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J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2006 Oct;49(5):1147-55.

Articulation rate and vowel space characteristics of young males with fragile X syndrome: preliminary acoustic findings.

Author information

  • 1University of North Carolina Craniofacial Center, CB# 7450, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. david_zajac@dentistry.unc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Increased speaking rate is a commonly reported perceptual characteristic among males with fragile X syndrome (FXS). The objective of this preliminary study was to determine articulation rate-one component of perceived speaking rate-and vowel space characteristics of young males with FXS.

METHOD:

Young males with FXS (n = 38), developmental age (DA)-matched males (n = 21), and chronological age (CA)-matched males (n = 16) were audiotaped while engaged in spontaneous conversation and a picture-naming task. Articulation rate in syllables per second during intelligible utterances and vowel space area/dispersion measures were acoustically determined for each speaker.

RESULTS:

Males with FXS did not articulate significantly faster than CA-matched males. Area and dispersion of the acoustic vowel space also were similar between the 2 groups. Males with FXS, however, used significantly shorter utterances and had a tendency to pause less often than CA-matched males. In addition, males with FXS exhibited greater intraspeaker variability of formants associated with the vowel /a/.

CONCLUSIONS:

These preliminary findings suggest that articulation rate may not be a primary factor contributing to perceived speaking rate of males with FXS. Limitations of the study relative to speech production tasks and utterance intelligibility are discussed.

PMID:
17077221
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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