Date of Graduation

Spring 2013


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Klaas Bakker


speech rate, clinical methods, diagnosis, speech therapy, rate of speech

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


Determining speech rate is a common practice in the field of speech and language pathology. A paucity of literature exists to inform clinicians and researchers as to empirically supported methods for determining speech rate of clients. The current study describes methods for obtaining relatively stable and representative speech rates in the shortest duration possible for typical speakers. The researcher obtained speech samples of 120 seconds from 20 speakers of American English. A stability range was determined for each individual speaker. The samples were then plotted cumulatively and in an interval fashion in six divisions of 20 seconds each. The period of the first 20 seconds was the most variable in all of the speakers where there was a deviation from the range considered stable. Such stability for most participants could only be achieved if the first 20 seconds from the cumulative sample was omitted from consideration. Also, with this omission, calculation from the 20th to the 40th second led to rates representative of a longer sample. Future research should replicate the findings of the study, using different interval durations and numbers, as well as different speaking conditions to ascertain that the above recommendations are universal.


© Steven Alan Kleinsasser

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