Dialectical Effects on Nasalance: A Multicenter, Cross-Continental Study Purpose This study investigated nasalance in speakers from six different dialectal regions across North America using recent versions of the Nasometer. It was hypothesized that many of the sound changes observed in regional dialects of North American English would have a significant impact on measures of nasalance. Method ... Research Note
Research Note  |   February 01, 2015
Dialectical Effects on Nasalance: A Multicenter, Cross-Continental Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shaheen N. Awan
    Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
  • Tim Bressmann
    University of Toronto
  • Bruce Poburka
    Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Nelson Roy
    University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Helen Sharp
    Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
  • Christopher Watts
    Texas Christian University, Fort Worth
  • Disclosure: Shaheen N. Awan is a consultant to KayPENTAX (Montvale, NJ) for the development of commercial acoustic analysis computer software including cepstral analysis of continuous speech algorithms. Awan does not have any consultation or financial relationship with KayPENTAX regarding the Nasometer systems used in this study.
    Disclosure: Shaheen N. Awan is a consultant to KayPENTAX (Montvale, NJ) for the development of commercial acoustic analysis computer software including cepstral analysis of continuous speech algorithms. Awan does not have any consultation or financial relationship with KayPENTAX regarding the Nasometer systems used in this study.×
  • Correspondence to Shaheen N. Awan: sawan@bloomu.edu
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Scott Thomson
    Associate Editor: Scott Thomson×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Notes
Research Note   |   February 01, 2015
Dialectical Effects on Nasalance: A Multicenter, Cross-Continental Study
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2015, Vol. 58, 69-77. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-S-14-0077
History: Received March 5, 2014 , Revised July 23, 2014 , Accepted September 8, 2014
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2015, Vol. 58, 69-77. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-S-14-0077
History: Received March 5, 2014; Revised July 23, 2014; Accepted September 8, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose This study investigated nasalance in speakers from six different dialectal regions across North America using recent versions of the Nasometer. It was hypothesized that many of the sound changes observed in regional dialects of North American English would have a significant impact on measures of nasalance.

Method Samples of the Zoo Passage, the Rainbow Passage, and the Nasal Sentences were collected from young adult male and female speakers (N = 300) from six North American dialectical regions (Midland/Mid-Atlantic; Inland North Canada; Inland North; North Central; South; and Western dialects).

Results Across the three passage types, effect sizes for dialect were moderate in strength and accounted for approximately 7%–9% of the variation in nasalance. Increased differences in nasalance tended to occur between speakers from distinctly different geographical regions, with the highest nasalance across all passages observed for speakers from the Texas South dialect region.

Conclusion Clinicians and researchers who use perceptual and instrumental measures of speech production should be aware that dialectical and socially acquired speech patterns may influence the acoustic characteristics of speech and may also influence the interpretation of normative expectations and typical versus disordered cutoff scores for instruments such as the Nasometer.

Acknowledgments
We thank the following individuals for their capable assistance in the conduct of this project: L. Bieryla, C. Manocchio, J. Hillman, J. West, and E. Connors (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania); G. de Boer (University of Toronto); C. Garcia-Smith and K. Berns (Minnesota State University, Mankato); J. Gordon and K. Bailey (University of Utah); S. Tasko, G. Flamme, S. Vandergalien, E. Winters, R. Whitney, C. Hearit, F. Kurban, and J. Peebles (posthumously) (Western Michigan University); and R. Becknal (Texas Christian University). Portions of this paper were presented at the 2013 Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Chicago, IL.
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