Oral speech intelligibility tests were conducted with, and without, supplementary visual observation of the speaker's facial and lip movements. The difference between these two conditions was examined as a function of the speech‐to‐noise ratio and of the size of the vocabulary under test. The visual contribution to oral speech intelligibility (relative to its possible contribution) is, to a first approximation, independent of the speech‐to‐noise ratio under test. However, since there is a much greater opportunity for the visual contribution at low speech‐to‐noise ratios, its absolute contribution can be exploited most profitably under these conditions.

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