In the world of around seven-and-a-half-billion people, no two speakers are alike. Even speakers of the same language, age, gender, and dialectal variant may differ in the way they speak (e.g., speech tempo, clarity, and fluency). Speakers can also modify their speech when speaking (e.g., ‘speak up’ in noisy restaurants or speak more slowly and clearly when talking to non-native listeners). However, not all speakers are equally capable of enriching their speech for listeners.
In this thesis, Chen investigates the question of how speakers ‘control’ their speech production, so that they can adapt their speech to meet various (communicative) needs. The results from this thesis highlight that individual speakers’ (maximum) speech performance is associated with cognitive abilities and speech task requirements. Moreover, speakers’ (enriched) speech production is far from static over time.