The Use of Ultrasound in Remediation of North American English /r/ in 2 Adolescents PurposeUltrasound can provide images of the tongue during speech production. The present study set out to examine the potential utility of ultrasound in remediation of North American English /r/.MethodThe participants were 2 Canadian English-speaking adolescents who had not yet acquired /r/. The study included an initial period without ultrasound and ... Research
Research  |   May 2007
The Use of Ultrasound in Remediation of North American English /r/ in 2 Adolescents
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marcy Adler-Bock
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Barbara May Bernhardt
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Bryan Gick
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Penelope Bacsfalvi
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Disclosure Statement
    Disclosure Statement×
    Barbara M. H. Bernhardt is a coauthor of the Computerized Articulation and Phonology Evaluation System (CAPES) and thus has a financial interest in the software. Some of the /r/ words for this study were elicited with the CAPES pictures. However, the particular words could have been elicited with any set of pictures (i.e., CAPES was not essential to the study) and do not have an impact on the results of the study.
    Barbara M. H. Bernhardt is a coauthor of the Computerized Articulation and Phonology Evaluation System (CAPES) and thus has a financial interest in the software. Some of the /r/ words for this study were elicited with the CAPES pictures. However, the particular words could have been elicited with any set of pictures (i.e., CAPES was not essential to the study) and do not have an impact on the results of the study.×
  • Contact authors: Barbara Bernhardt or Marcy Adler-Bock, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, 5804 Fairview Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z3. E-mail: bernharb@interchange.ubc.ca or marcy.adler-bock@vch.ca.
  • © 2007 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody
Research   |   May 2007
The Use of Ultrasound in Remediation of North American English /r/ in 2 Adolescents
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2007, Vol. 16, 128-139. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2007/017)
History: Received May 6, 2005 , Revised December 1, 2005 , Accepted September 25, 2006
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2007, Vol. 16, 128-139. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2007/017)
History: Received May 6, 2005; Revised December 1, 2005; Accepted September 25, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 25

PurposeUltrasound can provide images of the tongue during speech production. The present study set out to examine the potential utility of ultrasound in remediation of North American English /r/.

MethodThe participants were 2 Canadian English-speaking adolescents who had not yet acquired /r/. The study included an initial period without ultrasound and 13 treatment sessions, each 1 hr long, using ultrasound. Speech samples were recorded at screening and immediately before and after treatment. Samples were analyzed acoustically and with listener judgments. Ultrasound images were obtained before, during, and after the treatment period.

ResultsThree speech-language pathologists unfamiliar with the participants rated significantly more posttreatment tokens as accurate [r]s in single words and some phrases. Acoustic analyses showed an expected lowering of the third formant after treatment. A qualitative observation of posttreatment ultrasound images for accurate [r] tokens showed tongue shapes to be more similar to those of typical adults than had been observed before treatment. Participants needed continued practice of their newly acquired skills in sentences and conversation.

ConclusionTwo-dimensional dynamic ultrasound appears to have potential utility for remediation of /r/ in speakers with residual /r/ impairment. Further research is needed with larger numbers of participants to establish the relative efficacy of ultrasound in treatment.

Acknowledgments
This study was funded by summer research grants from British Columbia Medical Services Foundation and Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and was conducted according to ethical procedures of the university’s ethics review committee. We acknowledge the Canada Foundation for Innovation for funding the Interdisciplinary Speech Research Laboratory (ISRL) at the University of British Columbia and ultrasound equipment. The project would not have been possible without the hard work of the participants and their families, and we would like to gratefully acknowledge their enthusiastic participation. Our appreciation also extends to Bosko Radanov and Shaffiq Rahemtulla for assistance in the ISRL, and to the SLP listeners for their time.
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