Variability and Consistency in Speech Breathing During Reading Lung Volumes, Speech Intensity, and Linguistic Factors Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1994
Variability and Consistency in Speech Breathing During Reading
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alison L. Winkworth
    School of Communication Disorders The University of Sydney Australia
  • Pamela J. Davis
    School of Communication Disorders The University of Sydney Australia
  • Elizabeth Ellis
    School of Physiotherapy The University of Sydney Australia
  • Roger D. Adams
    Department of Behavioural Sciences The University of Sydney Australia
  • Pamela J. Davis, PhD, Speech Motor Control Laboratory, School of Communication Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences C42, The University of Sydney, P.O. Box 170, Lidcombe, NSW 2141, Australia.
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1994
Variability and Consistency in Speech Breathing During Reading
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1994, Vol. 37, 535-556. doi:10.1044/jshr.3703.535
History: Received April 5, 1993 , Accepted December 9, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1994, Vol. 37, 535-556. doi:10.1044/jshr.3703.535
History: Received April 5, 1993; Accepted December 9, 1993

Lung volumes during reading and associated factors such as speech intensity and linguistic influences were studied in six healthy young women over 7 to 10 sessions, using respiratory inductive plethysmography. Intrasubject variability of lung volumes over the sessions was almost as great as the intersubject variability. Some of the intrasubject variability was associated with natural variations of speech intensity within a “comfortable loudness” range. The lung volume variability during reading is contrasted with high degrees of both inter- and intrasubject consistency in the location of inspirations, which occurred almost exclusively at grammatically appropriate places in the texts (paragraph, sentence, clause, and phrase boundaries). Within each reading passage, lung volumes were significantly increased for (a) louder utterances, (b) inspirations at sentence and paragraph boundaries compared to inspirations at other locations within sentences, (c) longer utterances compared to shorter utterances, and (d) initial breaths compared to final breaths. The implications of these findings for the neural control of breathing during speech are considered.

Acknowledgments
We are especially grateful to Richard Troughear for the design and construction of the custom-built speech intensity measurement hardware. We also wish to acknowledge the contributions of Anthony Brancatisano, Joan Rosenthal, and Nick Urbanik to the study. This study was supported by a University of Sydney Research Grant.
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