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Title: Speech production in Arabic speaking children with operated cleft palate
Author: Al-Awaji, Nisreen N.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 6446
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
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This study explores the phonetic and phonological features of speech production associated with cleft palate in Saudi Arabian Arabic-speaking children. It examines data collected using an Arabic version of the GOS.SP.ASS (Sell et al. 1999) developed specifically for this study, to provide an account of the ways in which a history of cleft lip and palate may affect the development of speech in Arabic, and to consider the implications of these findings for our understanding of universal versus language-specific features of speech associated with cleft. The study used speech data taken from 21 Arabic-speaking children aged from four to seven years old, and a control group of five normally developing children aged between four and five, from Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Audio and video recordings were made of the participants' speech production in a variety of contexts, including single word production and connected speech production. The data were transcribed using narrow phonetic transcription, and the transcriptions formed the basis for completion of Saudi Arabian GOS.SP.ASS forms for each individual participant. Phonological analysis was carried out on the data from each participant. From these preliminary analyses, descriptions of atypical speech production features were made, and categorised into those associated with the cleft palate, and those which indicated non-cleft developmental difficulties. Furthermore, descriptive analysis was carried out to determine the most and least accurate segments and to explain the relationship between accurately produced segments and the following variables: chronological age, age at repair and type of cleft palate. Individual case studies were conducted to illustrate and exemplify individual differences in the speech of four of the children with cleft palate who have contrasting speech output patterns. These case studies contribute to an exploration of inter- and intra-speaker variability in speech production associated with cleft palate. The results of this study indicate that the speech characteristics of Saudi children with cleft palate are not entirely consistent with previous cross-linguistic studies of cleft palate speech: a series of different compensatory strategies and unusual speech production features emerged in the data which appear to reflect the phonetic and phonological properties of Arabic. Theoretical and clinical implications for assessment and intervention for speech difficulties related to cleft palate are discussed.
Supervisor: Howard, Sara ; Wells, Bill Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available