Syllable structure in dysfunctional Portuguese children speech
Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics Vol. 24, Nº 11, pp. 883 - 889, October, 2010.
ISSN (online): 1464-5076
Scimago Journal Ranking: 0,61 (in 2010)
Digital Object Identifier: 10.3109/02699206.2010.511402
The goal of this work is to investigate whether children with speech dysfunctions (SD) show a deficit in planning some Portuguese syllable structures (PSS) in continuous speech production. Knowledge of which aspects of speech production are affected by SD is necessary for efficient improvement in the therapy techniques.
The case-study is focused on PSS as C1C2V syllable sequences (consonant-consonant-vowel), in which C2 is [l] or [r]. To identify specific speech patterns that are sensitive to SD, coarticulation effects using formant trajectories, intensity and durational structure are investigated. To explore the characteristics of continuous speech processes in SD speech output, our methodology uses acoustic analysis. Preliminary findings show systematic specific coarticulation in the child with SD when compared to the normal speech (NS) child. This also suggests that the traditional focus on a single word production in the SD assessment needs to be modified to allow more detailed consideration of speech production in continuous speech.
It is our purpose to develop in the future an application that can be an optimal start for SD treatment/counselling programs. The work reported here proves the importance of clinic linguistic knowledge on that way. This study is the result of a multidisciplinary-team whose work allies linguist, clinical therapy and engineering knowledge.