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Development of an unpredictable sentence intelligibility test: Validation Procedures
Monica McHenry and Angie Parle

To separate intelligibility from comprehensibility, listeners should have minimal linguistically predictive information when transcribing sentences. Current intelligibility tests contain predictable words and phrases that may artificially inflate intelligibility scores. We generated and validated the unpredictability of 50, 7-word sentences. From an initial pool of 350 sentences, 70 met the criteria of seeming unpredictable, making sense and being grammatically correct. The predictability of each word in the 70 sentences was established by presenting the sentences to 755 respondents with one blank for them to fill in with the most likely word. Only one sentence was completely unpredictable, i.e., no respondent predicted any word in any position. To establish a final set of unpredictable sentences, the investigators accepted as unpredictable any word that was not guessed by more than 20% of the respondents. A final corpus of 56 sentences was obtained. To ensure that the sentences could be accurately transcribed by everyday listeners, they were played to70 undergraduate students with no experience in transcription Six sentences were not transcribed accurately by 20% or more of the listeners and were deleted, leaving a final corpus of 50 sentences.

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