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Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2003 May;12(2):221-8.

The effect of clinical experience on cue trading for the /r-w/ contrast.

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Auburn University Montgomery, Montgomery, AL 36117, USA.


Although the ability of clinicians to perceptually process speech sound productions is a key ingredient in the evaluation and remediation of articulatory disorders, very little attention has been given to this important skill. This study explored the potential of a perceptual task, known as cue trading, to assess perceptual skill among students with varying clinical experience. A cue-trading paradigm for the /r-w/ contrast was used in which a temporal-spectral cue on F2 was balanced against a spectral cue on F3. Results indicated a trading relationship for all students. However, students without clinical experience demonstrated reduced sensitivity to the acoustic cues for /w/ and identification functions that were less clearly separated compared to students with clinical experience. Furthermore, the magnitude of the difference between functions (the trading relationship) was significantly smaller for students without practicum experience: They showed weaker phonetic percepts for /r/ and /w/ than did the students with practicum experience. Preliminary results suggest that a task based on cue trading could be useful in assessing perceptual sensitivity to the acoustic cues representative of misarticulated /r/.

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