Temporal Characteristics of the Speech of Normal Elderly Adults A number of physical and psychological changes occur as a result of the normal aging process. These changes often result in an increase in the time subjects require to perform various motor (and sensory) tasks. Although the effects of aging upon a variety of behaviors have been quite well documented, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1987
Temporal Characteristics of the Speech of Normal Elderly Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Bruce L. Smith
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Jan Wasowicz
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Judy Preston
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1987
Temporal Characteristics of the Speech of Normal Elderly Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1987, Vol. 30, 522-529. doi:10.1044/jshr.3004.522
History: Received July 18, 1986 , Accepted April 6, 1987
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1987, Vol. 30, 522-529. doi:10.1044/jshr.3004.522
History: Received July 18, 1986; Accepted April 6, 1987

A number of physical and psychological changes occur as a result of the normal aging process. These changes often result in an increase in the time subjects require to perform various motor (and sensory) tasks. Although the effects of aging upon a variety of behaviors have been quite well documented, considerably less information is available concerning how normal aging may affect speech production. The present study examined temporal characteristics of the speech of 10 normal, elderly adults and 10 young adults who produced a variety of words and sentences at both normal and fast speaking rates. Acoustic analyses indicated that the elderly adults' segment, syllable, and sentence durations were 20 to 25% longer than those of the young adults at both the normal and the fast rates of speech. In addition to comparisons that were made between these two groups of subjects, comparisons were also made with durations of the speech of young children studied in previous research. It was observed that the elderly subjects tended to produce durations comparable to those of 6- and 7-year-old children.

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