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Title: Speech production in Farsi-speaking children with repaired cleft palate
Author: Baranian, Baharak
ISNI:       0000 0004 6056 7498
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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Studies have shown that a history of cleft palate often affects speech production. While similar patterns of atypical speech production have been reported across a variety of different, mainly European, languages (Henningsson & Willadsen, 2011), studies on cleft speech production in typologically different, non-European languages may provide important insights into how truly universal cleft speech characteristics are. Farsi, the national language of Iran, may present a particular and interesting challenge in speech production of individuals with cleft palate, on account of its phonological system. This report presents the results of an ongoing study, aiming to identify the speech characteristics of Farsi-speaking children and to compare these with features reported in cleft palate research for other languages. The study used speech data taken from 21 Farsi-speaking children aged between five and ten years old with a repaired cleft palate and a comparison group of five typically-developing children also aged between five and ten, all resident in Tehran, the capital of Iran. Audio and video recordings were made of the participants’ speech production in single word naming and sentence repetition. The data were transcribed using narrow phonetic transcription, and the transcriptions formed the basis for completion of Farsi GOS.SP.ASS forms for each individual participant. From the analyses, atypical speech characteristics were divided into those related to the cleft palate, and those which are described as non-cleft developmental features. Results indicate that the Farsi-speaking children with cleft palate used a range of features previously identified as cleft speech characteristics for other languages. However, some unusual speech features such as retroflex articulation were noted in the data indicating that compensatory strategies can vary according to the language in question. Some of these unusual speech behaviours (e.g., realisation of a tap as a lateral approximant) are attributed to the particular phonetic inventory and phonological system of Farsi. This study of the speech of Farsi-speaking children with repaired cleft palate indicates that not all characteristics of cleft palate speech are universal. There is evidence of some Farsi-specific features. However since the Farsi data does contain many of the cleft-related articulatory and phonological characteristics reported in English and other languages, the findings from this study support the proposal to base a Farsi cleft speech assessment on the UK GOS.SP.ASS assessment.
Supervisor: Wells, Bill ; Harding-Bell, Anne Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available