The Influence of Speaking Rate on Nasality in the Speech of Hearing-Impaired Individuals PurposeThe purpose of this study was to determine whether deliberate increases in speaking rate would serve to decrease the amount of nasality in the speech of severely hearing-impaired individuals.MethodThe participants were 11 severely to profoundly hearing-impaired students, ranging in age from 12 to 19 years (M = 16 years). Each ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2009
The Influence of Speaking Rate on Nasality in the Speech of Hearing-Impaired Individuals
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Claire H. Dwyer
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Michael P. Robb
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Greg A. O’Beirne
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Harvey R. Gilbert
    University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
  • Contact author: Michael P. Robb, Department of Communication Disorders, University of Canterbury, Private MailBag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. E-mail: michael.robb@canterbury.ac.nz.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   October 01, 2009
The Influence of Speaking Rate on Nasality in the Speech of Hearing-Impaired Individuals
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2009, Vol. 52, 1321-1333. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0035)
History: Received February 12, 2008 , Revised August 28, 2008 , Accepted January 7, 2009
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2009, Vol. 52, 1321-1333. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0035)
History: Received February 12, 2008; Revised August 28, 2008; Accepted January 7, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

PurposeThe purpose of this study was to determine whether deliberate increases in speaking rate would serve to decrease the amount of nasality in the speech of severely hearing-impaired individuals.

MethodThe participants were 11 severely to profoundly hearing-impaired students, ranging in age from 12 to 19 years (M = 16 years). Each participant provided a baseline speech sample (R1) followed by 3 training sessions during which participants were trained to increase their speaking rate. Following the training sessions, a second speech sample was obtained (R2). Acoustic and perceptual analyses of the speech samples obtained at R1 and R2 were undertaken. The acoustic analysis focused on changes in first (F1) and second (F2) formant frequency and formant bandwidths. The perceptual analysis involved listener ratings of the speech samples (at R1 and R2) for perceived nasality.

ResultsFindings indicated a significant increase in speaking rate at R2. In addition, significantly narrower F2 bandwidth and lower perceptual rating scores of nasality were obtained at R2 across all participants, suggesting a decrease in nasality as speaking rate increases.

ConclusionThe nasality demonstrated by hearing-impaired individuals is amenable to change when speaking rate is increased. The influences of speaking rate changes on the perception and production of nasality in hearing-impaired individuals are discussed.

Acknowledgment
We wish to thank Maree O’Brien as well as the teachers and students at the van Asch Deaf Education Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, who made this project possible.
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