The Relationship Between Phoneme Discrimination, Speech Production, and Language Comprehension in Cerebral-Palsied Individuals Twenty-four individuals with impaired speech (anarthria or dysarthria) were compared on tests of receptive language to a control group with normal speech. All subjects were cerebral-palsied and groups were matched on age and nonverbal ability. The speech-impaired subjects performed less well than controls on a phoneme discrimination task in which ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1990
The Relationship Between Phoneme Discrimination, Speech Production, and Language Comprehension in Cerebral-Palsied Individuals
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • D. V. M. Bishop
    University of Manchester
  • B. Byers Brown
    University of Manchester
  • J. Robson
    University of Manchester
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to D. V. M. Bishop, MRC Senior Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Manchester, M13 9PL England.
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1990
The Relationship Between Phoneme Discrimination, Speech Production, and Language Comprehension in Cerebral-Palsied Individuals
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1990, Vol. 33, 210-219. doi:10.1044/jshr.3302.210
History: Received November 16, 1988 , Accepted September 29, 1989
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1990, Vol. 33, 210-219. doi:10.1044/jshr.3302.210
History: Received November 16, 1988; Accepted September 29, 1989

Twenty-four individuals with impaired speech (anarthria or dysarthria) were compared on tests of receptive language to a control group with normal speech. All subjects were cerebral-palsied and groups were matched on age and nonverbal ability. The speech-impaired subjects performed less well than controls on a phoneme discrimination task in which they were required to judge whether pairs of nonwords were the same or different. They were also impaired relative to controls on a receptive vocabulary test, but not in understanding of grammatical structure. One year later, phoneme discrimination skills were reassessed in this sample, using another same-different task, plus a new task in which subjects were required to judge if the name of a picture was spoken correctly or altered by one sound. Speech-impaired subjects performed as well as controls on the word judgment task, indicating that they can discriminate phoneme contrasts adequately. However, the same-different task again resulted in highly significant differences between speech-impaired and control groups. It is concluded that poor performance on the same-different task reflects weak memory for novel phonological strings, rather than impaired phoneme perception. It is proposed that retention of unfamiliar words is facilitated by overt or covert repetition, so individuals who cannot speak fluently have difficulty remembering nonwords. This explanation can account both for the poor performance of speech-impaired subjects on the same-different task, and for their selective deficit in vocabulary acquisition.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This work was funded by a grant from the Spastics Society. The first author is supported by a Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship. This study would not have been possible without the generous help and cooperation of the teachers, staff, and pupils and their parents from the following schools: Park Dean School, Oldham; Bethesda School, Cheadle; Mere Oaks School, Wigan; Springfield School, Kirkby; Hamblett School, St. Helens; Sandfield School, Southport; Birtenshaw Hall School, Bolton; The School of the Good Shepherd, Liverpool; Pictor School, Sale; Dorin Park School, Upton-by-Chester; Chesnut Lodge School, Widnes; Hebden Green School, Winsford; Telford School, Manchester; Lancasterian School, Manchester; Beaumont College, Lancaster; Holly Bank School, Huddersfield; The Lil Stockdale Centre, Sale; Singleton Hall, Blackpool; Green Lane School, Timperley; Central Manchester College of Further Education, Openshaw Centre. Thanks are due to Dorothy Jeffree for her help in devising pictorial materials and to Frances Hickson for providing unpublished validation data on the Manchester Picture Test.
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