Adapting the Freiburg monosyllabic word test for Slovenian

Tatjana Marvin, Jure Derganc, Saba Battelino


Speech audiometry is one of the standard methods used to diagnose the type of hearing loss and to assess the communication function of the patient by determining the level of the patient’s ability to understand and repeat words presented to him or her in a hearing test. For this purpose, the Slovenian adaptation of the German tests developed by Hahlbrock (1953, 1960) – the Freiburg Monosyllabic Word Test and the Freiburg Number Test – are used in Slovenia (adapted in 1968 by Pompe). In this paper we focus on the Freiburg Monosyllabic Word Test for Slovenian, which has been criticized by patients as well as in the literature for the unequal difficulty and frequency of the words, with many of these being extremely rare or even obsolete. As part of the patient’s communication function is retrieving the meaning of individual words by guessing, the less frequent and consequently less familiar words do not contribute to reliable testing results. We therefore adapt the test by identifying and removing such words and supplement them with phonetically similar words to preserve the phonetic balance of the list. The words used for replacement are extracted from the written corpus of Slovenian Gigafida and the spoken corpus of Slovenian GOS, while the optimal combinations of words are established by using computational algorithms.


speech audiometry, Freiburg Word Test, test adaptation, corpora

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Copyright (c) 2017 Tatjana Marvin

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Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts
(Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani) 

Print ISSN: 0024-3922
Online ISSN: 2350-420X