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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractStrategies that encourage the use of clear speech are prominent in treatment programsfor talkers with neuromotor diseases and the communication partners of individuals with hearing impairments. While there is considerable research on how to elicit clear speech as well as its effects on vowel space area and intelligibility, there is little published information on how talkers change their rate in these conditions. The current study was designed to examine the relation between changes in speaking rate (syllables/second) and the instructional method that is used for three different conditions (slow, fast, and clear). It was also of interest to examine if the age of the talkers would affect how listeners changed rate. To answer this, a younger and an older group of talkers were included in the present study. Results showed that all talkers were able to change rate following a verbal cue, but talkers did not change their rate enough to match the specific instruction. All talkers increased their speaking rate in a similar manner, but for the slow condition the older talkers decreased their rate more than the younger talkers. In the clear speech condition, all talkers managed to slow their rate down, but the change was not as significant compared to when they were instructed to modify their rate in a specific way. To follow up on this study, future research should seek to determine how other acoustic variables (e.g., vowel space) were impacted by different amounts of rate change in conjunction with listener judgements of intelligibility. By doing so, it can be determined whether speaking rate is an important variable in improving speech clarity or if instructions such as over-articulation are more effective.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences