Disagreement between the designer and the audience causes creation of acoustically uncomfortable spaces, eventually these disagreements cause financial loss. To describe a phenomenon with the same modifier is the key to settle the conflict. It is very important to reveal acoustic conditions and it is necessary to use a common terminology for this purpose. To this end subjective evaluation studies are frequently used, especially in terms of room acoustics. To define sound via adjective and adjective pairs is a method used in determining architectural acoustic conditions in halls, mostly used for music-function halls but subjective evaluation studies are not common for speech-function halls. Turkish adjectives for speech sound that determine audience preferences are missing. Adjectives obtained from translations of different languages do not show the same descriptive effect in a specific language. Therefore, it is important to identify adjectives that define sound for each language.


In order to determine the Turkish adjectives that define the speech sound, which are absent from the literature, a two-step survey was performed. Sets of modifiers associated with acoustics parameters -reverberation, clarity and loudness- were prepared, that include direct translations from common English modifiers as well as Turkish modifiers that were derived from expert opinion. These sets of adjectives were then presented to the subjects and they were asked to make choices among them.


The results of survey where modifiers defining speech sound are assessed are presented. The results show that some are unsuitable in Turkish despite the same word is used in subjective evaluations in English often. Based on the survey results, a questionnaire can be prepared for determining the user preferences in speech-function halls to increase the acoustic comfort conditions.

Research Limitations/Implications

Need of explaining the room acoustics parameters to the subjects.

Social/Practical Implications

It is thought that the questionnaire text will benefit the increase of the acoustic comfort conditions in the new and / or existing buildings and reduce economic loss.


This study is the first research which examines Turkish adjectives to describe speech sound.

Author Biographies

Ezgi Türk Gürkan, Yıldız Technical University

Ezgi Türk Gürkan received her B.S Degree in the major of architecture and Master’s Degree in Building Physics from Yıldız Technical University. She currently works as an acoustical consultant in a private firm and is a PhD student in Architecture Faculty at Yıldız Technical University.

Zerhan Yüksel Can, Yıldız Technical University

Zerhan Yüksel Can graduated from Istanbul State Engineering and Architectural Academy in 1979 with a B.S. Degree in Architecture and received her Master’s Degree in Building Physics from the same university in 1982. She received her Ph.D. from Yıldız Technical University in 1988, her Associate Professor Degree in 1991 and her Professor Degree in 2001. She is expert in architectural acoustics and soundscape. She worked at Yıldız Technical University until her retirement in 2018.


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How to Cite

Türk Gürkan, E., & Yüksel Can, Z. (2021). A STUDY ON DETERMINATION OF TURKISH ADJECTIVE PAIRS FOR SPEECH SOUND. ICONARP International Journal of Architecture and Planning, 9(1), 91–109. https://doi.org/10.15320/ICONARP.2021.151