The Use of Tactile Supplements in Lipreading Swedish and English A Single-Subject Study Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2000
The Use of Tactile Supplements in Lipreading Swedish and English
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Geoff Plant
    Department of Speech Communication and Music Acoustics Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, Sweden and Speech and Hearing Sciences Graduate School of the City University of New York
  • Johan Gnosspelius
    Department of Speech Communication and Music Acoustics Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, Sweden
  • Harry Levitt
    Speech and Hearing Sciences Graduate School of the City University of New York
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: hearf@aol.com
  • Contact author: Geoff Plant, 46 Chandler Street, Arlington, MA 02474-8517. Email: hearf@aol.com
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2000
The Use of Tactile Supplements in Lipreading Swedish and English
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2000, Vol. 43, 172-183. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4301.172
History: Received October 29, 1998 , Accepted July 19, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2000, Vol. 43, 172-183. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4301.172
History: Received October 29, 1998; Accepted July 19, 1999

The speech perception skills of GS, a Swedish adult deaf man who has used a "natural" tactile supplement to lipreading for over 45 years, were tested in two languages: Swedish and English. Two different tactile supplements to lipreading were investigated. In the first, "Tactiling," GS detected the vibrations accompanying speech by placing his thumb directly on the speaker’s throat. In the second, a simple tactile aid consisting of a throat microphone, amplifier, and a hand-held bone vibrator was used. Both supplements led to improved lipreading of materials ranging in complexity from consonants in [aCa] nonsense syllables to Speech Tracking. Analysis of GS’s results indicated that the tactile signal assisted him in identifying vowel duration, consonant voicing, and some manner of articulation categories. GS’s tracking rate in Swedish was around 40 words per minute when the materials were presented via lipreading alone. When the lipreading signal was supplemented by tactile cues, his tracking rates were in the range of 60–65 words per minute. Although GS’s tracking rates for English materials were around half those achieved in Swedish, his performance showed a similar pattern in that the use of tactile cues led to improvements of around 40% over lipreading alone.

Acknowledgments
The data analysis and preparation of this paper were supported by NIH Grant #5P50DC00178 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The authors would like to thank GS for his willingness to take part in such an intensive test program. Although the process of testing occupied several hours and required intense concentration, GS maintained his unfailing good humor throughout. We would also like to thank Professor Arne Risberg for his support of this project and his great interest in its outcomes.
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