Authors: Hustad KC, Lee J
Title: Changes in Speech Production Associated with Alphabet Supplementation
Source: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2008 51(6): 1438-1450
Year: 2008
Research Design: Case Series

Purpose: This study examined the effect of alphabet supplementation (AS) on temporal and spectral features of speech production in individuals with cerebral palsy and dysarthria. Method: Twelve speakers with dysarthria contributed speech samples using habitual speech and while using AS. One hundred twenty listeners orthographically transcribed speech samples. Differences between habitual and AS speech were examined for intelligibility, rate, word duration, vowel duration, pause duration, pause frequency, vowel space, and first and second formant frequency (F1 and F2) values for corner vowels. Results: Descriptive results showed that intelligibility was higher, rate of speech was slower, and pause duration and pause frequency were greater for AS than for habitual speech. Inferential statistics showed that vowel duration, word duration, and vowel space increased significantly for AS. Vowel space did not differ for male and female speakers; however, there was an interaction between sex and speaking condition. Changes in vowel space were accomplished by reductions in F2 for /u/. Vowel space accounted for more variability in intelligibility than rate for AS; the opposite was true for habitual speech. Conclusion: AS is associated with temporal and spectral changes in speech production. Spectral changes associated with corner vowels appear to be more important than temporal changes.

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