An international comparison of long-term average speech spectra

Denis Byrne, Harvey Dillon, Khanh Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The long-term average speech spectrum (LTASS) and some dynamic characteristics of speech were determined for 12 languages: English (several dialects), Swedish, Danish, German, French (Canadian), Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Welsh, Singhalese, and Vietnamese. The LTASS only was also measured for Arabic. Speech samples (18) were recorded, using standardized equipment and procedures, in 15 localities for (usually) ten male and ten female talkers. All analyses were conducted at the National Acoustic Laboratories, Sydney. The LTASS was similar for all languages although there were many statistically significant differences. Such differences were small and not always consistent for male and female samples of the same language. For one-third octave bands of speech, the maximum short-term rms level was 10 dB above the maximum long-term rms level, consistent across languages and frequency. A “universal” LTASS is suggested as being applicable, across languages, for many purposes including use in hearing aid prescription procedures and in the Articulation Index.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2108-2120
Number of pages13
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994


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