Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Doyle, Philip C.


Despite functional levels of postlaryngectomy communication, individuals who undergo total laryngectomy and tracheoesophageal (TE) puncture voice restoration continue to experience significant communication difficulties in noisy environments. In an effort to identify and further characterize TE speakers’ intelligibility in noise, the current auditory perceptual study investigated stop-plosive and fricative intelligibility of TE speech in quiet and in the presence of multi-talker noise. Eighteen listeners evaluated monosyllabic consonant-vowel-consonant words produced by 14 TE speakers using an open-response paradigm. Our findings indicate that overall intelligibility was significantly lower in noise. Further examination showed a differential effect of noise on intelligibility according to manner and phoneme position. While overall error patterns remained consistent across conditions, voicing distinction was affected differentially according to manner and position. The present investigation provides valuable insight into the difficulties faced by TE speakers in noisy speaking environments, as well as a basis for optimization of counseling and postlaryngectomy voice rehabilitation.