Adaptation to an Electropalatograph Palate: Acoustic, Impressionistic, and Perceptual Data Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate adaptation to the electropalatograph (EPG) from the perspective of consonant acoustics, listener perceptions, and speaker ratings. Method Seven adults with typical speech wore an EPG and pseudo-EPG palate over 2 days and produced syllables, read a passage, counted, and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 2006
Adaptation to an Electropalatograph Palate: Acoustic, Impressionistic, and Perceptual Data
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sharynne McLeod
    Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia
  • Jeff Searl
    Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia
  • Contact author: Sharynne McLeodm, Charles Sturt University, Panorama Avenue, Bathurst, New South Wales 2795, Australia. Email: smcleod@csu.edu.au
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 01, 2006
Adaptation to an Electropalatograph Palate: Acoustic, Impressionistic, and Perceptual Data
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2006, Vol. 15, 192-206. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2006/018)
History: Received July 25, 2005 , Accepted January 24, 2006
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2006, Vol. 15, 192-206. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2006/018)
History: Received July 25, 2005; Accepted January 24, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 14

Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate adaptation to the electropalatograph (EPG) from the perspective of consonant acoustics, listener perceptions, and speaker ratings.

Method Seven adults with typical speech wore an EPG and pseudo-EPG palate over 2 days and produced syllables, read a passage, counted, and rated their adaptation to the palate. Consonant acoustics, listener ratings, and speaker ratings were analyzed.

Results The spectral mean for the burst (/t/) and frication (/s/) was reduced for the first 60–120 min of wearing the pseudo-EPG palate. Temporal features (stop gap, frication, and syllable duration) were unaffected by wearing the pseudo-EPG palate. The EPG palate had a similar effect on consonant acoustics as the pseudo-EPG palate. Expert listener ratings indicated minimal to no change in speech naturalness or distortion from the pseudo-EPG or EPG palate. The sounds /t∫, dʒ, ∫, s, z, ʒ/ were most likely to be affected. Speaker self-ratings related to oral comfort, speech, tongue movement, appearance, and oral sensation were negatively affected by the presence of the palatal devices.

Conclusions Speakers detected a substantial difference when wearing a palatal device, but the effects on speech were minimal based on listener ratings. Spectral features of consonants were initially affected, although adaptation occurred. Wearing an EPG or pseudo-EPG palate for approximately 2 hr results in relatively normal-sounding speech with acoustic features similar to a no-palate condition.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Competitive and CSU Key Researcher grants. Thanks are extended to Mark Cordato for the orthodontic preparation of the pseudo-EPG palates and to Dr. Caroline Bowen for conducting the impressionistic ratings.
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