Title: Auditory-Perceptual Features of Speech in Children and Adults with Down syndrome: A Speech Profile Analysis
Legend: Table 6 – Principal component loading matrix, first four principal components, vowel features. Note. The largest loadings (in absolute magnitude) on each component define importance. Component loadings greater than .4 in absolute magnitude are shown in bold. Table 7 – Principal component loading matrix, first four principal components, sentence features. Note. The largest loadings (in absolute magnitude) on each component define importance. Component loadings greater than .4 in absolute magnitude are shown in bold.
Citation: Kent, R. D., Eichhorn, J., Wilson, E. M., Suk, Y., Bolt, D. M., & Vorperian, H. K. (2021). Auditory-Perceptual Features of Speech in Children and Adults With Down Syndrome: A Speech Profile Analysis. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 64(4), 1157-1175.. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_JSLHR-20-00617
Abstract: Purpose – The aim of this study was to determine how the speech disorder profiles in Down syndrome (DS) relate to reduced intelligibility, atypical overall quality, and impairments in the subsystems of speech production (phonation, articulation, resonance, prosody). Method – Auditory-perceptual ratings of intelligibility, overall quality, and features associated with the subsystems of speech production were obtained from recordings of 79 children and adults with DS. Ratings were made for sustained vowels (62 of 79 speakers) and short sentences (79 speakers). The data were analyzed to determine the severity of the affected features in each speaking task and to detect patterns in the group data by means of principal components analysis. Results – Reduced intelligibility was noted in 90% of the speakers and atypical overall speech quality in 100%. Affected speech features were distributed across the speech production subsystems. Principal components analysis revealed 4 components each for the vowel and sentence tasks, showing that individuals with DS are not homogeneous in the features of their speech disorder. Discussion – The speech disorder in DS is complex in its perceptual features and reflects impairments across the subsystems of speech production, but the pattern is not uniform across individuals, indicating that attention must be given to individual variation in designing treatments.
About the Lab: The Vocal Tract Development Laboratory (VTLab) uses a combination of imaging, acoustics, and vocal tract modeling to understand the lifespan changes of the vocal tract anatomy in typically and atypically developing individuals, and to examine the relation of anatomic changes to speech acoustics.