The maintenance of intraoral pressure in hearing-impaired and normal-hearing speakers
Studt, Christine C.
MetadataShow full item record
It has been hypothesized that the maintenance of intraoral pressure necessary to produce intelligible speech is of major importance in speech motor control. Furthermore, it is felt that this maintenance of intraoral pressure would have to be monitored by some type of regulating system. Evidence for support of this theory has come from studies of normal speakers’ abilities to regulate air pressure through increased respiratory effort in response to perturbations of oral pressure. Descriptions of speech patterns exhibited by individuals with prelingual, bilateral, sensorineural, severe-to-profound hearing losses, typically suggest that there is a mismanagement of the respiratory, laryngeal and articulatory systems. Due to their impaired auditory mechanisms, it is believed that problems exist in their ability to manage appropriate intraoral air pressure required for intelligible speech. It is not known if they have been able to establish and utilize a pressure regulating mechanism during the production of speech sounds. Therefore, it was the purpose of this study to examine the measurements of intraoral air pressure and flow of speakers with prelingual, severe-to-profound hearing impairments during the production of repeated syllables while perturbations of oral pressure were brought about by the placement of translabial bleeds. If was felt that the results from this study would alloy/ for a better understanding of the role the auditory mechanism plays in the regulation of air pressure required for intelligible speech production. The intraoral air pressure and flow of seven females exhibiting a prelingual, severe-to-profound, bilateral, sensorineural hearing loss were compared to those of intelligible normal-hearing females. Each subject group produced repetitions of the syllable /pa/ with translabial bleed tubes of varying orifice areas. All subject groups demonstrated a decrease in intraoral air pressure and a corresponding increase in flow during the production of /p/ as the orifice area of the translabial bleed increased. Also, with the exception of the largest bleed condition, the mean intraoral pressure for the postconsonantal vowel /a/ was relatively consistent for all subject groups. The data from this study were interpreted to suggest that the management of an aerodynamic equilibrium (constant oral pressure) required for intelligible speech production can be maintained through some type of monitoring of the aerodynamic variables in the absence of auditory feedback. Implications for future research are discussed.