Special Interest Group 19 - Speech Science

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Assessment and Treatment Considerations
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
The first two articles in this SIG 19 activity provide information to better our assessment and treatment of individuals in the area of voice, while the latter two articles focus on treatment of individuals in the area of speech production. The authors for all four articles present a review of the literature as well as challenges and future directions. First, Van Hook and Duffy conducted a pilot study to trial the Gender Spectrum Voice Inventory. This article provides a review, discussion of validity, and speech-language pathologists’ perceptions of the inventory in an effort to address a gap in available clinical tools for transgender and nonbinary people. Next, Hammer reviews the relationship between air flow with sound pressure level during syllable production while holding fundamental frequency and subglottic air pressure constant. The results have clinical implications that stress the importance of an increase in air flow and focus on vocal fold contact. Then, Gritsyk et al. describe their study to determine which measures of somatosensory acuity best predicted change in production accuracy during vowel learning tasks while controlling auditory acuity. Results indicate only bite block adaptation with auditory masking was significantly associated with performance. Finally, Zajac et al. discuss their preliminary study that indicated cleft type contributes to production errors, specifically backing, in children with repaired cleft palate. Additionally, a history of otitis media affects the spectral contrast of alveolar consonants in children without clefts.
Speech Science Views and News
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
This activity presents a diverse perspective, including four different speech science articles focused on a variety of topics. Kimball and Sayce discuss the pros and cons of research using behavior and functional assessment and treatment in the areas of speech science and voice, specifically their limitation in outlining etiology or explaining treatment resistance. They also provide an overview of genetic research approaches as a possible path forward to develop additional evidence-based treatment approaches. Neel reviews the production and perception of extralinguistic information regarding sex/gender, sexual orientation, age, non-native accent, regional and social dialect, and race and ethnicity. The article explores the literature in the above areas reviewing acoustical features and common misperceptions, concluding with instructional activities to enhance student awareness of indexical characteristics. McAllister et al. studied the effects of biofeedback for residual rhotic errors in a preliminary case series. Participants were five native English speakers who had not yet generalized rhotic production. Treatment consisted of either electropalatographic or visual-acoustic biofeedback using the Challenge Point Program software. Although participant responses to treatment were variable, the median effect size tended to exceed the minimum value considered clinically significant. Gritsyk et al. examined three measures to determine which best predicted change in production accuracy during a vowel learning task. Using 20 female college students, researchers administered three tasks: an oral stereognosis task, a bite block task using auditory making, and a new phonetic awareness task. The bite block task with auditory masking, measuring proprioceptive awareness, was the only task significantly related to performance in speech learning.
Speech Perception and Production
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
This Perspectives (SIG 19) includes four different speech science articles that focus on speech production, speech perception, or both. Akbari and Aoyama examine epenthetic vowels produced by Persian L2 speakers of English corroborating previous research findings regarding acoustical characteristics of anaptyctic epenthetic vowels—prothetic epenthetic vowels differ from the phonemic vowels they precede. Hitchcock et al. examine speech perception of typical adults, typical children, and children with speech sound disorders, finding that children with speech sound disorders differ as compared to both typical groups. Rong conducted a preliminary examination of the articulatory control of speech and speech-like tasks. The results revealed shared and task-specific articulatory features in speech and speech-like tasks, specifically sharing that alternating motion rate tasks may be more useful for assessing temporal aspects of articulation whereas sequential motion rate tasks may be more useful for assessing spatial aspects of articulation and coordination. Lastly, Boyd-Pratt and Donai review evidence that the high frequency region contains perceptual cues regarding segmental, speaker identity, and speaker sex as well as improved speech recognition in the presence of noise.
Perception, Technology, and Clinical Applications
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
These Perspectives (SIG 19) articles focus on perceptual considerations and the use of a system to investigate lingual coordination as a clinical tool. In the first article Rakerd et al. review the resonant effects of performers, resonance associated with nasality, and resonant voice for both normal and disordered populations. In the second article Grover et al. use the bubble noise method, which places noise randomly in time and frequency with “holes” or “bubbles” that give glimpses into the target signal, to determine what is perceptually important in the speech signal for native/first language listeners versus nonnative/second language listeners. In the final article, Dugan et al. review TonguePART, an image processing system used to track the tongue surface, as a reliable, fast method to track articulatory movement of the tongue for syllables
Use of Technology to Assess  Speech Production and Voice
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
These Perspectives (SIG 19) articles provide with information relevant to speech science research and education. Lulich and Pearson present two demonstrations in this technical report to illustrate the utility of 3D/4D ultrasound technology. First, the authors report that “not only can structures be imaged which previously were impossible to identify from 2D ultrasound alone (e.g., piriform sinuses and posterior pharyngeal wall), but questions involving non-sagittal structures and asymmetrical tongue shapes, such as the pervasiveness and extensiveness of lateral contact between the tongue and the palate-teeth, can now be addressed non-invasively.” Second, they also conclude that “the fusion of ultrasound data with MRI images further enhances the utility of 3D/4D ultrasound, since it combines the strengths of ultrasound with the complementary strengths of the other modality, while mitigating the weaknesses of each.” Richardson et al., compare various acoustical measures of sustained vowels obtained using the Multidimensional Voice Program (MDVP) by Computerized Speech Lab, Praat, and TF32. Results show that the MDVP yield significantly higher values of standard deviation of fundamental frequency, jitter, and shimmer, and significantly lower values of noise-to-harmonics ratio compared to the other programs. They discuss the variation of numerical values across programs and the resulting clinical implications. Hagedorn et al. discuss the benefits of a collaboration among engineers, speech scientists, and clinicians which yield “the development of biologically inspired technology that has been proven useful for both small- and large-scale analysis,” a better understanding of speech production, and the development of assessment tools with a clinical benefit and interdisciplinary reach. They also review the use of real-time magnetic resonance imaging across clinical populations and discuss the challenges associated with collaborative work. Lee and Fischer reveal an association between acoustic vowel space and the severity of dysarthria. They review sex differences, factors that may affect formant-related measures, and clinical implications.

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