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Title: Children with persisting speech difficulties : exploring speech production and intelligibility across different contexts
Author: Speake, Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 7651 3216
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
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Background and purpose: Children with persisting speech difficulties (PSD) may present with severe and ongoing impairments in segmental and prosodic output which can result in poor intelligibility. The purpose of this study was to examine the speech processing skills and intelligibility of four children with PSD, carrying out detailed phonetic and phonological analysis, and investigation of their speech output and intelligibility in single words (SW) and multi-word utterances (MWU). Method: Participants were aged 6;5 to 7;3 at the start of the study. Their speech processing was examined through: • Psycholinguistic assessment of input and output processing skills (Joy Stackhouse & Wells, 1997) • Perceptual transcription and analysis of the production of SW, imitated sentences and conversational speech (CS) at two points in time (T1 and T2). Speech output data were considered in the context of phonological process analysis (PPA) and then through further analysis of segmental and prosodic aspects of MWU. Intelligibility was measured through 66 unfamiliar adult listeners orthographically transcribing edited samples from each child of 10 SW, 5 imitated sentences and 5 samples of CS from T1 and T2. Results: Psycholinguistic tasks revealed that the children had pervasive and complex speech processing difficulties. PPA based on traditional SW sampling failed to capture important aspects of children's speech; analysis of MWU revealed phonetic and prosodic features essential to describing and understanding children's development of "real talk"(Howard, 2007, p. 20). Intelligibility outcomes revealed listeners' recognition was better for MWU in three of the children; intelligibility was better for all children at T2. Implications: Children with PSD benefit from thorough investigation of Input and output speech processing skills; assessment of MWU is essential in capturing segmental and prosodic aspects of speech output to explain poor intelligibility and plan Intervention.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available