A preliminary assessment of the validity of three instrument-based measures for speech rate determination


This study assessed the validity of three instrument-based measures with regard to their potential for implementation in automated procedures for speech rate determination. Recorded monologues of 17 normal speakers were analyzed through a live counting procedure to determine the number of syllables each of them produced. Subsequent transcription of these monologues led to exact counts of: (1) all syllables, (2) stressed syllables only, (3) words, and (4) phrases. These results were compared with instrument-based counts of stressed syllables, voice initiations, and pauses. A correlational analysis revealed that automated counts of stressed syllables were strongly predictive of live syllable counts as well as of transcription-based counts of syllables and words. Automated voice initiation counts were also predictive of these measures, but to a lesser extent. These findings were confirmed by a subsequent factor analysis, which, in addition, demonstrated that the number of pauses represented a separate unique dimension. It follows that automated stressed-syllable counts hold the most promise for clinical applications that target speech rate modification. © 1995.


Communication Sciences and Disorders

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Journal of Fluency Disorders