially consist of recording words and sentences spoken by the 30 participants and these recorded speech samples are passed through different filters with different bandwidths and central frequencies. The filtered output is played back to the various listeners and observations regarding the intelligibility of the speech are noted. The listeners do not have any prior information about the content of the speech. It has been found that in almost all (95%) cases, the messages or words are intelligible for most of the listeners when the band width of the filter is about 1 KHz and this is independent of the location of the pass band in the spectrum of 0-4 KHz. To understand how this feature of speech arises, spectrums of vowels spoken by 30 people have using FFT algorithms on the digitized samples of the speech. It is felt that there is a cyclic behavior of the spectrum in all the samples. To make sure that the periodicity is present and also to arrive at the periodicity, a moving average procedure is employed to smoothen the spectrum. The smoothened spectrums of all the vowels indeed show a periodicity of about 1 KHz. When the periodicities are analysed the average value of the periodicities has been found to be 1038 Hz with a standard deviation of 19 Hz. In view of this it is thought that the acoustic source responsible for speech must have generated this periodic spectrum, which might have been modified periodically to imprint the intelligibility. If this is true, one can perhaps easily understand this feature of the speech viz., the intelligibility is retained in a bandpassed speech of bandwidth 1 K H z . the pass band located any where in the speech spectrum of 0-4 KHz. This thesis describing the experiments and the analysis of the speech has been presented in 5 chapters. Chapter 1 deals with the basics of speech and the processing tools used to analyse the speech signal. Chapter 2 presents the literature survey from where the present problem is tracked down. Chapter 3 describes the details of the structure and the fabrication of the experimental setup that has been used. In chapter 4, the detailed account of the way in which the experiments are conducted and the way in which the speech is analysed is given. In conclusion in chapter 5, the work is summarised and the future work needed to establish the mechanism of speech responsible for the feature of speech described in this thesis is suggested.
URI: http://etd.iisc.ernet.in/handle/2005/93
Appears in Collections:Electrical Communication Engineering (ece)

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