Syllable intelligibility

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The intelligibility of syllables is a fundamental criterion for the audibility of language spaces such as lecture halls, conference rooms or classrooms in schools.

Syllable intelligibility is the proportion of correctly understood and re- spoken syllables in relation to all of the spoken test syllables in a room to be tested . The specification is therefore in percent . Syllable intelligibility is determined when a speaker with good articulation reads out a certain number of test syllables in the room to be examined, which are so-called logatoms , which are sound structures of the consonant - vowel- consonant sequence without a semantic function, e.g. gul , raf, pog etc. Such logatoms are then to be noted by a certain number of normal hearing test persons. The number of correctly noted logatoms for all logatoms read out gives the syllable intelligibility in percent.

The highest possible syllable intelligibility is an important assessment criterion for the audibility of language areas. In the case of music rooms, however, there is no such clearly defined and quantifiable criterion.

The intelligibility of syllables basically depends on various factors, such as the reverberation time of the room, its interference level and, in the case of electroacoustic sound reproduction, the width of the transmitted frequency band . The intelligibility of syllables decreases with increasing reverberation time and increasing interference level, but increases depending on the broadening of the transmission range .

The intelligibility of sentences, which is crucial for verbal communication, is of course always much higher than the intelligibility of syllables, since individual syllables that are not understood can often be guessed from the context.

Syllable intelligibility, sentence intelligibility and audibility of language


Syllable intelligibility

Comprehensibility of sentences
Audibility of
50% 90% insufficient
70% 95% satisfying
80% 100% Well

See also


  • H. Schneider: To measure speech intelligibility. In: frequency. Volume 9, 1955, p. 199.

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