These data are from the study by Howell,
Davis, Bartrip, and Wormald (2004). The study looked at the fluency-enhancing
effects of speaking at the same time as a frequency shifted version of the voice.
There were 14 speakers and four recording per speaker making 56 files in all.
Recording are in SFS format (see Howell & Huckvale, 2004 for a
description). The four recordings for a speaker were for two texts (Alice and
Kate, see below) and two readings of each text. Filenames start with a four
figure code that identifies the speaker (e.g. 0075), followed by underscore,
recording number (r1-r4), underscore text (1=Alice, 2=Kate), underscore
and four letters representing feedback sequence on the 50-word sections
(n=normal listening, f=FSF). The texts alternate between easy and difficult
linguistic material as specified in Howell et al. (2004). Easy and difficult sections are marked in
Texts used in the experiment
The following conversation is between
Alice and her teacher, Mrs Jones. They are talking about what they did at
(Easy) I went to the fair. And then I
played with my friend. We got some candy floss and some toffee apples. They
were nice and sweet. And then we went on the ferris wheel for ages. It was so
fun. It was the best fair I have ever been to.
(Difficult) That sounds particularly
enjoyable Alice. I’m sure you had a wonderful time especially as
it was your birthday. Were you given many exciting presents by your family
and friends? Did any other unusual or surprising things happen or do you
remember anything else that you want to tell me about?
Alice wrinkled her forehead as she tried to
remember the best parts of her birthday. Then she nodded, and said:
(Easy) Yes. I got lots of great presents. My
mum gave me a hamster. He is so cute and soft. I called him Andy. I also got
a ball that he can run around the house in. He looks funny when he does that.
And my dad gave me a kite.
(Difficult) That’s terrific. I
adored my pet hamster when I was about thirteen. My favourite game was to
hide hundreds of tiny pieces of his food all around my bedroom and then allow
him to scurry about and discover where they all were before he gobbled them
all up incredibly quickly.
They both laughed. It seemed they had
lots in common, even though Mrs Jones was a teacher and Alice wasn’t.
Kate witnessed the robbery of a
woman’s handbag. The police were called and had arrived to ask her some
(Difficult) Mrs Mcalpine please could
you give us a clear and accurate description of the thief including any
unusual distinguishing characteristics. Please be careful not to omit any
critical details as these are probably the most important features that will
help us to track down and arrest and hopefully prosecute him.
(Easy) Of course. he was a young man.
probably aged between fifteen and twenty. He was wearing a blue tracksuit. He
had brown hair and was wearing a cap. The cap was also blue. He was about six
foot tall and he was wearing yellow trainers with blue stripes on them.
The policeman carefully wrote down the
information Katie had given him and then looked up to ask her another
(Difficult) Could you describe exactly
what you witnessed. Again be extremely careful to mention every single detail
however small. We need detailed information about exactly what happened so
that we can determine what to do next. Your witness account is very important
to our investigation so be as accurate as possible.
(Easy) I had just bought a cup of tea.
An old lady was in the queue behind me. She ordered a drink. I went to sit
down. The lady opened her bag to get her purse. All of a sudden the young man
behind her snatched her bag and ran off.
Kate answered more questions before
the police moved on to the next witness. She hoped they would catch the