Multiple phonetically trained-listener comparisons of speech before and after articulatory intervention in two children with repaired submucous cleft palate

Roxburgh, Zoe and Cleland, Joanne and Scobbie, James M. (2016) Multiple phonetically trained-listener comparisons of speech before and after articulatory intervention in two children with repaired submucous cleft palate. Clinical linguistics & phonetics. ISSN 0269-9206

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    Abstract

    In Cleft Palate (CP) assessments based on phonetic transcription are the "gold standard" therapy outcome measure, despite reliability difficulties. Here we propose a novel perceptual evaluation, applied to ultrasound-visual biofeedback (U-VBF) therapy and therapy using visual articulatory models (VAMs) for two children with repaired submucous CP. Three comparisons were made: post VAM, post U-VBF and overall pre- and post-therapy. Twenty-two phonetically-trained listeners were asked to determine whether pre- or post-therapy recordings sounded "closer to the English target", using their own implicit stored knowledge (prompted via orthographic representation) as a comparison. Results are compared with segment-oriented percent target consonant correct (PTCC) derived from phonetic transcriptions by the authors. Listener judgments and PTCC suggest that both children made improvements using both VAM and U-VBF. Statistical analysis showed listener agreement across all three comparisons, despite agreement being poor. This perceptual evaluation offers a straightforward method of evaluating the effectiveness of interventions and can be used by phonetically trained or lay listeners.